What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Tuesday, Aug. 18

What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Tuesday, Aug. 18

Recent developments: 

  • Two ByWard Market restaurants are facing fines after failing to ensure COVID-19 protocols at their businesses.
  • The CFL scrapped its season Monday due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Ottawa Public Health reported 19 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, with 80 more across Ontario.

What’s the latest? 

Two restaurants in Ottawa’s ByWard Market were fined this month for failing to comply with an order to ensure physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic under Ontario’s Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.

Atari on Dalhousie Street and Somewhere Dine Bar on Murray Street were each charged $880 by bylaw officers.

The CFL cancelled its season Monday due to the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning the Grey Cup won’t be presented for the first time since 1919.

Ottawa Public Health reported 19 new COVID-19 cases in the city Monday afternoon, with 80 more reported elsewhere in the province. 

How many cases are there?

There have been 2,720 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa since the pandemic began, with 122 active cases and 2,334 considered resolved. The total number of deaths linked to the illness has remained at 264 since the end of July.

Overall, public health officials have reported more than 4,170 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, with more than 3,600 resolved. 

COVID-19 has killed 102 people in the region outside Ottawa.

As of Aug. 14, 52 have died in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark counties. Additionally, 17 people have died in other parts of eastern Ontario and 33 in the Outaouais.

What’s open and closed

Ottawa is in Stage 3 of Ontario’s 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 rules, with its cap on physically distanced gatherings in public venues now up to 250 people, allowing smaller festivals.

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The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) headquarters Connaught Building is pictured in Ottawa on Monday, Aug. 17, 2020. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

The Canada Science and Technology Museum reopened Friday after a hiatus due to COVID-19, and the Canadian Museum of Nature is scheduled to reopen on Sept. 5.

Most Ottawa Public Library branches will be open for in-person browsing and computer use starting today.

Elementary students in Ontario will be heading back to school full time come September, while most high school students will split their time between the classroom and online learning, depending on the board. 

Individual boards have started to release further guidance.

Quebec updated its school plans in early August, including making masks mandatory in hallways for students Grades 5 and up.

Distancing and isolating

The novel coronavirus primarily spreads through droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes on another person or object. 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 they 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, where transit officials and taxi drivers are now required to bar access to users over age 12 who refuse to wear one.

A pedestrian walks their dog in downtown Ottawa on Monday, Aug. 17, 2020. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

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

Anyone who has symptoms or travelled recently outside Canada must self-isolate for at least 14 days.

Anyone who has symptoms and is waiting for a COVID-19 test result in Ontario must self-isolate at least until they know the result. Quebec asks people waiting to only self-isolate in certain circumstances.

People in both provinces should self-isolate if they’ve been in contact with someone who’s tested positive or is presumed to have COVID-19.

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Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health strongly urges self-isolation for people with weakened immune systems and OPH recommends people over 70 stay home as much as possible. 

Top medical officials say people should be prepared for the possibility COVID-19 restrictions last into 2022 or 2023.

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 dry 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 three sites.

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.

In the Eastern Ontario Health Unit area, there is a drive-thru centre in Casselman that can handle 200 tests a day and assessment centres in Hawkesbury and Winchester that don’t require people to call ahead.

Others in Alexandria, Rockland and Cornwall require an appointment.

As the pandemic drags on and shelter capacity has been reduced, homeless encampments are popping up in Canadian cities and there are concerns they will only continue to grow as evicted renters are forced onto the streets. 2:07

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 for an appointment.

You can arrange a test in Bancroft, Belleville or Trenton by calling the centre and in Picton by texting or calling.

The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark unit asks you to get tested if you have a symptom or concerns about exposure.

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It has a walk-in site in Brockville at the Memorial Centre and testing sites in Smiths Falls and Almonte which require an appointment.

There are test clinics in five Renfrew County communities this week.

Its 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.

In western Quebec:

Outaouais residents now can get a walk-in test in Gatineau five days a week at 135 blvd. Saint-Raymond and at 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.

As of mid-August, there were longer wait times for test results here compared to some other regions of Quebec.

First Nations:

Local communities have declared states of emergency, put in a curfew or both.

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 80 kilometres away 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. Face coverings are now mandatory in its public buildings.

People in Pikwakanagan can book an appointment for a COVID-19 test by calling 613-625-2259.

Kitigan Zibi is planning for an Aug. 29 election with changes depending on the status of the pandemic at that time. It plans on starting to open schools and daycares next month.

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