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What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Monday, March 8 – CBC.ca

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Recent developments

What’s the latest?

People who were born in or before 1941, or are an adult getting home care for a chronic health condition, can now make an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccineif they live in 14 more communities such as Lowertown or Vanier.

The number of clinics in the city is also expanding and shots will begin on Friday.

Starting Wednesday, anybody in any community who was born in or before 1931 can make an appointment for a vaccine at the Nepean Sportsplex.

Ottawa Public Health is reporting 57 more COVID-19 cases and one more death.

Grace Roswell, 12, celebrates her birthday by breaking things in the Vengeance Van, a rage room on wheels, in Ottawa on Tuesday, February 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Patrick Doyle (THE CANADIAN PRESS)

How many cases are there?

As of Monday, 15,167 Ottawa residents have tested positive for COVID-19. There are currently 513 known active cases, 14,211 resolved cases, and 443 deaths.

Public health officials have reported more than 26,900 COVID-19 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, including more than 25,200 resolved cases.

Elsewhere in eastern Ontario, 131 people have died of COVID-19, and 163 people have died in western Quebec. 

Akwesasne has had more than 240 residents test positive on the Canadian side of the border and seven deaths. It’s had more than 500 cases combined with its southern section.

Kitigan Zibi has had 21 confirmed cases and Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory has had six, with one death.

CBC Ottawa is profiling those who’ve died of COVID-19. If you’d like to share your loved one’s story, please get in touch.

What can I do?

Restaurants, gyms, personal care services, theatres and non-essential businesses are open across eastern Ontario. Most sports can also resume.

Social gatherings 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 and only travel for essential reasons, especially between differently coloured zones.

Eastern Ontario ranges from orange to green under the province’s colour-coded pandemic scale.

Ottawa Public Health and the Eastern Ontario Health Unit are orange, with more restrictions than the rest of the region.

Health units in Renfrew and Lanark counties have warned private gatherings are a problem and it has led to stricter rules.

Ottawa’s health unit is again saying it’s close to a move to red and seems like it could be heading into a third wave.

Local health units can also set their own rules, like Kingston’s is doing around St. Patrick’s Day.

WATCH | Detecting coronavirus variants in wastewater:

Ottawa has been testing its wastewater to get a better understanding of how much of the coronavirus is in the city’s sewage. The project’s co-lead investigator explains how it helps with surveilling COVID-19. 4:19

Western Quebec’s gyms and restaurants can open under its orange zone rules, joining non-essential businesses

Outdoor gatherings of up to eight people are now are now allowed and places of worship can bring in more people.

That area’s new curfew hours are 9:30 p.m. until 5 a.m.

The exception is Grenville-sur-la-Rouge and some of that area, which remains in red.

Like in Ontario, people are asked not to have close contact with anyone they don’t live with and travel from one region of Quebec to another is discouraged. 

Quebec will allow extra-curricular activities and sports in schools across the province starting next week.

WATCH | Quebec families, athletes call for return of team sports outside schools:

With some sports about to return to Quebec schools, thousands marched in Quebec city to demand the return of youth team sports, citing their benefits to physical and mental health. 1:56

Distancing and isolating

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. New coronavirus variants can be more contagious.

This means it is important to take precautions now and in the months to come like staying home while symptomatic — and getting help with costs if needed — keeping hands and frequently touched surfaces clean and maintaining distance from anyone you don’t live with, even with a mask on.

WATCH | Why buffets may not have much of a future:

Thanh Pham, who used to run Kanata Noodle House Vietnamese Buffet, says he had to close the restaurant after COVID-19 hit. Now, he’s pivoting to a more pandemic-friendly alternative — a takeout-only banh mi shop. 1:05

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.

A couple of people make their way along Wellington Street in Ottawa on Friday, March 5, 2021. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

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 Quebec and Ontario; the latter recently updated its rules, including in schools.

People have to show proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test to enter Canada by land without a fine and have to pay for their stay in a quarantine hotel if entering by air.

Health Canada recommends older adults and people with underlying medical conditions and/or weakened immune systems stay home as much as possible and get help with errands.

WATCH | What could the next 12 months look like?

