Thu. May 26th, 2022

Recent developments:

What’s the latest?

As the Ontario government increases efforts to recruit more nursing staff, some current and former employees say they are still struggling to cope with physical and mental trauma from the last 19 months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Parents are questioning how an elementary school in Ottawa can reopen when health officials could not determine the cause of the city’s largest school COVID-19 outbreak yet.

As of today, there will be no capacity constraints for Quebec locations with allocated seats. Evidence of vaccination and masks is still required.

CBC has answers to questions about vaccination insurance and travel and looks at various rapid testing strategies in schools across Canada.

How many cases are there?

As of Thursday, Ottawa has a total of 30,145 cases of COVID-19. There are 339 known active cases, 29,208 cases are considered resolved and 598 people have died from the disease.

Public health officials have reported more than 55,500 cases of COVID-19 in eastern Ontario and western Quebec, including more than 53,600 cases now resolved.

Elsewhere in eastern Ontario, 205 people with COVID-19 have died. In western Quebec, the death toll is 222.

Akwesasne has had more than 950 residents test positive for COVID-19 and has reported 10 deaths between its northern and southern sections.

Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg has had 34 cases and one death. Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory has had 20, with one death. Pikwakanagan have not had any.

CBC Ottawa profiles those who died of COVID-19. If you would like to share your loved one’s story, thank you get in contact.

What are the rules?

Eastern Ontario:

Ontario is in step 3 of its reopening plan and will stay there for the foreseeable future. Its vaccine passport system is in place at least until spring.

General collection limits are 25 people inside and 100 people outside. These limits are even higher for organized events.

SE | Halloween 2021 Guide from Ottawa Public Health:

Keep groups small, do not displace the front door: Halloween advice from Ottawa Public Health

Dr. Vera Etches, Ottawa’s health officer, says trick-or-treating outdoors is a lower-risk activity, though precautions such as distancing and masking should still be observed. 1:05

People 12 years and older must show photo ID and either a paper or PDF version of their vaccine receipt for many activities until an app is ready, probably in late October. There will be medical exceptions.

Other groups also come with their own COVID-19 vaccine policy, including for staff.

Indoor dining capacity is based on distance. Fitness centers, cinemas and museums can reach a capacity of 50 percent inside.

Ontario’s schooling rules allow recreational activities, and while masks remain mandatory, vaccines are not. School boards can go beyond these rules.

Western Quebec

According to its green zone rules, 10 people can gather inside private homes and 20 people outdoors – which rises to 50 if you play sports.

School rules include masks in the classroom for students, but do not include class bubbles.

A vaccine pass is in place for people aged 13 and over in spaces such as public events, bars, restaurants and gyms.

Quebecers can use an app or view paper security; people from the province will have to show proof of paper. Everyone must also show ID.

As in Ontario, there are medical exceptions.

What can I do?

Prevention

COVID-19 is spread primarily through droplets that can hang in the air.

People can be contagious without symptoms, even after receiving a vaccine. Variants of concern are more contagious and are established.

This means that it is important to take precautions now and in the future, such as staying home while ill – and getting help for costs if necessary – keeping hands and surfaces clean and maintaining distance from anyone who is not live with, even with a mask on.

Masks, preferably those that sit tight and have three layers, are mandatory in public indoor settings in Ontario and Quebec and are recommended in crowded outdoor areas.

A heron stands next to a person on a bench and occupies the heavy fog that covers Dow’s Lake in Ottawa, Wednesday, October 6, 2021. (Justin Tang / Canadian Press)

Vaccines slow down the spread of all variants of COVID-19 and go a long way towards avoiding deaths and hospitalizations without offering total protection.

There is federal guidance on what vaccinated people can do in different situations.

This year, health leaders in the area generally say that smaller Thanksgiving and Halloween gatherings are allowed with precautions. Guidance is stricter in selected areas where COVID-19 spreads more than others, such as Akwesasne and Tyendinaga.

SE | Another Thanksgiving 2021 for most:

Thanksgiving gatherings allowed in most of Canada with varying limits

With high vaccination rates helping to stabilize Canada’s COVID-19 situation, some jurisdictions are allowing more people to gather for Thanksgiving this year than in 2020. But people should be aware of the rules in their part of the country. 2:02

Health Canada recommends that older adults and people with underlying medical conditions get help with errands.

Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms should isolate themselves, as should those who have been ordered to do so by their public health unit. The length of self-isolation varies in Quebec and Ontario.

Trip

All future travelers must be fully vaccinated by October 30 to board a plane, train or naval vessel in Canada.

Fully vaccinated, tested and pre-approved people can come to Canada.

The U.S. land border will remain closed to Canadians until at least October 21, and from early November, the United States will require all foreign nationals flying into the country to be fully vaccinated.

Vaccines

Four COVID-19 vaccines have been considered safe and approved in Canada and now go by brands instead of manufacturer names.

The two most common are approved for adolescents as young as 12. Pfizer and BioNTech have submitted preliminary trial data for their COVID-19 shot to younger children to Health Canada.

Canada’s vaccine task force says people can wait as little as three to four weeks and up to 16 weeks between the first and second dose.

The same task force says it is safe and effective to mix first and second doses. Ontario and Quebec provide certain groups with third doses.

There have been more than 3.5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the broader Ottawa-Gatineau region — combined first, second, and third doses — which have about 2.3 million inhabitants.

Eastern Ontario

Ontario vaccinates anyone who turns 12 or older by 2021. People can look for provincial appointments that open online or by phone at 1-833-943-3900.

It is recommended that people aged 18 to 24 receive the Pfizer-BioNTech or Comirnaty vaccine because the Moderna / Spikevax vaccine carries a mild risk of a rare heart disease.

Local healthcare units have flexibility in the larger setting, including around booking, so check their websites for details.

They offer doses at short notice as campaigns shift from mass clinics to mobile clinics to fill gaps in vaccine coverage.

Third shot details depend on the health device.

Pharmacies continue to offer vaccines through their own booking systems, just as some GPs do.

Western Quebec

All 12 and older can book an appointment online or over the phone or visit a permanent or mobile walk-in clinic.

Symptoms and tests

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

Children tend to have stomach aches and / or rashes.

Call 911 if you have severe symptoms.

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

SE | Frontline employees talk long-term care under COVID-19:

‘I still have pain every day:’ Long-term nurse says COVID-19 symptoms are persistent

Crescencio Resendiz, a personal support worker, says he still has long-term symptoms after contracting COVID-19 in January and has not been able to return to work even though he no longer receives financial support. 1:20

In Eastern Ontario:

Anyone who wants a test can book an appointment. Ask your healthcare provider for the clinic’s location and opening hours.

Ontario says you should only be tested if you meet certain criteria, such as having symptoms, exposure, or a particular job.

People without symptoms, but who are part of the province’s targeted testing strategy, can book appointments at selected pharmacies. Quick tests are available in some places, including some childcare options when the risk is high.

Travelers who need a test have a few 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 what their walk-in options are online. They can also call 1-877-644-4545 with questions.

Rapid COVID-19 tests are available at elementary schools in Outaouais for students with symptoms.

First Nations, Inuit and Métis:

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

Akwesasne has COVID-19 tests and vaccine clinics, with 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 a vaccine; Email is another option for vaccination.

Tests are available in Pikwàkanagàn by calling 613-625-1175 and vaccines, at 613-625-2259 extension 225 or by email. Anyone in Tyendinaga who is interested in a test can call 613-967-3603 and should see the website of dedicated vaccine clinics.

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

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