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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

What you need to know about COVID-19 in Ottawa on Sunday, Dec. 5 | Nation World News

Recent developments:

  • Ottawa reported 55 more cases of COVID-19 on Sunday.
  • Health officials say anyone who was at The Duke Pub in Belleville late last month may have been exposed to COVID-19.

What’s the latest?

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) reported 55 more COVID-19 cases on Sunday and no deaths. Some of the numbers to watch are slowly rising.

Hastings Prince Edward Public Health says anyone who went to The Duke Pub in Belleville last Sunday or Tuesday, Nov. 28 or 30, may have been exposed to COVID-19. It says people should monitor themselves for symptoms, even if mild, and self-isolate and get tested if symptoms develop.

How many cases are there?

As of Sunday, Ottawa has had 32,278 confirmed cases of COVID-19. There are 414 known active cases, while 31,246 cases are considered resolved and 618 people have died from the illness.

Public health officials have reported more than 60,500 COVID-19 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, including more than 58,300 cases now resolved. Elsewhere in eastern Ontario, 233 people with COVID-19 have died. In western Quebec, the death toll is 223.

Akwesasne has had more than 1,150 residents test positive for COVID-19 and has reported 14 deaths between its northern and southern sections.

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Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg and Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory have each had 34 cases and one death. Pikwakanagan hasn’t had any cases.

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 are the rules?

Eastern Ontario:

The chief medical officer of health says for protection against the omicron variant, people should recommit to the fundamentals of getting vaccinated and staying home when sick except to get tested, along with limiting social contacts.

There are no capacity restrictions for most places that require proof of vaccination, nor for outdoor organized events.

The plan is to lift public health measures in stages until March 2022, with the next step paused until at least mid-December as officials monitor some rising trends.

Private gathering limits are 25 people inside and 100 people outside.

Health units can change rules and advice to counter the spread of COVID-19 — for example, Renfrew County has done that for isolation and the Kingston area for indoor gatherings, school symptoms and indoor sports.

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The province’s vaccine passport is required for people age 12 and up in many public places. It won’t be required for younger kids. People can show paper, PDF or QR code proof.

Western Quebec

Ten people are allowed to gather inside private residences and 20 people outdoors — which increases to 50 if playing sports. There are no capacity limits for Quebec venues with assigned seats and restaurants.

A vaccine passport is in place for most people age 13 and up in many public spaces. It won’t apply to younger kids. People can use an app or show paper proof.

Other groups in the region are also coming out with their own COVID-19 vaccine policies, including for staff and visitors.

What can I do?

Prevention

COVID-19 primarily spreads through droplets that can hang in the air. People can be contagious without symptoms, even after getting a vaccine.

This means it is important to take precautions such as staying home while sick — and getting help with costs if needed — keeping hands and surfaces clean and considering distancing from anyone you don’t live with.

Skier At Sommet Edelweiss 4 Dec 2021
A person skis down a slope at Sommet Edelweiss on Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021, the first weekend the resort opened for the season. (Félix Desroches/CBC)

Masks, preferably medical or surgical ones, are mandatory in indoor public settings in Ontario and Quebec and recommended in crowded outdoor areas.

When and how long to self-isolate can vary in Quebec and Ontario and by vaccination status.

Health Canada recommends older adults and people with underlying medical conditions get help with errands and have supplies in case they need to isolate.

Scientists are working to find out how easily the new omicron coronavirus variant spreads, its severity and the performance of vaccines against it.

Travel

Travelers more than 12 years and four months old must now be fully vaccinated to board a plane, train or marine vessel in Canada.

Canadian citizens and permanent residents no longer need proof of a test when returning from trips to the US under 72 hours.

The US requires everyone crossing a land, air or water border to be fully vaccinated. People flying there will need proof of a negative COVID test within 24 hours of departure as of Monday.

The hope is that other countries will accept provincial or territorial proof of vaccination.

Health Minister Christian Dubé is urging Quebecers to seriously consider holiday international travel plans in light of the omicron variant and the potential for changing re-entry rules on short notice.

People have to be fully vaccinated and pre-approved to enter Canada. Because of the omicron variant, air travelers from every country except the United States have to take a COVID-19 test upon arrival and isolate until they get results.

There are further travel restrictions from a number of African countries because of omicron.

Vaccines

Vaccines curb the spread of all variants of COVID-19 and go a long way toward avoiding deaths and hospitalizations, without offering total protection. Four COVID-19 vaccines have been deemed safe and approved in Canada.

Health Canada has approved Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine for children as young as five. Doses for kids age five to 11 will be given at least eight weeks apart in both local provinces.

It’s possible even younger children could have an approved vaccine early in 2022, according to Canada’s chief public health officer.

Ontario’s next third shot expansion comes Dec. 13 to people in their 50s and 60s; Quebec has not announced expansion plans.

There have been about 3.8 million COVID-19 first, second and third vaccine doses administered in the wider Ottawa-Gatineau region, which has about 2.3 million residents.

Eastern Ontario

Ontario is vaccinating anyone born in 2016 and earlier.

Child Vaccinated In Gatineau
A nurse administers the first dose of the pediatric COVID-19 vaccine to a child at cole des Belles-Rives in Gatineau, Que., on Monday, Nov. 29, 2021. (Jacques Corriveau/CBC)

People can look for provincial appointments online or over the phone at 1-833-943-3900.

Local health units have some flexibility, so check their websites for details. Many offer child-only clinics and doses on short notice as campaigns look to fill gaps in vaccine coverage and cover expanded eligibility.

Pharmacies and some family doctors offer vaccines through their own booking systems.

The province has recommended people under 24 to get the Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty vaccine because the Moderna Spikevax vaccine brings a mild risk of a rare heart condition.

Western Quebec

Anyone who is five and older can get an appointment or visit a permanent or mobile walk-in clinic.

Clinics for newly eligible children will operate in schools and kids will need written consent from a parent to be vaccinated there.

Siblings can be booked together in a single time slot and parents can check a box to signal if their child is nervous about the process.

Symptoms and testing

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

“Long-haul” symptoms can last for months.

If you have severe symptoms, call 911.

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

In eastern Ontario:

Ontario says to get tested by making an appointment at a clinic if you fit certain criteria. Check with your health unit for clinic locations and hours.

Select pharmacies test people with symptoms, along with certain people without symptoms.

Rapid and take-home tests are available in some places, including pharmacies and some child-care settings when risk is high. A positive test will trigger a follow-up test.

Officials in some areas say they’re seeing more people coming to its sites after having symptoms for several days and delaying getting tested, sometimes spreading COVID in the meantime.

Travelers who need a test have 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 if they’re near a walk-in option online. They can also call 1-877-644-4545 with questions during hours the line is running.

Gargle tests are offered in some places instead of a swab.

Rapid COVID-19 tests are available in all Quebec daycares, preschools and elementary schools.

First Nations, Inuit and Métis:

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

Akwesasne has COVID-19 test and vaccine clinicswith 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 vaccine; email is another option for vaccine booking.

Tests are available in Pikwàkanagàn by calling 613-625-1175 and vaccines (including third doses) at 613-625-2259 extension 225 or by email.

Anyone in Tyendinaga who’s interested in a test can call 613-967-3603 and should watch the website for dedicated vaccine clinics.

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

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