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What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Tuesday, Feb. 2

cbc.ca logo cbc.ca 2021-02-02 CBC/Radio-Canada

Ottawa is reporting 27 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday, while western Quebec is reporting 19. Neither is reporting any more deaths.

Ottawa city officials will give an update at 3:15 p.m.

Quebec Premier François Legault is expected to announce changes to some pandemic restrictions in parts of Quebec by 5 p.m. ET, including around its curfew, restaurants and non-essential businesses.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says millions of COVID-19 shots could be produced at a plant in Montreal later this year as the current global market contends with delivery delays and protectionist measures.

As of Tuesday, 13,385 Ottawa residents have tested positive for COVID-19. There are 516 known active cases, 12,447 resolved cases and 422 deaths from COVID-19. 

Public health officials have reported more than 23,800 COVID-19 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, including more than 22,100 resolved cases.

Elsewhere in eastern Ontario, 117 people have died of COVID-19, and 153 people have died in western Quebec. 

Ontario says people must only leave home when it's essential. People who leave home for non-essential reasons can be fined.

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.

Travel within Ontario is not recommended. Residents who leave the province should isolate for 14 days upon returning.

a body of water with a city in the background: Gatineau's downtown is pictured from across the Ottawa River on a cold, sunny day. © Christian Patry/CBC Gatineau's downtown is pictured from across the Ottawa River on a cold, sunny day.

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

Four major Ottawa shelters aren't taking in new people because of COVID-19 outbreaks. People who need a place to sleep can call 311 or visit a shelter or respite centre to get one, and a ride if needed.

In-person shopping is limited to essential businesses. Others can offer pickup and delivery. 

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

The lockdown rules are in place until at least next Thursday. Health officials are weighing the signs the rules have slowed COVID-19's spread with the fact there are now more contagious variants of COVID-19.

In 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.

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

Quebec's 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew means fines of up to $6,000 for breaking the rules. It no longer applies to people experiencing homelessness.

The province has shut down non-essential businesses and has brought students back to classrooms.

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.

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.

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.

The federal government is in the midst of tightening international travel rules, with more changes setting in as soon as this week.

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 40,500 doses have been given out, including about 26,300 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.

Ontario is giving its available doses to care home residents.

Its 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.

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 COVID-19 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.

a person walking across a bridge: People skate on the northern end of Rideau Canal in Ottawa Feb. 2, 2021, the day the skateway fully opened. Its COVID-19 rules include distancing, recommended masks and a request to not travel to skate it. © Francis Ferland/CBC People skate on the northern end of Rideau Canal in Ottawa Feb. 2, 2021, the day the skateway fully opened. Its COVID-19 rules include distancing, recommended masks and a request to not travel to skate it.

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

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.

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

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

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.

Akwesasne has had more than 160 residents test positive on the Canadian side of the border and six deaths. More than 310 people have tested positive across the community.

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.

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