What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Saturday, Sept. 5

What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Saturday, Sept. 5

Recent developments: 

  • Kingston, Ont., has banned non-distanced gatherings in its parks of people who don’t live together.
  • Ottawa recorded 13 new COVID-19 cases Friday, but the number of active cases and hospitalizations continue to drop.
  • An outbreak at the Garry J. Armstrong long-term care home has been declared over, meaning there are no active outbreaks at municpally-run care homes.
  • Rural families in eastern Ontario feel they have little choice when it comes to schooling this year. 

What’s the latest?

Some parents in rural eastern Ontario say they’re being forced to send their kids back to school this fall because online learning simply isn’t an option due to where they live.

Citing a lack of physical distancing, the City of Kingston has banned people over 16 who don’t live together from being closer than two metres from one another in municipal parks.

The city’s Gord Downie Pier at Breakwater Park and the surrounding area are now also closed from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m.

Ottawa logged 13 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Friday, but the number of active cases, including those being treated in hospital, continues to drop.

People wearing masks make their way to the bus stops at the Tunney’s Pasture LRT station in Ottawa on Sept. 3, 2020. (Trevor Pritchard/CBC)

How many cases are there?

There have been 3,022 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa since the start of the pandemic: 187 known active cases, 2,568 cases considered resolved and a total of 267 deaths related to the illness.

Overall, public health officials have reported more than 4,600 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, with more than 3,900 resolved.


COVID-19 has killed 103 people in the region outside Ottawa: 52 people have died in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark counties, 33 in the Outaouais and 18 in other parts of eastern Ontario.

What’s open and closed?

We’ve put together an in-depth breakdown of back to school plans for every board and service centre in the region.

Ontario is in Stage 3 of its reopening plan, which means more businesses are open including dine-in restaurants and movie theatres.

Indoor gatherings of up to 50 people and outdoor gatherings of up to 100 are now allowed in that province but attendees must follow physical distancing guidelines.

Quebec has similar reopening rules, with its cap on physically distanced gatherings in public venues now up to 250 people, allowing smaller festivals.

Alan Forster, vice-president of innovation and quality at The Ottawa Hospital, says the new site will offer more efficient testing, though the focus is on asymptomatic patients rather than those with COVID-19 symptoms. 0:56

The Canadian Museum of Nature reopens with pandemic changes starting tomorrow.

Rue Jacques-Cartier in Gatineau and the Queen Elizabeth Driveway reopen to vehicles Tuesday. The driveway will close to vehicles on weekends the rest of the month.

That same day, a new Ontario rule formally removes time limits on caregiver visits to long-term care homes and eight Ottawa arenas will be available again for rentals.

PR Transpo transit service in Prescott-Russell resumes Sept. 14.

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.

Masks are now mandatory in indoor public settings in all of eastern Ontario and Quebec, including transit services and taxis in some areas.

Masks are also recommended outdoors when you can’t stay the proper distance from others.

Teacher Chelsea O’Brien leads a group of students in an outdoor tent at an elementary school in Gatineau, Que., Sept. 2, 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

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. 

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

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.

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 site that launches today. 

The Brewer Arena test site will be closed on Labour Day.

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.

Some Quebec parents are taking the province to court to push for their children to be allowed to learn remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic without a medical exemption. 2:02

In the Eastern Ontario Health Unit area, 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.

All are closed on Labour Day.

In Kingston, the Leon’s Centre is hosting the city’s test site. Find it at 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.

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.

Almonte’s site will be closed Monday.

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.

It’s testing in five communities this week with an appointment.

In western Quebec:

Outaouais residents now can get a walk-in test in Gatineau seven days a week at 135 blvd. Saint-Raymond. Wait times mean you may be assigned a time to come back if the centre is busy.

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.

Students with disabilities face extra complications heading back to school in a pandemic, including how to access support services, and parents say more planning was needed from governments. 2:11

First Nations:

Akwesasne has had 14 confirmed COVID-19 cases. Most are linked back to a gathering on an island with a non-resident who wasn’t showing symptoms at the time.

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.

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 will be open by appointment, with bookings starting Sept. 14.

People in Pikwakanagan can book an appointment for a COVID-19 test by calling 613-625-2259. While its powwow has been cancelled this year, their traditional feast is happening as a drive-thru on Sunday afternoon.

Kitigan Zibi‘s fitness centre and playground park are opening up with restrictions..

For more information

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