A person walks in the rain in the Byward Market in Ottawa, on Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Good morning. Here is the latest news on COVID-19 and its impact on Ottawa and the surrounding region.

Fast Facts:

  • Gyms will reopen and indoor dining will return to Ottawa on Nov. 7
  • Ottawa reported the lowest number of new COVID-19 cases in a single day in six weeks.
  • Ontario has unveiled a new tiered system for COVID-19 shut downs.
  • Businesses in Ottawa that took a financial hit during October's shutdowns can soon apply for funding from the province.
  • Federal health officials are now recommending a three-layer mask with a filter for whenever you need to wear a mask.

Testing:

Who should get a test?

Ottawa Public Health says there are four reasons to seek testing for COVID-19:

  • You are showing COVID-19 symptoms. OR
  • You have been exposed to a confirmed case of the virus, as informed by Ottawa Public Health or exposure notification through the COVID Alert app. OR
  • You are a resident or work in a setting that has a COVID-19 outbreak, as identified and informed by Ottawa Public Health. OR
  • You are eligible for testing as part of a targeted testing initiative directed by the Ministry of Health or the Ministry of Long-Term Care.

Where to get a test

The COVID-19 assessment centre at Brewer Arena, 151 Brewer Way, is open seven days a week from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Appointments are required in most cases but LIMITED walk-up capacity is available.

To book a test for an adult, click here.

The CHEO Assessment Centre at Brewer Arena, 151 Brewer Way, is open seven days a week from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Testing is available by appointment only.

To book a test for a child under the age of 18, click here.

For those requiring extra support for accessibility reasons, please contact CHEO’s Patient Experience team at 613-737-7600 x6720.

The COVID-19 care clinic at 595 Moodie Dr. is open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for people with escalating symptoms and in need of medical attention.

To book an appointment, click here.

If you need to book an appointment but do not have access to the internet, please call 613-721-4722

The COVID-19 care clinic at 1485 Heron Rd. is open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for people with escalating symptoms and in need of medical attention.

To book an appointment, click here.

If you need to book an appointment but do not have access to the internet, please call 613-288-5353.

The COVID-19 drive-thru assessment centre at 300 Coventry Rd. is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week.

To book an appointment, click here. 

The COVID-19 care clinic at the Ray Friel Recreation Centre, 1585 Tenth Line Rd. is open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. There are two options for visitors, either a test only, or an assessment by a doctor and a test For people who need to see a doctor because of pressure or discomfort in the chest, difficulty breathing or a sore throat..

To book an appointment, click here.

If you need to book an appointment but do not have access to the internet, please call 613-288-5353.

See here for a list of other testing sites in Ottawa and eastern Ontario.

COVID-19 screening tool:

The COVID-19 screening tool for students heading back to in-person classes can be found here. https://secureforms.ottawapublichealth.ca/School-Health-Sante-scolaire/COVID-19-Screening-Tool-for-Students

Symptoms:

Classic Symptoms: fever, new or worsening cough, shortness of breath

Other symptoms: sore throat, difficulty swallow, new loss of taste or smell, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, pneumonia, new or unexplained runny nose or nasal congestion

Less common symptoms: unexplained fatigue, muscle aches, headache, delirium, chills, red/inflamed eyes, croup

Gyms reopening, indoor dining returning to Ottawa on Saturday

Ontario Premier Doug Ford has confirmed that restrictions imposed on Ottawa on Oct. 10 will end on Nov. 7.

"Gyms and indoor dining will be open with capacity limits and restricted hours," Ford said Tuesday afternoon.

Ford made the announcement as he unveiled the province's new tiered COVID-19 response framework.

Ottawa will be moved to the new "restrict" (orange) level at 12:01 a.m. Nov. 7. The restrict level is third of five stages in the new system, behind "control" (red), which is similar to modified Stage 2, and "lockdown", which is the maximum level.

Lowest number of new COVID-19 cases in Ottawa in six weeks

Health officials reported the lowest number of new COVID-19 cases in Ottawa in more than six weeks on Tuesday.

According to Ottawa Public Health's COVID-19 dashboard, 28 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Ottawa, which is the lowest number of new cases in a single day since Sept. 20, when 15 new cases were reported.

Two new deaths from COVID-19 were also reported.

The new figures from OPH mean that Ottawa has now seen 7,225 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 330 deaths since the pandemic began.

  COVID-19 Cases in Ottawa
Infogram

Ontario unveils new system for COVID-19 shutdowns

Ontario has announced major changes to how it will impose COVID-19 shutdowns, introducing a new tiered system for when to impose lockdowns and closures.

Under the new framework released on Tuesday, which has not been implemented yet, each of Ontario's 34 public health units will be placed in one of five categories based off their current COVID-19 trends.

The five categories are prevent, protect, restrict, control, and lockdown.

Each of the new stages comes with a set of criteria, giving local health units and business owners some level of predictability when it comes to pandemic related restrictions.

In all scenarios, except a full lockdown, indoor dining and gyms can reopen with modified guidelines in place.  

Province offers financial support for Ottawa businesses affected by shutdowns

The Ontario government is offering financial support to businesses that were negatively impacted by the decision to move Ottawa, Toronto, Peel Region and York Region to modified Stage 2 restrictions.

Eligible businesses could get rebates for municipal and education property taxes and energy costs, such as electricity or natural gas.

Funding will cover the entire length of time that regionally targeted public health restrictions were in place.

Application forms will be available on Nov. 16.

Feds now recommend three-layer masks with filters

The Public Health Agency of Canada has updated its recommendations on non-medical face masks with the country’s top doctor now suggesting Canadians wear coverings that are made of three layers including a filter.

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Canada's Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam said adding what is called a filter layer to masks will provide Canadians with extra protection against COVID-19.

"This is an additional recommendation, just to add another layer of protection," Tam said.

With files from CTV News Toronto's Sean Davidson and CTVNews.ca's Brooklyn Neustaeter.