What’s the latest?
Ontario is reporting 313 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday — the highest daily tally since early June.
That province’s COVID-19 cases are rising at a rate not seen for months, causing it to consider targeted restrictions in places such as Ottawa.
More than 2,000 students in Ottawa’s English school boards won’t be able to ride their school bus today because of a shortage of bus drivers concerned about contracting COVID-19, with even more cancellations today.
Today marks one year since Ottawa’s problem-plagued LRT network opened to the public, and with the COVID-19 pandemic offering a chance to perform much-needed maintenance work, the city’s transit boss is optimistic about the line’s future.
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Testing has confirmed 3,274 people in Ottawa have had COVID-19.
Of those, 268 remain active cases and 2,726 are considered resolved. Two-hundred and sixty-seven deaths in Ottawa have been linked to the respiratory illness.
Overall, public health officials have reported more than 5,000 people with COVID-19 across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, with more than 4,200 of them considered resolved.
COVID-19 has killed 104 people in the region outside Ottawa: 52 people have died in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark counties, 34 in the Outaouais and 18 in other parts of eastern Ontario.
What’s open and closed?
Every local school board or service centre has started bringing students back. All classes should start by Friday.
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Ontario is in Stage 3 of its reopening plan, which means more businesses open and gatherings of up to 50 people indoors and 100 outdoors are now allowed under physical distancing guidelines.
There won’t be any further loosening of rules until at least Oct. 6 because of the concerning upward trend in its numbers. Last week, Premier Doug Ford said he’d like any stricter rule changes to be done by local officials, not the province.
Kingston, Ont., has tightened its distancing rules in city parks.
A person passes beside a Byward Market restaurant’s empty patio as rain falls on Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020. (Justin Tang/Canadian Press)
PR Transpo transit service in Prescott-Russell is back today.
Quebec has similar reopening rules to Ontario, with its cap on physically distanced gatherings in public venues now up to 250 people, allowing smaller festivals.
It is allowing more extracurriculars in its schools today.
Distancing and isolating
The novel coronavirus primarily spreads through droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, breathes or speaks onto someone or something.
People don’t need to have symptoms to be contagious.
That means physical distancing measures such as working from home, meeting others outdoors as much as possible and keeping distance from anyone you don’t live with or have in their circle, including when you have a mask on.
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Masks are now mandatory in indoor public settings in all of eastern Ontario and Quebec, including transit services and taxis in some areas.
Quebec has given police the power to fine people ignoring mandatory mask laws.
Masks are also recommended outdoors when you can’t stay the proper distance from others.
A pedestrian walks by a mural at the intersection of Bank and Lisgar streets in downtown Ottawa Sept. 11, 2020. The mural was done that year by Kalkidan Assefa, Allan André and Jimmy Baptiste. (Andrew Lee/CBC)
Anyone who has travelled recently outside Canada must go straight home and stay there for 14 days.
In Ontario, that’s the same period of self-isolation for anyone with symptoms. When self-isolating, only leave home or see other people if it’s critically important, such as to go see a doctor.
Most people with a confirmed COVID-19 case in Quebec can end their self-isolation after 10 days if they have not had a fever for at least 48 hours and has had no other symptom for at least 24 hours.
Health Canada recommends older adults and people with underlying medical conditions and/or weakened immune systems stay home as much as possible.
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COVID-19 can range from a cold-like illness to a severe lung infection, with common symptoms including fever, a cough, vomiting and the loss of taste or smell.
Less common symptoms include chills, headaches and pinkeye. Children can develop a rash.
People should not get tested any sooner than five days after potential exposure, since it takes about that long for the virus to grow to be detectable by a test, said Ottawa’s medical officer of health Vera Etches in early September.
If you have severe symptoms, call 911.
Where to get tested
In eastern Ontario:
In Ottawa any resident who feels they need a test, even if they are not showing symptoms, can be tested at one of four sites — including a new drive-thru testing centre.
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.
There’s also a mobile testing van operated by Inner City Health that mostly serves people experiencing homelessness and some tests done in hospitals.
Ottawa health personnel speak with a driver before administering a COVID-19 test at a drive-thru test centre in Ottawa Sept. 4, 2020. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)
In the Eastern Ontario Health Unit, there is a drive-thru centre in Casselman and assessment centres in Hawkesbury and Winchester that don’t require people to call ahead.
Others in Alexandria, Rockland and Cornwall require an appointment.
In Kingston, the Leon’s Centre is hosting the city’s test site though Gate 2.
Napanee‘s test centre is open daily for people who call ahead.
You can arrange a test in Bancroft, Belleville or Trenton by calling the centre and in Picton by texting or calling. Only Belleville and Trenton run seven days a week.
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The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark unit asks you to get tested if you have a symptom or concerns about exposure.
It has a walk-in site in Brockville at the Memorial Centre and testing sites in Smiths Falls and Almonte which require an appointment.
Renfrew County residents should call their family doctor and those without access to a family doctor can call 1-844-727-6404 to register for a test or if they have health questions, COVID-19-related or not.
People can also visit the health unit’s website to find out where testing clinics will be taking place each week.
In western Quebec:
Outaouais residents now can get a walk-in test in Gatineau seven days a week at 135 blvd. Saint-Raymond.
There are recurring clinics by appointment in communities such as Gracefield, Val-des-Monts and Fort-Coulonge.
They can call 1-877-644-4545 to make an appointment or if they have other questions.
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Akwesasne has had 14 confirmed COVID-19 cases, most linked to a gathering on an island in July.
It has a mobile COVID-19 test site available 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.
In early September, it expanded its gathering limit to 50 people. Its schools start bringing students back the week of Sept. 21.
Anyone in Tyendinaga who’s interested in a test can call 613-967-3603 to talk to a nurse. Its office and well-being centre are now open by appointment.
People in Pikwakanagan can book an appointment for a COVID-19 test by calling 613-625-2259.
Kitigan Zibi‘s fitness centre and playground park are opening up with restrictions..
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