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What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Sunday, Oct. 4 – CBC.ca

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Recent developments: 

What’s the latest?

As of today, walk-in COVID-19 testing services across Ontario will be paused as the province transitions to an appointment-only model set to begin Tuesday.

That step’s being taken so that labs can deal with a backlog of tests that rose above 90,000 on Friday.

A variety of new restrictions targeting bars, restaurants, event spaces and gyms are now in place in Ottawa, Toronto and Peel Region.

Those three regions have been dealing with a recent surge in COVID-19 cases. In the nation’s capital alone, 96 new cases and two deaths were confirmed yesterday. 

How many cases are there?

As of the most recent Ottawa Public Health update on Saturday, 4,626 Ottawa residents have tested positive for COVID-19. That includes 786 known active cases, 3,547 resolved cases and 293 deaths.

Overall, public health officials have reported almost 7,000 cases of COVID-19 across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, with more than 5,500 of those cases considered resolved.

COVID-19 has killed 104 people in the region outside Ottawa: 52 people have died in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark counties, 34 in the Outaouais and 18 in other parts of eastern Ontario.

What’s open and closed?

Health officials are telling people to see fewer people in person, or stricter rules will force them to.

Ottawa’s medical officer of health issued a dire warning to residents Friday, saying the entire health-care system is on the verge of collapse if individuals don’t take personal responsibility to slow the spread of COVID-19.

As of Monday, visitors to long-term care homes in Ottawa will be restricted to staff, essential visitors and one or two caregivers only.

Ottawa and Kingston, Ont., public health officials are ordering anyone with symptoms or who has been identified as a close contact of someone who’s tested positive to immediately self-isolate or face a fine of up to $5,000 per day in court.

Kingston has also tightened its distancing rules in city parks and increased fines.

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Ontario is putting the concept of social circles on pause, and advising people to limit close contact only to those living in their own household. People who live alone may consider having close contact with another household.

In western Quebec, the health unit says residents need to stop gathering until the end of October or, like Montreal and Quebec, it will raise the alert level to the highest one possible and people won’t be allowed to see anyone they don’t live with.

The region is currently on orange alert, which means private and organized gathering limits, earlier closing hours for restaurants and recommendations against travelling to other regions.

An employee who works at the Pinecrest Recreation Complex has tested positive for COVID-19, according to a Friday memo from the City of Ottawa. The employee was last at work on Sept. 26. (Patrick Louiseize/Radio-Canada)

What about schools?

There have been nearly 120 schools in the wider Ottawa-Gatineau region with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in a staff or student, most of them in Ottawa.

Not all of them have had outbreaks, which are declared by a health unit in Ontario when there’s a reasonable chance someone who has tested positive caught COVID-19 during a school activity.

Many school boards have a list of affected schools:

Ontario updated its COVID-19 screening protocols for children last week, no longer telling them to isolate and get tested if their only symptom is a runny nose, headache, sore throat, fatigue or diarrhea.

They’ll still be asked to stay home, but can return after at least 24 hours if they feel better.

Some health units tweak the province’s guidelines, so check with the unit in your area. OPH says it will use the province’s rules.

Distancing and isolating

The novel coronavirus primarily spreads through droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, breathes or speaks onto someone or something.

People can be contagious without symptoms.

This means people should take precautions like working from home, keeping hands and frequently touched surfaces clean, socializing outdoors as much as possible and maintaining distance from anyone you don’t live with — even when you have a mask on.

Masks are mandatory in indoor public settings in all of Ontario and Quebec, including transit services and taxis in some areas. They’re recommended outdoors when people can’t stay the proper distance from others.

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

Anyone who has travelled recently outside Canada must go straight home and stay there for 14 days.

Most people with a confirmed COVID-19 case in Quebec can end their self-isolation after 10 days if they have not had a fever for at least 48 hours and has had no other symptom for at least 24 hours.

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 cough, vomiting and the loss of taste or smell. 

Less common symptoms include chills, headaches and pink eye. Children can develop a rash.

Getting tested any sooner than five days after potential exposure may not be useful since the virus may not yet be detectable, says OPH.

If you have severe symptoms, call 911.

A healthcare worker walks along the line up of people waiting outside a COVID-19 testing facility in Ottawa on Sept. 15. (Adrian Wyld/CP)

Where to get tested

The Ontario government recommends only getting tested if you have symptoms, or if you’ve been told to by your health unit or the province because of your work.

