What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Thursday, October 14th

Recent developments:

What’s the latest?

Hundreds of surgeries are stopped again as Cornwall Community Hospital has been forced to close operating rooms due to an increasing number of COVID-19 patients.

In a release released Wednesday, hospital officials said only life-threatening cancers and other high-priority surgeries will take place over the coming weeks.

More than 3.5 million vaccine doses have now been administered in the greater Ottawa-Gatineau region, including about 30,000 doses in the past week.

The weekly number had been stable at around 35,000 to 40,000 since the end of August.

Fully vaccinated Canadians will be allowed to enter the United States at land and ferry crossings from early November. More details are coming, such as an exact date and rules for people with mixed doses.

Four COVID-19 deaths were reported in the Ottawa-Gatineau area on Wednesday, three of them in Ottawa and one in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark counties.

How many cases are there?

As of Wednesday, Ottawa has a total of 30,359 cases of COVID-19. There are 283 known active cases, 29,475 cases are considered resolved and 601 people have died from the disease.

Public health officials have reported more than 56,000 COVID-19 cases in eastern Ontario and western Quebec, including more than 54,100 cases now resolved.

Elsewhere in eastern Ontario, 208 people with COVID-19 have died. In western Quebec, the death toll is 222.

Akwesasne has had nearly 970 residents tested positive for COVID-19 and has reported 10 deaths between its northern and southern sections.

Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg has had 34 cases and one death. Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory has had 20 cases, with one death and one active outbreak of society. Pikwakanagan have not had cases.

CBC Ottawa profiles those who died of COVID-19. If you would like to share your loved one’s story, thank you get in contact.

What are the rules?

Eastern Ontario:

Ontario is in step 3 of its reopening plan and will stay there for the foreseeable future. Its vaccine passport system is in place at least until spring.

General collection limits are 25 people inside and 100 people outside. These limits are even higher for organized events.

Indoor dining capacity is based on distance. Fitness centers and museums can reach a capacity of 50 percent inside.

Ontario’s schooling rules allow recreational activities, and while masks remain mandatory, vaccines are not. School boards can go beyond these rules.

The fog lifts like a man roller ski through Gatineau Park, Tuesday, October 12, 2021 in Chelsea, Que. (Adrian Wyld / The Canadian Press)

People 12 years and older must show photo ID and either a paper or PDF version of their vaccine receipt for many activities until an app is ready, probably in late October. There are some exceptions.

Western Quebec

According to its green zone rules, 10 people can gather inside private homes and 20 people outdoors – which rises to 50 if you play sports. There are no longer capacity limits for Quebec locations with allocated seats.

School rules include masks in the classroom for students, but do not include class bubbles.

A vaccine pass is in place for people aged 13 and over in spaces such as public events, bars, restaurants and gyms.

Quebecers can use an app or view paper security; people from the province will have to show proof of paper. Everyone must also show ID.

As in Ontario, there are medical exceptions.

Other groups also come with their own COVID-19 vaccine policy, including for staff.

What can I do?

Prevention

COVID-19 is spread primarily through droplets that can hang in the air.

People can be contagious without symptoms, even after receiving a vaccine. Variants of concern are more contagious and are established.

This means that it is important to take precautions now and in the future, such as staying home while ill – and getting help for costs if necessary – keeping hands and surfaces clean and maintaining distance from anyone who is not live with, even with a mask on.

Masks, preferably those that sit tight and have three layers, are mandatory in public indoor settings in Ontario and Quebec and are recommended in crowded outdoor areas.

Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce (second from left) and Tourism, Culture and Sports Minister Lisa McLeod (center) announced investments in childcare on the site of a new French Catholic school under construction in Barrhaven on October 13, 2021. (Brian Morris / CBC)

Vaccines slow down the spread of all variants of COVID-19 and go a long way towards avoiding deaths and hospitalizations without offering total protection.

There is federal guidance on what vaccinated people can do in different situations.

Health leaders in the area generally say that smaller Halloween gatherings are allowed with precautions for the unvaccinated and / or vulnerable. Guidance may be more stringent in selected areas where COVID-19 spreads more than others, such as Akwesasne and Tyendinaga.

Health Canada recommends that older adults and people with underlying medical conditions get help with errands.

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

Trip

All future travelers must be fully vaccinated by October 30 to board an aircraft, train or naval vessel in Canada.

Fully vaccinated, tested and pre-approved people can come to Canada.

The United States will require that all foreign nationals entering the country be fully vaccinated in early November as a condition of reopening borders, with an exact date to be announced.

Vaccines

Four COVID-19 vaccines have been considered safe and approved in Canada and now go by brands instead of manufacturer names.

The two most common are approved for adolescents as young as 12. Pfizer and BioNTech have submitted preliminary trial data for their COVID-19 shot to younger children to Health Canada.

Canada’s vaccine task force says people can wait as little as three to four weeks and up to 16 weeks between the first and second dose.

The same task force says it is safe and effective to mix first and second doses. Ontario and Quebec provide certain groups with third doses.

There have been more than 3.5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the broader Ottawa-Gatineau region — combined first, second, and third doses — which have about 2.3 million inhabitants.

Eastern Ontario

Ontario vaccinates anyone who turns 12 or older by 2021. People can look for provincial appointments that open online or by phone at 1-833-943-3900.

Pharmacies continue to offer vaccines through their own booking systems, just as some GPs do.

Local healthcare units have flexibility in the larger setting, including around booking, so check their websites for details.

They offer doses at short notice as campaigns shift from mass clinics to mobile clinics to fill gaps in vaccine coverage.

Third shot details depend on the health device.

The province has recommended that people aged 18 to 24 receive the Pfizer-BioNTech or Comirnaty vaccine because the Moderna / Spikevax vaccine carries a mild risk of a rare heart disease.

Western Quebec

All 12 and older can book an appointment online or over the phone or visit a permanent or mobile walk-in clinic.

Symptoms and tests

COVID-19 can range from a cold-like illness to a severe lung infection, with common symptoms including fever, cough, runny nose, headache, vomiting and loss of taste or smell.

Children tend to have stomach aches and / or rashes.

Call 911 if you have severe symptoms.

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

In Eastern Ontario:

Anyone who wants a test can book an appointment. Ask your healthcare provider for the clinic’s location and opening hours.

Ontario says you should only be tested if you meet certain criteria, such as having symptoms, exposure, or a particular job.

People without symptoms, but who are part of the province’s targeted testing strategy, can book appointments at selected pharmacies. Quick tests are available in some places, including some childcare options when the risk is high.

Travelers who need a test have a few local options to pay for one.

In western Quebec:

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

People can make an appointment or see what their walk-in options are online. They can also call 1-877-644-4545 with questions.

Rapid COVID-19 tests are available at all Quebec preschools and elementary schools.

First Nations, Inuit and Métis:

First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people or a person traveling to work in a remote indigenous community are eligible for a test in Ontario.

Akwesasne has COVID-19 tests and vaccine clinics, with information online or at 613-575-2341.

People in Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg can call the health center at 819-449-5593 for a test or a vaccine; Email is another option for vaccination.

Tests are available in Pikwàkanagàn by calling 613-625-1175 and vaccines, at 613-625-2259 extension 225 or by email. Anyone in Tyendinaga who is interested in a test can call 613-967-3603 and should see the website of dedicated vaccine clinics.

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

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