- Ottawa Public Health recorded 62 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday.
- The Renfrew health unit is considering targeted restrictions after cases rise in two communities.
- Parents with Ottawa’s largest school board will soon have to choose between virtual and in-person learning for the fall.
What’s the latest?
The acting head of the Renfrew County and District Health Unit says they’re considering targeted restrictions as COVID-19 cases have shot up in a pair of communities just west of Ottawa.
Dr. Robert Cushman says it’s possible tighter rules could be implemented in the town of Arnprior, Ont., and the township of McNab/Braeside, Ont., after 15 cases were confirmed this past week.
In Ottawa, meanwhile, another 62 cases of COVID-19 were confirmed on Saturday. No deaths were reported.
The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board says parents will have to make a decision by mid-March about whether their children will attend virtual or in-person learning come September.
If the pandemic’s left you feeling disconnected from loved ones, check your mailbox this week. Canada Post will be sending out 13.5 million postage-paid postcards to help Canadians stay in touch with the people who matter to them.
How many cases are there?
As of Saturday, 14,650 Ottawa residents have tested positive for COVID-19. There are currently 488 known active cases and 13,723 resolved cases. Public health officials have attributed 439 deaths to COVID-19.
Details on <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/OttCity?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#OttCity</a>’s first pop-up vaccination clinic will be announced on Monday , March 1. Please do not call <a href=”https://twitter.com/OttawaHealth?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@ottawahealth</a> or 3-1-1 at this time, as appointments are not yet available. To find out eligibility for this clinic, visit: <a href=”https://t.co/BPpKuJ3hou”>https://t.co/BPpKuJ3hou</a> <a href=”https://t.co/zmEProsLvL”>pic.twitter.com/zmEProsLvL</a>
Public health officials have reported more than 26,000 COVID-19 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, including more than 24,400 resolved cases.
Elsewhere in eastern Ontario, 130 people have died of COVID-19, and 160 people have died in western Quebec.
Akwesasne has had more than 230 residents test positive on the Canadian side of the border and seven deaths. Kitigan Zibi has had 21 confirmed cases and Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory has had five, with one death.
What can I do?
Restaurants, gyms, personal care services, theatres and non-essential businesses are open across eastern Ontario. Most sports can also resume.
Social gatherings can have up to 10 people indoors or 25 people outdoors. Organized events can be larger.
People are asked to only have close contact with people they live with, be masked and distanced for all other in-person contact and only travel for essential reasons, especially between differently coloured zones.
Both Ottawa Public Health (OPH) and the EOHU are orange under the province’s colour-coded pandemic scale.
That area’s new curfew hours are 9:30 p.m. until 5 a.m.
Like in Ontario, people are asked not to see anyone they don’t live with in person and travel from one region of Quebec to another is discouraged.
Outdoor gatherings of up to eight people are now allowed.
Distancing and isolating
This means it is important to take precautions now and in the months to come like staying home while symptomatic — and getting help with costs if needed — keeping hands and frequently touched surfaces clean and maintaining distance from anyone you don’t live with, even with a mask on.
OPH says residents should also wear masks outside their homes whenever possible.
Health Canada recommends older adults and people with underlying medical conditions and/or weakened immune systems stay home as much as possible and get help with errands.
Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms should self-isolate, as should those who’ve been ordered to do so by their public health unit. The length varies in Quebec and Ontario; the latter recently updated its rules, including in schools.
Symptoms and vaccines
COVID-19 can range from a cold-like illness to a severe lung infection, with common symptoms including fever, a cough, vomiting and loss of taste or smell. Children can develop a rash.
If you have severe symptoms, call 911.
Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine supply has stabilized.
About 79,800 doses have been given out since mid-December, including about 48,300 doses in Ottawa and 13,300 in western Quebec.
Ontario’s first doses have generally been going to care home residents and health-care workers.
Ontarians who are eligible can book appointments online or over the phone starting March 15. Vaccines are expected to be widely available in August.
Local health units have some flexibility in the larger framework, however, so check with them for specifics.
More details on those logistics are expected Monday.
Many eastern Ontario vaccine clinic locations are in the same communities as test sites and none are open yet for the general public.
Quebec is giving a single dose to as many people as possible, starting with people in care homes and health-care workers.
People who qualify can make an appointment online or over the phone.
Quebecers should get their second dose within 90 days.
Where to get tested
In eastern Ontario:
Anyone seeking a test should book an appointment.
People without symptoms but who are part of the province’s targeted testing strategy can make an appointment at select pharmacies. Travellers who need a test have very few local options to pay for one.
People can arrange a test in Picton over the phone or in Bancroft, Belleville and Trenton, where online booking is preferred.
Renfrew County test clinic locations are posted weekly. Residents can also call their family doctor or 1-844-727-6404 with health questions.
The Eastern Ontario Health Unit has sites in Alexandria, Casselman, Cornwall, Hawkesbury, Rockland and Winchester.
In western Quebec:
Tests are strongly recommended for people with symptoms and their contacts.
There are recurring clinics by appointment in communities such as Maniwaki and Petite-Nation.
Call 1-877-644-4545 with questions, including if walk-in testing is available nearby.
First Nations, Inuit and Métis:
Anyone returning to the community on the Canadian side of the international border who’s been farther than 160 kilometres away — or visited Montreal — for non-essential reasons is asked to self-isolate for 14 days.
Inuit in Ottawa can call the Akausivik Inuit Family Health Team at 613-740-0999 for service, including testing and now vaccines, in Inuktitut or English on weekdays.