What’s the latest?
A pair ofÂ Ottawa restaurants have been charged with violating public health laws after allegedly hosting after-hours gatherings with dozens of people.
The head of the city’s bylaw department is calling the violations aÂ “flagrant disregard for public safety.”
Stuck at home, some families are realizing they have too much stuff. They’re decluttering, donating, and moving stuff alongÂ usingÂ websites and professional organizers.
On Friday,Â Ontario governmentÂ announced the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit will move to the yellow zone on the province’s pandemic scale as of Monday, March 15 at 12:01 a.m.
The region has seen a spike in cases in recent weeks.Â
Ottawa Public Health (OPH) recorded 62 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday and no more deaths.
Quebec will allowÂ other kinds of organized sports in non-school settings,Â in orange zones such as the Outaouais,Â as of March 26, as long as there are no more than eight players inside and 12 outside.
Vaccinations for COVID-19 might be picking up speed in places such as Ottawa and Kingston, but festival organizersÂ say it’s still too early to say what kind of show they’ll be putting on this summer.
Speaking of Ottawa’s rollout, the city says allÂ appointments for people 90 and olderÂ are full for now. More will be made availableÂ Monday, when the provincial system launches.
How many cases are there?
As of Friday,Â 15,400 Ottawa residents haveÂ tested positive for COVID-19. There are currently 570Â known active cases, 14,384Â resolved cases, andÂ 446Â deaths.
Public health officials have reported more thanÂ 27,400 COVID-19 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, including more than 25,600Â resolved cases.
Elsewhere in eastern Ontario, 133Â people have died ofÂ COVID-19,Â and 167Â people have died in western Quebec.Â
Akwesasne has had more than 250 residents test positive on the Canadian side of the border, six of them active cases, and sevenÂ deaths. It’s had more than 500 cases combined with its southern section.
Kitigan ZibiÂ has hadÂ 21Â confirmed cases andÂ Tyendinaga Mohawk TerritoryÂ has had seven, with one death.
CBC Ottawa is profilingÂ those who’ve died of COVID-19. If you’d like to share your loved one’s story, pleaseÂ get in touch
What can I do?
Restaurants, gyms, personal care services, theatres and non-essential businesses areÂ openÂ across eastern Ontario. Most sports can also resume.
Social gatheringsÂ can have up to 10 people indoors or 25 people outdoors. Organized events can be larger.
People are asked to only have close contact with people they live with, be masked and distanced for all other in-person contact andÂ only travel for essential reasons, especially between differently coloured zones.
Eastern Ontario ranges from orange to greenÂ under the province’s colour-coded pandemic scale.
Ottawa Public HealthÂ and theÂ Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) are orange, withÂ more restrictionsÂ than other regions.
Ottawa’sÂ health unit saidÂ it’s edging closer to redÂ andÂ could be heading into a third wave. The EOHU is sending a similar message.
Health units in RenfrewÂ andÂ LanarkÂ counties haveÂ warnedÂ private gatherings are a problem. Local health unitsÂ can also set their own rules, asÂ Kingston’s is doingÂ around St. Patrick’s DayÂ starting tomorrow.
Western Quebec’sÂ gyms and restaurants can openÂ under its orange zone rules, as canÂ non-essential businesses.Â
Outdoor gatherings of up to eight people areÂ nowÂ areÂ allowed, and places of worship can welcome more people.
The region’sÂ curfew hoursÂ are 9:30 p.m. until 5 a.m.
The exception isÂ Grenville-sur-la-Rouge and some of the surroundingÂ area, which remains in red.
Like in Ontario, people in western Quebec are asked not to have close contact with anyone they don’t live with andÂ areÂ discouraged from travelling from one region to another.
QuebecÂ willÂ allow extra-curricular activities and sports in schools across the provinceÂ starting next week
Distancing and isolating
The novel coronavirus primarily spreads through droplets when an infected person speaks, coughs, sneezes, or breathesÂ onto someone or something. These dropletsÂ can hang in the air.
People can be contagious without symptoms, even after getting a vaccine. New coronavirus variants can be more contagious and are spreading quicklyÂ in someÂ places.
This means it isÂ importantÂ to take precautions now and in the months to comeÂ likeÂ staying home while symptomaticÂ and getting help with costs if neededÂ Â keeping hands and frequently touched surfaces clean and maintaining distance from anyone you don’t live with, even with a mask on.
There’s been a lot said lately about our dear social media intern, Bruce. And now, Bruce would like to say a few words…<a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/SteadyAsSheGoes?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#SteadyAsSheGoes</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/BruceReynolds?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#BruceReynolds</a> <a href=”https://t.co/VCObMQWNq2″>pic.twitter.com/VCObMQWNq2</a>
Masks, preferably ones that fit snugly and haveÂ three layers, areÂ mandatory in indoor public settings
Â in OntarioÂ and Quebec
OPH says residents shouldÂ wear masks outside their homes whenever possible.
Lots of people are out and about in this beautiful weather! A reminder to wear a mask outdoors when physical distancing is a challenge like on busy sidewalks, paths, and parks or when waiting in line outside a store. <a href=”https://t.co/Hz42t4JhMS”>pic.twitter.com/Hz42t4JhMS</a>
Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms should self-isolate, as should those who’ve beenÂ ordered to do so by their public health unit. The lengthÂ varies inÂ QuebecÂ andÂ Ontario.
