What’s going on today?
Ottawa has now entered the post-peak period in terms of community transmission of the COVID-19 virus, medical officer of health Vera Etches said on Friday.
Although hospitalizations have increased recently, Etches said it was mainly due to epidemics in long-term care homes. There are currently 25 locations in Ottawa with COVID-19 outbreaks.
Starting Monday, Ontario will allow some construction and landscaping businesses to resume operations. Garden centers and nurseries will be able to offer pickup and delivery, and vehicle dealers will be able to start making an appointment.
Quebec plans to expand the COVID-19 test to include anyone with symptoms, and now in Ottawa, anyone over the age of 60 with symptoms can get tested.
Ottawa also announced changes to visiting policies for city-run long-term care homes on Friday. Mayor Jim Watson said that on May 7 or before, the city wanted to put in place a system that allows families to schedule window visits with residents while practicing physical distance.
How many cases are there?
There are currently 1,297 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa, but Ottawa Public Health did not provide an update on Thursday. There are currently more than 2,100 confirmed cases in all of eastern Ontario and western Quebec.
The death toll in Ottawa is 76. The deaths of 40 people in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark counties, and eight others in the wider region, have also been linked to COVID-19.
The number of people in the region who have recovered stands at 925.
Confirmed cases represent only a fraction of the actual number due to limited testing, although the tests are developing slowly.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
COVID-19 can range from a cold-like illness to a serious lung infection, with common symptoms like fever, fatigue, and a dry cough.
Other potential symptoms include sore throat, runny nose, and loss of taste or smell.
WATCH: Ask questions about the COVID-19 airborne transmission
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.
Distance and isolation
The coronavirus is mainly spread by droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes, although people can be asymptomatic and always contagious.
It can also be spread through close, prolonged contact like a handshake, as well as through surfaces like phones and door handles.
That means physical distancing measures stay in effect: people should avoid unnecessary travel, work from home, cancel meetings and stay at least two meters from anyone you don’t live with.
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.
The same goes for anyone in Ontario who has been in contact with someone who tests positive or is presumed to have COVID-19.
People aged 70 and over or those with compromised immune systems or who suffer from underlying health problems should also isolate themselves.
How everyday life changes
Municipal parks are only open for walking and authorities monitor rallies in many communities. Provincial and national parks are closed.
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 until May 11, the date on which the ban should be lifted everywhere except Gatineau.
CAQ MP Mathieu Lévesque said that traffic restrictions on Friday in Gatineau will remain until Ottawa is no longer a COVID-19 “hot spot.”
As for schools: Ontario will remain closed until May, but Quebec plans open primary schools and daycare centers in mid-May for parents who want to send their children. High schools, CEGEPs and universities will remain closed until the fall.
Where to get tested
Anyone affected has COVID-19 in Ontario can call Telehealth at 1-866-797-000 or fill out the online assessment tool.
In Ottawa people can be tested at the Brewer Arena 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., seven days a week. Those with mild or moderate symptoms may 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 that don’t require people to call in advance, and others Rockland, Winchester and Cornwall that require a reference.
In Kingston, the assessment center at the Kingston Memorial Center is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. for anyone with symptoms.
The public health unit of Beautiful city The region asks people to call only 613-966-5500 they still have questions after the province’s self-assessment.
Same for Leeds, Grenville and Lanark‘Unit at 1-800-660-5853 ext. 2499.
This unit has test sites open in Almonte and Smiths Falls that require a referral, as well as 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. Residents without a family doctor can call 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. They may end up being referred to the Gatineau examination center.
First Nations communities
Local communities declared a state of emergency and imposed a curfew or both.
Akwesasnethe health service of opened a COVID-19 mobile test site only available by appointment. Anyone who returns to Akwesasne more than 80 kilometers away is asked to isolate themselves for 14 days.
Anybody Tyendinaga who has symptoms can call 613-967-3603 to speak to a nurse.
Pikwakanagan’s new board ordered all businesses to close, while Kitigan Zibi postponed his June elections.