Infectious disease specialist Dr. Lynora Saxinger answers questions about how a second year of the COVID-19 pandemic might be different — and what’s been learned. 3:34

Symptoms and vaccines

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.

Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine supply has stabilized and four vaccines have now been approved

In early March the national task force said evidence shows first doses have offered such strong protection that people can wait up to four months to get a second dose, opening the door for jurisdictions to spread first doses widely.

More than 113,000 doses have been given out in the wider region since mid-December, including about 63,600 doses in Ottawa and 13,300 in western Quebec.

Ontario’s first doses generally went to care home residents and health-care workers.

The province’s campaign expands to priority groups such as people over age 80 starting in mid-March, moving to people as young as age 60 in June, people with underlying health conditions in April people who can’t work from home in June.

Ontarians who are eligible can book appointments online or over the phone starting March 15.

WATCH | Why masks, distancing will stay for ‘some time’:

Dr. Theresa Tam says that a year into the pandemic, with COVID-19 vaccines helping Canada gain an upper hand, masks, physical distancing and travel restrictions won’t disappear immediately because vigilance is needed to beat the evolving virus. 1:53

Local health units have some flexibility in the larger framework, so check with them for specifics.

For example, Ottawa has begun offering shots to certain groups in certain high-risk neighbourhoods and, as of Friday, anyone born in or before 1931.

Officials have been vaccinating Indigenous people and started offering shots to police officers and shelter clients last week.

Many eastern Ontario vaccine clinic locations are in the same communities as test sites and none are open yet for the general public. Health units are asking people to keep their phone lines clear.

Quebec also started with people in care homes and health-care workers.

It moves to older adults outside care homes starting Wednesday in western Quebec’s six clinics, then essential workers and finally the general public.

People who qualify can make an appointment online or over the phone.

Pharmacists will be giving shots in both Ontario and Quebec.

Front Burner21:55Are all COVID-19 vaccines created equal?

How solid is the science behind delaying second COVID-19 vaccine doses? Are the shots from AstraZeneca-Oxford and Johnson & Johnson effective enough? Infectious disease specialist Dr. Isaac Bogoch answers our most pressing questions about the latest vaccine news. 21:55

Where to get tested

In eastern Ontario:

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.

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 ten regular test sites, with mobile sites wherever demand is particularly high.

A person looks out from the entryway of a storefront for lease in Ottawa’s ByWard Market March 1, 2021. (Justin Tang/Canadian Press)

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

The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark health unit has permanent sites in Almonte, Brockville, Kemptville and Smiths Falls and a mobile clinic.

People can arrange a test in Picton over the phone or in Bancroft, Belleville and Trenton, where online booking is preferred.

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

Renfrew County test clinic locations are posted weekly. Residents can 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.

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 and Petite-Nation.

Call 1-877-644-4545 with questions, including if walk-in testing is available nearby.

First Nations, Inuit and Métis:

Akwesasne has a COVID-19 test site 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 — for non-essential reasons is asked to self-isolate for 14 days.

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 and now vaccines, in Inuktitut or English on weekdays.

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13 more die of COVID-19 in B.C. as 667 new cases confirmed – CBC.ca

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British Columbia announced 667 new cases of COVID-19 and 13 more deaths on Friday, the most deaths in one day since Feb. 3.

In a written statement, the provincial government said there are currently 5,128 active cases of people infected with the novel coronavirus in B.C.

A total of 367 people are in hospital, with 152 in intensive care.

Overall hospitalizations, which typically lag behind spikes and dips in new cases, are up by 1.9 per cent from last Friday, when 360 people were in hospital with the disease and about 27 per cent from a month ago when 288 people were in hospital.

The number of patients in intensive care is up by about 11 per cent from 137 a week ago and by the same percentage from a month ago when 137 people were also in the ICU.

The provincial death toll from COVID-19 is now 2,055 lives lost out of 196,433 confirmed cases to date.

As of Friday, 89 per cent of those 12 and older in B.C. have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 83 per cent a second dose.

So far, eight million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, including 3.8 million second doses.

There are a total of 19 active outbreaks in assisted living, long-term and acute care. There has been one new outbreak at GR Baker Memorial Hospital in Quesnel. The outbreak at Good Samaritan Delta View Care Centre has been declared over.

