What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Monday May 4



  • According to COVID-19, another 14 people died in the city, according to the Ottawa Public Health Sunday report, the deadliest daily increase in the pandemic.
  • In total, there were 1,483 confirmed cases of virus in Ottawa.
  • Twenty-nine residents of a long-term care home in Orleans have now died from COVID-19.
  • Health Canada restricts the use of a rapid COVID-19 test created by Ottawa-based Spartan Bioscience after the National Microbiology Laboratory discovered problems that made it unreliable.
  • Visit our Facebook page dedicated to local wellness stories.

What’s going on today?

Some companies in Quebec and Ontario that have been forced to close to slow the spread of COVID-19 will be allowed to reopen today while following strict public safety guidelines.

In Quebec, this includes retail stores outside the greater Montreal area with an exterior entrance.

Lawn care and landscaping companies in Ontario can get back to work. Automatic car washes can open, as can garden centers and nurseries for delivery and curbside pickup only. Golf courses and marinas are allowed to prepare for the next season, but cannot yet accommodate the public. Car dealers can also open by appointment only.

Health Canada has announced that it will restrict the use of a rapid COVID-19 test created by Ottawa company Spartan Bioscience after the National Microbiology Lab found problems with the test that made it unreliable.

COVID-19’s fatality toll on Canada’s nursing homes has resulted in an increasing number of class actions being proposed in Quebec and Ontario – the two provinces hardest hit by the pandemic.

Paddlers make their way along the Rideau River as people enjoy the warm weather amid the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, Sunday May 3, 2020. (Justin Tang / The Canadian Press)

How many cases are there?

There are now 1,483 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa and 92 deaths. There are currently more than 2,300 confirmed cases in all of eastern Ontario and western Quebec.

The deaths of 40 people in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark counties, and nine others in the wider region, are also linked to COVID-19.

The number of people who have recovered in the region is over 1,200.

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.

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.

That means physical distancing measures stay in effect: people should avoid unnecessary travel, working from home, cancel meetings and stay at least two meters from anyone they don’t live with.

WATCH: Ottawa appears to be “in the post-peak period”, says public health agency

Vera Etches, chief medical officer of health, says the city appears to be in the “post-peak period” when it comes to new community infections, although epidemics in long-term care homes remain a problem. 0:41

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 with compromised immune systems or with underlying health conditions 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.

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.

English-language school boards insist that classes will not resume until it is safe.

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.

The city encourages anyone over the age of 60 with symptoms of COVID-19 to get tested.

A message thanking healthcare workers is seen next to a statue of Mary outside the Madonna Care Community in Ottawa, a long-term care facility where 29 residents died from COVID-19. (Justin Tang / The Canadian Press)

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.

WATCH: ODSP-dependent residents say pandemic has brought them to a breaking point

People who rely on the Ontario Disability Support Program say their spending has increased since the start of the pandemic, leaving them as close to financial position as ever. Angie Allard and Terrie Meehan spoke to CBC’s Omar Dabaghi-Pacheco. 2:24

The public health unit of Beautiful city ask people to call 613-966-5500 only if they have questions after the province self-assessment.

Same for Leeds, Grenville and Lanark‘Unit at 1-800-660-5853, ext. 2499.

This unit has open test sites 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 if they have a cough or fever. They may end up being referred to the Gatineau examination center.

WATCH: Is airborne transmission possible with COVID-19?

An infectious disease specialist will answer your questions about the COVID-19 pandemic, including the possibility of airborne transmission. 2:18

First Nations communities

Local communities declared a state of emergency and imposed a curfew or both.

Akwesasne at opened a COVID-19 mobile test site available by appointment only. 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.

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