What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Tuesday, Feb. 9 – CBC.ca

Recent developments:

  • Reopening eastern Ontario regions worry about visitors from Ottawa.
  • Some self-employed Canadians caught in CERB confusion won’t have to pay the government back.
  • Justin Trudeau and François Legault plan to speak to reporters today.
  • Calabogie Peaks ski hill will open Thursday.

What’s the latest?

Ottawans are being asked to stay put as three nearby public health units reopen restaurants, salons and gyms starting tomorrow. The rest of eastern Ontario may do the same next week.

Some of the self-employed Canadians who faced repaying thousands of dollars in Canada emergency response benefit (CERB) money will be let off the hook, according to a government source.

Updates are expected from the prime minister at 11:15 a.m. ET and Quebec’s premier at 1 p.m.

WATCH | Calabogie Peaks’ COO hopes to make up some lost revenue:

Jim Hemlin, chief operating officer of Calabogie Peaks Resort, says the revenue lost during the lockdown won’t be coming back, but he’s happy to get a chance to welcome skiers again for the end of the season. 1:07

How many cases are there?

As of Monday, 13,708 Ottawa residents have tested positive for COVID-19. There are 456 known active cases, 12,826 resolved cases and 426 deaths from COVID-19. 

Public health officials have reported more than 24,400 COVID-19 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, including more than 22,900 resolved cases.

Elsewhere in eastern Ontario, 125 people have died of COVID-19, and 156 people have died in western Quebec. 

CBC Ottawa is profiling those who’ve died of COVID-19. If you’d like to share your loved one’s story, please get in touch.


What can I do?

These Ontario stay-at-home order rules remain for a region until it moves back to its five-colour scale.

People must only leave home when it’s essential. People who leave home for non-essential reasons can be fined.

Travel between regions and provinces is not recommended.

Private indoor gatherings are not allowed, while outdoor gatherings are capped at five people. It’s strongly recommended people stick to their own households and socializing is not considered essential.

People who live alone, however, are allowed close contact with one other household.

Most outdoor recreation venues remain open with restrictions, including the full Rideau Canal Skateway.

All in a Day7:18Ottawa skate shop booming

Skate shop owner Gord Martin says he can barely keep up with sales and skate sharpening this season. 7:18

Students across eastern Ontario can once again return to the classroom.

The rules change as regions move back to the scale. 

Hastings Prince Edward Public Health, Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Public Health and the Renfrew County and District Health Unit are moving back into green tomorrow.

Western Quebec residents are also being asked to stay home unless it’s essential to leave and not see anyone they don’t live with. An exception for people living alone allows them to exclusively visit one other home.

Non-essential businesses, hair salons and museums are now allowed to open across Quebec. Locally, gyms and restaurants will stay closed.

The Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Que., reopens tomorrow. (Simon Lasalle/Radio-Canada)

Students are back in classrooms, including post-secondary ones.

Like in Ontario, travel from one region of Quebec to another is discouraged.

Quebec’s 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew remains in place, and people could face fines of up to $6,000 for breaking the rules. It no longer applies to people experiencing homelessness.

Distancing and isolating

The novel coronavirus primarily spreads through droplets when an infected person speaks, coughs, sneezes, or breathes onto someone or something. These droplets can hang in the air.

People can be contagious without symptoms, even after getting a vaccine. New coronavirus variants can be more contagious.

This means it is important to take precautions now and in the months to come like staying home while symptomatic, keeping hands and frequently touched surfaces clean and maintaining distance from anyone you don’t live with — even with a mask on.

A pedestrian in a mask crosses a downtown Ottawa street Jan. 8, 2021. (Michel Asprot/Radio-Canada)

Masks, preferably ones that fit snugly and have three layers, are mandatory in indoor public settings in Ontario and Quebec. OPH says residents should also wear masks outside their homes whenever possible.

Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms should self-isolate, as should those who’ve been ordered to do so by their public health unit. The length varies in Ontario and Quebec.

Health Canada recommends older adults and people with underlying medical conditions and/or weakened immune systems stay home as much as possible and get friends and family to help with errands.

WATCH | Uber Eats drivers criticize pay change:

February 8, 2021 – As the pandemic continues to keep Canadians at home, a new pay scheme by Uber Eats has delivery drivers calling for change. PLUS, as Canada deals with a nurse shortage, would-be students are flocking to the profession, with university applications up 72% from last year. 45:31

The federal government is in the midst of tightening international travel rules and asks people not to vacation abroad.