Ontario health officials have said they’re trying to add more capacity, as the backlog of tests at the province’s labs had blossomed to more than 90,000 as of late last week.

Walk-in tests are being halted as of Sunday, and anyone seeking a test will require an appointment as of Tuesday.

Bear in mind that some of the following test sites may be transitioning to the new model over the next couple of days.

In eastern Ontario:

Most of Ottawa’s testing happens at one of four permanent sites, with additional mobile sites wherever demand is particularly high.

A test clinic is expected to open at the Ray Friel Recreation Complex in Orléans, likely by mid-October.

People without symptoms, but who are part of the province’s targeted testing strategy, can make an appointment at select Ottawa pharmacies.

In the Eastern Ontario Health Unit, the drive-thru test centre in Casselman will close tomorrow and relocate to Limoges on Wednesday. The Limoges drive-thru centre, which normally operates seven days a week, will be closed Sunday and Monday.

The health unit also has sites in Hawkesbury, Alexandria, Rockland, Cornwall and Winchester.

In Kingston, the city’s test site is now at the Beechgrove Complex near King Street West and Portsmouth Avenue.

Saturday was its final day for walk-in testing, but people can schedule appointments there on Sunday and Monday. An online booking system will launch Tuesday.

Napanee’s test centre is open daily for people who call ahead.

People can arrange a test in Bancroft, Belleville, Picton or Trenton by calling the centre. Only Belleville and Trenton run seven days a week and also offer online booking.

The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark health unit is operating sites this weekend in Brockville, Smiths Falls and Almonte.

The Brockville site is transitioning to the new model Sunday, but the health unit says people who meet the testing criteria can still show up and will likely be given an appointment later in the day.

The other two sites are by appointment only.

Two students hold hands as they wait to enter their Montreal school yard on Aug. 31, 2020. (Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press)

Renfrew County residents should call their family doctor. Those without access to a family doctor can call 1-844-727-6404 for a test or if they have health questions, COVID-19-related or not.

People can also visit the health unit’s website to find out where testing clinics will be taking place each week.

In western Quebec:

Outaouais residents can make an appointment in Gatineau seven days a week at 135 blvd. Saint-Raymond or 617 avenue Buckingham.

They can now check the approximate wait time for the Saint-Raymond site.

There are recurring clinics by appointment in communities such as Gracefield, Val-des-Monts and Fort-Coulonge.

They can call 1-877-644-4545 if they have other questions, including if walk-in testing is available nearby.

Tests are strongly recommended for people with symptoms or who have been in contact with someone with symptoms. People without symptoms can also get a test.

First Nations, Inuit and Métis:

Akwesasne has had 14 confirmed COVID-19 cases, most linked to a gathering on an island in July.

It has a mobile COVID-19 test site available 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.

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

People in Pikwakanagan can book an appointment for a COVID-19 test by calling 613-625-2259. 

Anyone in Tyendinaga who’s interested in a test can call 613-967-3603 to talk to a nurse.

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COVID-19: Central zone active cases up Monday – Lacombe Express – Lacombe Express

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Alberta confirmed 1,440 COVID-19 cases from over the weekend and seven additional deaths.

The cases are: 364 on Friday, 572 on Saturday and 504 on Sunday. The Saturday case number is another record for the province.

That’s identifying, on average, 480 COVID-19 cases over the weekend, said Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health.

She said one of the challenges is to find a balance between minimizing the risk of COVID-19 and minimizing the risk of harms of restrictions.

“This requires us to keep the spread of COVID-19 manageable. We’ve now crossed a tipping point and are losing the balance we’ve been seeking,” said Hinshaw.

The government imposed new temporary mandatory limits Monday – of 15 people – at most social gatherings for the City of Calgary and Edmonton.

In total, 118 people in Alberta are in hospitals with 16 in intensive care.

The total number of active cases in the province sat at 4,477 Monday afternoon up 826 from Friday’s 3,651.

The number of active cases in the central zone jumped to 162 from Friday’s 126. There are three people in hospital in the local zone with none in intensive care.

To date, there have been 953 COVID-19 cases confirmed in the local zone with 783 recoveries.

The deaths were in Edmonton and Calgary zones. The virus-death toll is at 307.