Health Canada recommends older adults and people with underlying medical conditions and/or weakened immune systems stay home as much as possible and getÂ help with errands.
PeopleÂ haveÂ to show proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test to enter Canada by land without a fineÂ andÂ have to pay for their stay in a quarantine hotel if entering by air.
Roger Chapman, the citys director of bylaw and regulatory services, says officers wearing plain clothes discovered several bars and restaurants operating past the allowed time of 10 p.m. and in some cases, playing host to large groups of people.0:52
Symptoms and vaccines
COVID-19Â can range from a cold-like illness
Â to a severe lung infection, with common symptoms including fever, a cough, vomiting and loss of taste or smell.Â Children canÂ develop a rash.
If you have severe symptoms, call 911.
Mental healthÂ can also beÂ affected by the pandemic,
Â andÂ resources are available to help
WATCH | Several Ottawa restaurants facing provincial charges for sidestepping pandemic rules
Four COVID-19 vaccines haveÂ beenÂ approvedÂ in Canada.
In early March the national task force said first dosesÂ offerÂ such strong protection that people can wait up to four months to get a second, meaningÂ jurisdictions could spread first doses widely.
About 142,000Â dosesÂ have been given out in the wider regionÂ since mid-December, includingÂ about 73,000 dosesÂ in Ottawa and 15,100 in western Quebec.
Ontario’s first doses generally went to care home residents and health-care workers.
The provincewideÂ campaignÂ expands toÂ priority groups such as people over age 80 next week, followed byÂ people with underlying health conditions in April. ThoseÂ who can’t work from homeÂ and are as young asÂ 60 could be vaccinated in June.
Generally, Ontarians who are eligibleÂ can book appointments online or over the phone starting Monday.
Local health units have some flexibilityÂ in the larger framework,Â so check their websites as they’re asking people to keep their phone lines clear for specifics.
For example, Ottawa hasÂ begun offering shots to certainÂ groups in certain high-risk neighbourhoods andÂ anyone born in or before 1931.
Our partners <a href=”https://twitter.com/Ottawainnercit1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@Ottawainnercit1</a> have been working hard to vaccinate as many clients and staff <a href=”https://twitter.com/sghottawa?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@sghottawa</a> as possible! This is a huge step towards ending the spread of COVID-19 among the populations we serve. We are so thankful for the support and advocacy of our community! <a href=”https://t.co/oeOERtMzbY”>pic.twitter.com/oeOERtMzbY</a>
People who either are ageÂ 60 to 64 or will be turning 60 or 65 this yearÂ in the Kingston areaÂ can contactÂ one of nearly 50 pharmacies for a vaccine appointmentÂ as part of a pilot project.
Quebec also started by vaccinatingÂ people in care homes and health-care workers.
The vaccination plan has moved to people age 70 and olderÂ atÂ six western QuebecÂ clinics, thenÂ essential workers and finally the general public.
People who qualify can make an appointment online or over the phone. Pharmacists there will alsoÂ be giving shots.
Where to get tested
In eastern Ontario:
Anyone seeking a testÂ shouldÂ book an appointment
OntarioÂ recommends only getting tested
Â if you have symptoms,Â if you’ve been told to by your health unit or the province, orÂ if you fit certain other criteria.
People without symptomsÂ but who areÂ part of the province’s targeted testing strategyÂ can make an appointment at select pharmacies. Travellers who need a test have very few local options to pay for one.
Ottawa hasÂ ten regularÂ test sites
, with mobile sitesÂ wherever demand is particularly high
An Ontario painter has used Zoom calls to not only remain connected, but also as an opportunity to create portraits of her friends.3:39
TheÂ Eastern Ontario Health Unit
Â has sites in Alexandria, Casselman, Cornwall, Hawkesbury, Rockland and Winchester.
TheÂ Leeds, Grenville and Lanark
Â health unit has permanent sites in Almonte, Brockville,Â Kemptville
Â and Smiths Falls andÂ a mobileÂ clinic.
Kingston’s main test site is at theÂ Beechgrove Complex,
Â another is in Napanee
People canÂ arrange a test
Â in Picton over the phoneÂ or in Bancroft, Belleville and Trenton, where online booking is preferred.
Renfrew CountyÂ test clinic locationsÂ are posted weekly
. ResidentsÂ canÂ also call their family doctor or 1-844-727-6404 with health questions.
In western Quebec:
Tests are strongly recommended for people with symptoms and their contacts.
Â can make an appointment in GatineauÂ at 135 blvd. Saint-Raymond or 617 ave.Â Buckingham. They canÂ check theÂ wait time
Â for the Saint-Raymond site.
There areÂ recurring clinics by appointment
Â in communities such as ManiwakiÂ and Petite-Nation.
Call 1-877-644-4545 with questions, including if walk-in testing is available nearby.
First Nations, Inuit and MÃ©tis:
Akwesasne has a COVID-19 test site
Â by appointment only and a curfew of 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Anyone returning to the community on the Canadian side of the international border who’s been farther than 160 kilometres away or visited Montreal Â for non-essential reasons
Â is asked to self-isolate for 14 days.
People inÂ PikwakanaganÂ can book a COVID-19 test by calling 613-625-2259.Â Anyone inÂ Tyendinaga
Â 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 andÂ vaccines, in Inuktitut or English on weekdays.
For more information