Symptoms and vaccines

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 can develop a rash.

If you have severe symptoms, call 911.

Mental health can also be affected by the pandemic, and resources are available to help.

COVID-19 vaccines have started being given to local health-care workers and long-term care residents.

About 46,000 doses have been given out, including about 31,500 doses in Ottawa and 8,400 in western Quebec

Pfizer temporarily slowing its vaccine production to expand its factory means some jurisdictions can’t guarantee people will get the necessary second dose three weeks after the first. It may take four to six weeks.

There is now uncertainty about the Moderna vaccine supply.

Ontario is giving its available doses to care home residents. Ottawa is moving from long-term care homes to high-risk retirement homes.

That province’s campaign is still expected to expand to priority groups such as older adults and essential workers in March or April, with vaccines widely available in August.

Ottawa believes it can have nearly 700,000 residents vaccinated by then, hitting a groove of nearly 11,000 doses a day by early summer.

Quebec is also giving a single dose to as many people as possible, starting with people in care homes and health-care workers, then remote communities, then older adults and essential workers and finally the general public.

It has had to delay vaccinating people in private seniors’ homes.

Quebecers should get their second dose within 90 days.

WATCH | Governments defend Oxford-AstraZeneca shot after South Africa halts rollout:

South Africa has halted its rollout of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine after a study showed it offered minimal protection against mild infection from a variant spreading there. While experts say it’s cause for concern, they say vaccines can be reconfigured to protect against mutations. 2:01

Where to get tested

In eastern Ontario:

Anyone seeking a test should book an appointment.

Ontario recommends only getting tested if you have symptoms, if you’ve been told to by your health unit or the province, or if you fit certain other criteria.

The KFL&A health unit says people that have left southeastern Ontario or been in contact with someone who has should get a test as they track a coronavirus variant.

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.

Ottawa has 10 permanent test sites, with mobile sites wherever demand is particularly high.

The COVID-19 test site at Ottawa’s McNabb Community Centre is closing this afternoon. The city’s task force says tests are available nearby and it wants to use its resources at schools and neighbourhood hot spots.

An O-Train on the Confederation Line in Ottawa in January. (Andrew Lee/CBC)

People can arrange a test in Picton over the phone or Bancroft, Belleville and Trenton, where online booking is preferred.

The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark health unit has permanent sites in Almonte, Brockville, Kemptville and Smiths Falls and a mobile clinic.

Kingston’s main test site is at the Beechgrove Complex, another is in Napanee.

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A portion of the city of Kingston’s pandemic relief package will go to artists who have been affected by the pandemic. We talk to the city’s cultural director about the challenges artists have been facing, and how the city is looking to use this fund to help out. 8:36

The Eastern Ontario Health Unit has sites in Alexandria, Casselman, Cornwall, Hawkesbury, Rockland and Winchester.

Renfrew County test clinic locations are posted weekly. Residents can also call their family doctor or 1-844-727-6404 with health questions.

Ottawa Morning8:11Renfrew County and District Health Unit moves to ‘green’ level this week

Medical Officer of Health for the area Dr. Robert Cushman reacts to the province’s announcement that his region will loosen restrictions. 8:11

In western Quebec:

Tests are strongly recommended for people with symptoms and their contacts.

Outaouais residents can make an appointment in Gatineau at 135 blvd. Saint-Raymond or 617 ave. Buckingham. They can check the wait time for the Saint-Raymond site.

There are recurring clinics by appointment in communities such as Maniwaki, Fort-Coulonge and Petite-Nation.

Call 1-877-644-4545 with questions, including if walk-in testing is available nearby.

First Nations, Inuit and Métis:

Akwesasne has had 170 residents test positive on the Canadian side of the border and six deaths. More than 330 people have tested positive across the community and eight have died.

Its curfew from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. is back and it has a COVID-19 test site by appointment only.

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.

It has released its vaccine plans.

Kitigan Zibi logged its first case in mid-December and has had a total of 20. The Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte had their only confirmed case in November.

People in Pikwakanagan can book a COVID-19 test by calling 613-625-2259. Anyone in Tyendinaga who’s interested in a test can call 613-967-3603.

Inuit in Ottawa can call the Akausivik Inuit Family Health Team at 613-740-0999 for service, including testing, in Inuktitut or English on weekdays.

For more information