What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Saturday May 23



What’s going on today?

As restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 gradually loosen, local public health officials express cautious optimism about the pandemic’s progress – but remind people not to let their guard down.

The National Capital Commission has opened parking lots on NCC land, in the greenbelt and in Gatineau Park for public use.

A number of roads will be closed to motor vehicles this weekend to make way for pedestrian and cyclist traffic as part of the NCC pilot projects:

  • The westbound lanes of Sir John A. Macdonald Drive between Booth Street and Carling Avenue on weekends until the end of May.
  • Promenade Sir George-Étienne Cartier between Promenade de l’Aviation and Boulevard Saint-Joseph on weekends until the end of May.
  • Queen Elizabeth Driveway between Laurier Avenue and Fifth Avenue daily until the end of June.
  • Gatineau Promenade, Champlain Promenade and Fortune Lake Promenade every day until the end of June.

The changes are coming as Quebec now allows outdoor gatherings at a physical distance of up to 10 people from two or three homes.

The City of Ottawa eased restrictions on park amenities this week. The public can now use benches, picnic tables and shelters, although people are asked to stay within two meters of each other and to be careful when touching surfaces. (Francis Ferland / CBC)

Many trails and walking trails in the area are now open, and the City of Ottawa has reopened outdoor sports facilities, multi-use fields and other park equipment. Physical distance restrictions remain in place at all of these locations.

The federal government is helping Ontario’s public health workers reconnect with people who test positive for COVID-19 and is expanding its offer of assistance to other provinces, the Premier said on Friday.

New economic figures show that widespread blockages pushed Canadian retail sales down 10% in March, the largest decline ever.

A real estate expert said that Shopify’s decision to switch to a work at home model even after the COVID-19 pandemic ended could give small tech companies the opportunity to land at a discount with some of the Ottawa’s best real estate.

LISTEN: NCC reopens parking lots and widens access to the Greenbelt, Gatineau Park

The NCC is expanding access to its parks and green spaces in the Ottawa-Gatineau region as governments relax COVID-19 restrictions on both sides of the provincial border. 9:34

How many cases are there?

There have been 1,885 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa and 220 deaths related to respiratory disease. There are more than 2,950 known cases in eastern Ontario and western Quebec.

Nearly 2,150 people in the region have recovered from COVID-19.

The death of 49 people in the counties of Leeds, Grenville and Lanark and 28 others in the wider region is also linked to the coronavirus.

Confirmed cases are only a snapshot because not everyone can be tested and the results take time to be processed, although the test criteria are extended.

What is open and closed?

Ontario is in “the first step” of its three-stage reopening plan. Once ready, his next step will take another step towards the return of more offices, outdoor spaces and gatherings.

Quebec services such as dental offices and hair salons can reopen on June 1st.

WATCH: What is still unknown as the reopening intensifies

Ontario and Quebec have most cases of COVID-19 in Canada, and as infections continue, so too do concerns that provinces reopen too soon. 2:04

Gatineau Park and provincial parks are now open with limits like the National Capital Commission and Ottawa-Gatineau municipal parks.

National parks start reopening on June 1st.

A public toilet next to Knox Presbyterian Church in downtown Ottawa, placed to allow people, including those who are homeless or precariously housed, to access the toilet, is seen on Wednesday May 20 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Justin Tang / Canadian Press)

Ottawa has canceled event permits until the end of August. Quebec has asked the organizers to cancel the events until September.

Ontario schools will remain closed during the summer. Post-secondary schools are moving towards more online courses this fall with the promising province an autumn plan for the youngest students in July.

Elementary schools in Quebec outside Montreal are open. Its high schools, CEGEPs and universities will remain closed to in-person classes until the fall.

Distance and isolation

The coronavirus is mainly spread through droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. People don’t have to have symptoms to be contagious.

That means physical distancing measures such as avoiding non-essential travel, working from home, not gathering and staying at least two meters from those with whom they do not live.

Ottawa shelter and service provider Shepherds of Good Hope said it started testing all clients and staff after learning of the first case of COVID-19 from someone who stayed with him . (Michel Aspirot / Radio-Canada)

Ottawa Public Health recommends people wear a non-medical cloth or mask when they can’t always stay two meters away from strangers, like in a grocery store.

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 is true for anyone in Ontario who has been in contact with a person tested positive or suspected of having COVID-19.

People aged 70 and over or with compromised immune systems or with underlying health conditions should also isolate themselves.

WATCH: Ottawa’s Chief Medical Officer of Health says anyone with COVID-19 symptoms should get tested

Vera Etches, Chief Medical Officer of Health in Ottawa, says that anyone with COVID-19 symptoms should be tested, although widespread screening for asymptomatic residents is not yet possible. 1:15

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

COVID-19[female[femininecan range from a cold-like illness severe lung infection, with common symptoms, including fever, dry cough, vomiting, and loss of taste or smell.

Less common symptoms include chills, headache and pink eyes. The Ontario government says in rare cases: children can develop a rash.

If you have severe symptoms, call 911.

Anyone in Ontario with symptoms of COVID-19 should come for the test.

Where to get tested

In Ottawa anyone with symptoms can now be tested at the Brewer Arena from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., seven days a week, or at 595 Moodie Dr. and 1485 Heron Rd. these same hours on weekdays.

In Kingston, the assessment center at the Kingston Memorial Center is open Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and weekends from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for anyone with symptoms.

For local residents and working employees in the Eastern Ontario Health Unit area, there is a driving test center Casselman and assessment centers Hawkesbury and Winchester that don’t require people to call in advance, and others Rockland, and Cornwall that require an appointment.

the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark the unit asks you to call it at 1-800-660-5853, ext. 2499 if you have any questions after completing the province self-assessment.

It 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.

The public health unit of Beautiful city ask people to call 613-966-5500 to ask questions.

You can always arrange a test if you have symptoms by calling one of its test centers in Belleville, Trenton or Bancroft. If you are interested in the Picton center, call the health unit, Telehealth or your family doctor.

You can also qualify for a home test.

Renfrew County also provides home testing in certain circumstances. Residents who do not have access to a family doctor can call 1-844-727-6404 if they have any health questions after completing the self-assessment.

In western Quebec:

Outaouais residents must call 819-644-4545 if they have symptoms. 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.

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

PikwakanaganThe board plans let businesses reopen May 29 and Kitigan Zibi keeps schools closed during the summer.

For more information


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