The City of Red Deer’s active cases sits at 39 up from Friday’s 31.

A letter was sent Monday to families alerting them of a positive case of the virus at Gateway Christian School in Red Deer.

On Monday, Red Deer’s Hunting Hills High School was on province’s watch list.

Red Deer County had 10 active cases Monday afternoon, two in Town of Sylvan Lake, six in Lacombe County, one in the City of Lacombe, 45 in Ponoka County, two in County of Wetaskiwin, and 11 in City of Wetaskiwin.

There were two active cases in the Town of Olds, three in Clearwater County, five in Kneehill County, four in Camrose County, six in City of Camrose and one in Town of Drumheller.

There are no active cases in Mountain View County, Starland County and County of Stettler.

One of the challenges of the increasing active case numbers is it creates pressure on COVID-19 response including contact-tracing, said Hinshaw.

She said Alberta is also challenged between polarizing views on the virus: on one hand “we have to drive to zero cases” and on another “COVID is a mild illness for most so we should let it spread freely and pursue herd immunity.”

“COVID is a novel disease that is not just the flu,” Hinshaw said. “It has the ability to overwhelm our health system and weaken essential services if we let it do so.”

She encouraged Albertans to maintain respectful dialogue and to not let COVID-19 divide the province.



mamta.lulla@reddeeradvocate.com

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COVID-19: Central zone active cases up Monday – Ponoka News – Ponoka News

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Alberta confirmed 1,440 COVID-19 cases from over the weekend and seven additional deaths.

The cases are: 364 on Friday, 572 on Saturday and 504 on Sunday. The Saturday case number is another record for the province.

That’s identifying, on average, 480 COVID-19 cases over the weekend, said Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health.

She said one of the challenges is to find a balance between minimizing the risk of COVID-19 and minimizing the risk of harms of restrictions.

“This requires us to keep the spread of COVID-19 manageable. We’ve now crossed a tipping point and are losing the balance we’ve been seeking,” said Hinshaw.

The government imposed new temporary mandatory limits Monday – of 15 people – at most social gatherings for the City of Calgary and Edmonton.

In total, 118 people in Alberta are in hospitals with 16 in intensive care.

The total number of active cases in the province sat at 4,477 Monday afternoon up 826 from Friday’s 3,651.

The number of active cases in the central zone jumped to 162 from Friday’s 126. There are three people in hospital in the local zone with none in intensive care.

To date, there have been 953 COVID-19 cases confirmed in the local zone with 783 recoveries.

The deaths were in Edmonton and Calgary zones. The virus-death toll is at 307.

The City of Red Deer’s active cases sits at 39 up from Friday’s 31.

A letter was sent Monday to families alerting them of a positive case of the virus at Gateway Christian School in Red Deer.

On Monday, Red Deer’s Hunting Hills High School was on province’s watch list.

Red Deer County had 10 active cases Monday afternoon, two in Town of Sylvan Lake, six in Lacombe County, one in the City of Lacombe, 45 in Ponoka County, two in County of Wetaskiwin, and 11 in City of Wetaskiwin.

There were two active cases in the Town of Olds, three in Clearwater County, five in Kneehill County, four in Camrose County, six in City of Camrose and one in Town of Drumheller.

There are no active cases in Mountain View County, Starland County and County of Stettler.

One of the challenges of the increasing active case numbers is it creates pressure on COVID-19 response including contact-tracing, said Hinshaw.

She said Alberta is also challenged between polarizing views on the virus: on one hand “we have to drive to zero cases” and on another “COVID is a mild illness for most so we should let it spread freely and pursue herd immunity.”

“COVID is a novel disease that is not just the flu,” Hinshaw said. “It has the ability to overwhelm our health system and weaken essential services if we let it do so.”

She encouraged Albertans to maintain respectful dialogue and to not let COVID-19 divide the province.



mamta.lulla@reddeeradvocate.com

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Mandatory gathering restrictions return to Edmonton, Calgary as Alberta sets new single-day COVID-19 record | Watch News Videos Online – Globalnews.ca

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There were 1,440 new cases of COVID-19 diagnosed in Alberta over the weekend. That prompted Dr. Deena Hinshaw to re-introduce limits of 15 people or less at social gatherings, saying we have now “crossed a tipping point.” Julia Wong has the details from Monday’s health update.

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