What’s going on today?
The Queen Elizabeth Driveway reopens this weekend for pedestrians and cyclists. It is always important to stay two meters from anyone you may come across.
Number of people in Ottawa hospitals with COVID-19 keep going down. This is important because it is a reliable measure to assess whether or not the virus has spread to the community. The longer it takes to double cases at the hospital, the flatter the curve and the closer Ottawa gets to relaxing some restrictions.
Relaxing the restrictions is currently on the minds of Canadian leaders. New Brunswick and Saskatchewan have already published detailed plans, while Quebec and Ontario are ready to do so next week.
Gatineau mayor Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin said there could be special rules for the Outaouais if Quebec’s strategy differs from Ontario’s.
How many cases are there?
There are now 1,034 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa and nearly 1,750 in eastern Ontario and western Quebec.
The death toll in Ottawa has now increased to 42. The deaths of 39 people in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark counties, and four others in the wider region, are also linked to COVID-19.
As far as we know, almost 700 of this regional total have recovered, but some local health units do not share this data.
Confirmed cases represent only a fraction of the actual number due to limited testing, although the tests are developing slowly.
Distance and isolation
Physical distance stay in effect: avoid non-essential travel, work from home, cancel all gatherings and stay at least two meters from anyone you don’t live with.
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Anyone with symptoms, who has recently traveled outside of Canada or, specifically, Ottawa, is awaiting a COVID-19 test result must isolate themselves for at least 14 days.
In Ontario, anyone in contact with someone who has a positive or suspected COVID-19 test for COVID-19 must also self-isolate for 14 days.
Ontario also recommends that people over the age of 70 and those with compromised immune systems or those with underlying health conditions voluntarily isolate themselves.
How everyday life changes
Waste collection is delayed for certain areas of Ottawa this week because a contract worker with the city tested positive for COVID-19.
Municipal parks are only open for walking, provincial and national parks are closed and authorities monitor rallies in many communities.
CBC Ottawa has mapped parks where people have been fined for breaking COVID-19 rules – Britannia Park tops the list.
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Ottawa has event permit canceled and many facilities closed until July. Quebec has asked the organizers to cancel the events until September.
Quebec has non-essential travel prohibited in and across the Outaouais.
Schools in Ontario and Quebec are closed at least until May and nonessential businesses should be closed.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
They range from a cold-like illness to a serious lung infection, most commonly fever, fatigue, and a dry cough.
Newly added symptoms include a sore throat, a runny nose, and less common symptoms such as loss of taste or odor.
Seniors, those with compromised immune systems, and those with underlying medical conditions are more likely to develop serious problems.
If you have severe symptoms, call 911.
WATCH: Gatineau could match Ottawa, not Quebec, to ease pandemic restrictions
The coronavirus is mainly spread through droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. People can be contagious without having symptoms.
Germs can also spread through close and prolonged contact, such as the handshake, and through surfaces such as doorknobs, phones, and light switches.
Where to get tested
Anyone affected has COVID-19 in Ontario can fill her online assessment tool.
There is also telehealth at 1-866-797-0000; to be prepared for waiting times.
Ottawans showing symptoms and meeting certain criteria can get tested at the Brewer Arena.
It is open from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm You do not need to call in advance.
People with mild or moderate symptoms can also visit clinics at Bells Corners or Alta Vista weekdays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
There are driving services test centers in Casselman and Hawkesbury without the need to call ahead with similarly expanded criteria and others Rockland, Winchester and Cornwall with a reference.
Vulnerable people can call 613-933-1375 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ask questions about a home test.
The assessment center of the Kingston The Memorial Center is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. for anyone with symptoms.
The public health unit of Beautiful city region only ask people to call 613-966-5500 if they still have questions after the province’s self-assessment.
Same for Leeds, Grenville and Lanark‘Unit at 1-800-660-5853 ext. 2499.
It has screening sites on the recommendation of a family doctor or the health service Almonte and Smiths Falls, a walk-in site Brockville at the Memorial Center and a home test service for people in care or with reduced mobility.
Renfrew County also provides home testing in certain circumstances.
Anyone who cannot or cannot reach a family doctor can call their new primary health care center at 1-844-727-6404 if they have health questions.
In western Quebec:
Outaouais residents must call 819-644-4545 whether they have a cough or fever, whether or not they have traveled. You may be referred to the Gatineau examination center.
If your symptoms require a trip to the emergency room, call ahead if you can to let them know your trip history.
First Nations communities
Local communities declared a state of emergency and imposed a curfew or both.
Akwesasne’s health service is opening of a mobile COVID-19 test site by appointment only. Call 613-575-2341 ext. 3220 if you live in the northern part of the community and have symptoms.
Anyone who returns more than 80 kilometers away is invited to isolate themselves for 14 days.
Anyone from the Bay of Quinte Mohawks who is experiencing symptoms can call 613-967-3603 to speak to a nurse.
Pikwakanagan’s new board ordered all businesses to close.
Kitigan Zibi postponed the June elections.