CBC Ottawa’s latest roundup of key updates during the coronavirus pandemic.
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- An employee at a second nail salon in Kingston, Ont., has tested positive for COVID-19, the local health unit says.
- Ontario reported 178 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday as the number of hospitalizations and admissions to intensive care units continued to decline.
- In Ottawa, public health officials reported another four cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, bringing the total to 2,083, with no new deaths.
- Three of Ottawa’s four city beaches reopened this weekend.
- Starting Monday, the Ottawa Public Library is expanding who can reserve items and pick them up from one of six open branches.
What’s the latest?
An employee at a second nail salon in Kingston, Ont., has tested positive for COVID-19, the local health unit says. Public health officials now say 21 confirmed cases are connected to last week’s outbreak at Binh’s Nails and Spa.
A a one-day testing clinic is operating today at St. Lawrence College, with priority given to anyone who may have been exposed to the virus at Binh’s Nails and Spa, as well as their close contacts.
The health unit has now implemented a policy making masks mandatory at a wide range of indoor businesses and public spaces. Kingston businesses that don’t follow the health order could face fines of up to $5,000 per day they’re found to be non-compliant.
WATCH | Kingston, Ont., makes masks mandatory in indoor public places:
Public health officials in Kingston, Ont., take the extraordinary step of requiring the use of masks in indoor public places, after an outbreak of at least 16 cases was traced to a nail salon there. 1:42
In Ottawa, most beaches reopened this weekend, with Britannia Beach the exception. Gatineau and NCC beaches are now open.
The Confederation LRT line remains out of service this weekend as OC Transpo and Rideau Transit Group take advantage of the pandemic to perform repairs. Trains are slated to begin running again Monday.
How many cases are there?
There have been 2,083 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa and 263 deaths.
There are more than 3,300 known cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec.
Health units say more than 2,800 people in the region have recovered from COVID-19.
COVID-19 has killed 102 people outside Ottawa: 52 in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark counties, 17 in other parts of eastern Ontario and 33 in the Outaouais.
What’s open and closed?
Eastern Ontario is in “Stage 2” of the province’s recovery plan, allowing more activities and “circles” of up to 10 people.
Kingston began closing parts of some downtown streets last week to offer more space for people and businesses. Some streets in Ottawa’s ByWard Market turn into patio space starting July 4.
Ottawa’s pools start to open July 6.
The province has also allowed bars, spas, water parks and casinos to reopen.
Quebec’s back-to-school plans bring older students to classrooms again. Ontario has put three options for next school year on the table, while post-secondary schools are moving toward more online classes in September.
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University of Ottawa plant biologist Allyson MacLean demonstrates the process for injecting edible plants with bacterial solution, which will hopefully cause the leaves to gradually produce a vaccine for COVID-19. 0:45
Distancing and isolating
The coronavirus primarily spreads through droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. People don’t need to have symptoms to be contagious.
That means physical distancing measures such as working from home and in Ontario, staying at least two metres away from anyone they don’t live with or have in their circle.
Dr Darine El-Chaar and a team from the Ottawa Hospital have launched a study, to help answer that question. 6:42
Quebec allows closer distancing in some circumstances.
Ottawa Public Health wants people to think about how to safely do certain things and recommends people wear a fabric or non-medical mask if they can’t stay two metres from strangers, like at a grocery store.
Anyone who has symptoms or travelled recently outside Canada must self-isolate for at least 14 days.
Specifically in Ottawa, anyone waiting for a COVID-19 test result must self-isolate at least until they know the result.
The same goes for anyone in Ontario who’s been in contact with someone who’s tested positive or is presumed to have COVID-19.
Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health strongly urges self-isolation for individuals who have weakened immune systems and Ottawa Public Health recommends people over 70 stay home as much as possible.
Should immunocompromised people be expanding their social bubbles or dining on a restaurant’s patio? We’re talking to Ottawa Medical Officer of Health Vera Etches about how those groups should be navigating stage two of Ontario’s re-opening. 8:46
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. The Ontario government says in rare cases, children can develop a rash.
If you have severe symptoms, call 911.
Ontario hopes to start testing a federal contact tracing app next week that would let users know if they’ve been close to a confirmed case.
Where to get tested
In eastern Ontario:
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.
Testing has also expanded for local residents and employees who work in the Eastern Ontario Health Unit area.
There is a drive-thru test centre in Casselman and assessment centres in Hawkesbury and Winchester that don’t require people to call ahead.
Others in Rockland and Cornwall require an appointment.
A COVID-19 assessment centre will open in Alexandria next week, running Tuesdays and Thursdays by appointment only.
In Kingston, the assessment centre at the Kingston Memorial Centre is closed today as it prepares to relocate to the Leon’s Centre and reopen there tomorrow. A one-day centre opens today at 100 Portsmouth Ave. in the parking lot of St. Lawrence College from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Napanee‘s test centre is open daily for people who call for an appointment.
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 open seven days a week at the Memorial Centre and testing sites in Smiths Falls and Almonte which require an appointment.
The public health unit in the Belleville area is asking people to call it, their family doctor or Telehealth if they have symptoms or questions.
You can arrange a test in Bancroft, Belleville or Trenton by calling the centre, or in Picton by texting or calling 613-813-6864.
There are weekly pop-up clinics in other communities and you may also qualify for a home test.
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Many provinces are starting to resume non-emergency surgeries delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it’s a complicated balance of trying to clear the backlogs and keeping patients safe. 2:03
Renfrew County is also providing pop-up and home testing under some circumstances. Residents without access to a family doctor can call 1-844-727-6404 if they have health questions, COVID-19-related or not.
If you’re concerned about the coronavirus, take the self-assessment.
In western Quebec:
Outaouais residents should call 1-877 644-4545 if they have symptoms for further assistance.
Local communities have declared states of emergency, put in a curfew or both.
Akwesasne has opened a mobile COVID-19 test site available by appointment only. Anyone returning to Akwesasne who’s been farther than 80 kilometres away 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.
Pikwakanagan‘s council let businesses reopen May 29 and is not running checkpoints at entrances during the day.
Kitigan Zibi is planning for an Aug. 29 election with changes depending on the status of the pandemic at that time.
For more information
- Ottawa Public Health.
- Your local eastern Ontario health unit.
- The Ontario Ministry of Health (in several languages).
- The Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux de l’Outaouais.
- The Public Health Agency of Canada.