The acute care hospitals currently affected by COVID outbreaks are Mission Memorial Hospital, University Hospital of Northern B.C., GR Baker Memorial Hospital, and Tofino General Hospital. 

More than 90 people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and three people have died as a result of an outbreak at a care home in Burnaby, and officials say the death toll is expected to grow. 

The majority of cases at the Willingdon Care Centre are among residents, according to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control. Health Minister Adrian Dix said Thursday he expects the number of deaths will rise to 10 over the next several days due to a delay in data reporting.

New northern restrictions

More restrictions for the northern part of the province came into effect Thursday at midnight and will last until at least Nov. 19 in an attempt to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the region.

Restrictions in the region now include limiting indoor and outdoor gatherings to fully vaccinated people only, capping the number of people who can gather in any setting, moving worship services online, cutting off alcohol sales earlier at night and mandating masks and safety plans at organized events.

Health officials are strongly recommending people stay in their community unless it is essential for work or medical reasons. 

Restrictions are also in place in the Interior Health region and communities in the eastern Fraser Valley.

Provincial Health Officer Bonnie Henry continues to reiterate the importance of immunization to reduce the risk of illness and death due to COVID-19.

From Oct. 7 to 13, people who were not fully vaccinated accounted for 68.3 per cent of cases and from Sept. 30 to Oct. 13, they accounted for 76.3 per cent of hospitalizations, according to the province. 

Anyone who has not yet received a shot is encouraged to do so immediately. Appointments can be made online through the Get Vaccinated portal, by calling 1-833-838-2323, or in-person at any Service B.C. location. 

People can also be immunized at walk-in clinics throughout the province.

B.C. health officials are awaiting a federal review of COVID-19 vaccines for five- to 11-year-olds and are encouraging families to register their children now as they anticipate doses being available for this group by early November.

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U.S. border town welcomes back fully vaccinated B.C. visitors, but travel hurdles remain – CBC.ca

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Businesses in northern Washington state are welcoming back Canadian customers once the United States reopens its land borders, but a B.C. mayor says travellers may face hurdles.

The U.S. is allowing fully vaccinated travellers from Canada to enter the United States by air, land and ferry for non-essential travel starting Nov. 8.

Those entering the U.S. at a land border will be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or attest to their vaccination status upon request by a border agent. Land travellers do not need to show a negative COVID-19 test, a requirement for air travellers. 

Karen Frisbie, Chamber of Commerce president in Oroville, Wash. — a town of more than 19,000 residents bordering Osoyoos in B.C.’s South Okanagan — says her community has been quiet without Canadians travelling south to shop during the pandemic.

“We definitely miss our Canadian neighbours and look forward to having them back,” Frisbie said Friday to host Chris Walker on CBC’s Daybreak South.

Many border towns in Washington state struggled due to COVID-19 restrictions preventing Canadians from travelling across the border. The city of Blaine, for instance, said last August their finances were hit hard after several months without Canadian visitors.

Osoyoos Mayor Sue McKortoff says she can feel the happiness of Canadians who know they’ll be able to visit Oroville.

“A lot of the people in Osoyoos love to go to Oroville — they have their special places [and] restaurants [in Oroville], and they love to go down there for American milk and cheese and beer, and gas sometimes,” McKortoff said on Daybreak South.

But the mayor also strikes a cautious note.

“You still need a PCR test to come back to Canada,” she said, referring to a type of molecular testing. Molecular COVID-19 tests involve methods such a nose swab, or providing a saliva sample.

“You’re not going to go down there for a day, and [you] have to worry about having a PCR test in order to get back through the border.”

Canada still requires arriving travellers to present a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of their entry to Canada, regardless of their point of entry — but labs could take more than 72 hours to issue a test result.

“We need to wait until all of those things have been solved a little bit better before people will even take the chance to go across,” McKortoff said.

LISTEN |  Karen Frisbie and Sue McKortoff share their hopes and concerns about U.S. border reopening to Canadians:

Daybreak South5:24What will opening the U.S. border to Canadians mean to border communities? We go to Oroville, Washington and Osoyoos to hear more about the impacts on those cities.

What will opening the U.S. border to Canadians mean to border communities? We go to Oroville, Washington and Osoyoos to hear more about the impacts on those cities. 5:24

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