Ottawa reported 196 more COVID-19 cases Wednesday and has tied or surpassed a number of records, including hospitalizations.
Ontario’s stay-at-home order and closure non-essential retail stores for all but curbside pickup starts today.
Meanwhile, one infectious disease expert says the provincial strategy to incrementally — and often suddenly — impose additional restrictions to try to curb the transmission of COVID-19 is the exact opposite of what is needed to stop the spread.
Teachers in Ottawa have mixed feelings when it comes to stepping foot in classrooms as COVID-19 case counts surge.
Every Thursday, CBC Ottawa brings you a roundup of COVID-19 vaccination developments throughout the region. Here’s the latest.
As of Wednesday, 18,632 Ottawa residents have tested positive for COVID-19. There are 1,926 known active cases, 16,236 resolved cases and 470 deaths.
Public health officials have reported more than 34,000 COVID-19 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, including more than 30,400 resolved cases.
Elsewhere in eastern Ontario, 148 people have died. In western Quebec, the death toll is 175.
Akwesasne has had more than 270 residents test positive on the Canadian side of the border and seven deaths. It’s had more than 560 cases when its southern section is added.
Indoor gatherings are not allowed, except for people who live together and the usual exception for those who live alone. Outdoor gatherings can have a maximum of five distanced people. Religious events have different rules.
Gyms and personal care services must close, while restaurants are only available for takeout and delivery.
Non-essential businesses can open at 25 per cent capacity. Essential ones can go to 50 per cent under current rules. Schools are not being forced to close.
Ottawa’s medical officer of health is one of the officials asking the province for stronger rules, including a stay-at-home order similar to early winter, paid sick leave, travel restrictions within Ontario and more online learning in places where school outbreaks are a problem.
Schools, gyms, theatres, personal care services and non-essential businesses are closed until Monday at 5 a.m. in Gatineau and in the MRC des Collines-de-l’Outaouais, which almost entirely surrounds the city.
Private gatherings are banned, except for a person who lives alone seeing one other household.
Distanced outdoor exercise is allowed in groups up to eight people. Places of worship can have a maximum of 25 people.
The curfew there now starts at 8 p.m.
The rest of the Outaouais is under red-zone rules, which closes restaurant dining rooms and, as of Wednesday, gyms, but keeps schools, theatres, personal care services and non-essential businesses open with restrictions.
The start of the curfew in this area remains at 9:30 p.m.
People across the Ottawa-Gatineau area are asked to only have close contact with people they live with, be masked and distanced for all other in-person contact and only leave their immediate area for essential reasons.
This means it is important to take precautions now and in the future like staying home while sick — and getting help with costs if needed — as well as keeping hands and surfaces clean and maintaining distance from anyone you don’t live with, even with a mask on.
OPH says residents should wear masks outside their homes whenever possible.© Brian Morris/CBC Cars parked at Costco on Merivale Road on April 7, 2021, the day before another stay-at-home order goes into effect in Ontario.
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.
Four COVID-19 vaccines have been approved in Canada.
Canada’s task force said first doses offer such strong protection that people can wait up to four months to get a second.
About 387,000 doses have been given out in the Ottawa-Gatineau region since mid-December, including about 168,000 doses to Ottawa residents and about 63,000 in western Quebec.
Ontario’s first doses of Phase 1 generally went to care home residents and health-care workers.
Phase 3, slated to begin in July, will involve vaccinating anyone older than 16.
Quebec also started by vaccinating people in care homes and health-care workers.
That will be followed by local essential workers and people with chronic illness, and finally the general public.
Officials expect everyone who wants a shot to be able to get one by by Fête nationale on June 24.
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 tend to have an upset stomach and/or a rash.
If you have severe symptoms, call 911.
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.
Check with your area’s health unit for clinic locations and hours. Some are offering pop-up or mobile clinics.
Ottawa’s drive-thru test site at RCGT Park on Coventry Road reopened Wednesday. It had been at the National Arts Centre during the colder months.
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.
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 vaccines, in Inuktitut or English on weekdays.