Ottawa reported five more COVID-19 cases Sunday.
Restaurants are struggling to find staff as restrictions lift and business ramps up.
Restrictions continue to ease in western Quebec.
What's the latest?
Some restaurants in the Ottawa area say they're struggling to find enough staff — and are even having to close down for entire days — as COVID-19 pandemic restrictions ease and more people go out to eat again.
Ottawa Public Health (OPH) reported five more COVID-19 cases Sunday and zero new deaths. One person hospitalized with COVID-19 has also recovered.
More than 80 per cent of Ontario adults have now had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 70 per cent are fully vaccinated.
Quebec is further loosening restrictions on bars, restaurants and events as the rate of fully vaccinated residents steadily climbs.
That means that starting today, bars and restaurants in Gatineau, Que., and the rest of the Outaouais will be allowed to serve alcohol until 1 a.m., one hour longer than had been permitted.
Stadiums, venues and festivals can increase capacity to 15,000 spectators outdoors, up from 5,000. The details on the changes can be found here.
How many cases are there?
As of Saturday, 27,815 Ottawa residents have tested positive for COVID-19. There are 51 known active cases, 27,171 cases considered resolved, and 593 people have died from the illness.
Ottawa-Gatineau area confirmed COVID-19 cases
Public health officials have reported more than 50,400 COVID-19 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, including more than 49,200 resolved cases.
Elsewhere in eastern Ontario, 198 people have died. In western Quebec, the death toll is 215.
Akwesasne has had nearly 700 residents test positive and 10 deaths between its northern and southern sections.
What are the rules?
Ontario is in Step 3 of its reopening plan.
The latest step allows for indoor dining, with capacity limits based on everyone being able to keep an acceptable distance.
Gyms, movie theatres and museums are able to reach a capacity of 50 per cent inside.
Larger general gathering limits have risen to 25 people inside and 100 people outside. Those limits are even higher for organized events, leading to the resumption of summer festivals and professional sports.
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A detailed plan for the next school year is in the works, according to the education minister. It is expected to be released the first week of August.
Ten people are allowed to gather inside private residences and 20 people outdoors — which increases to 50 if playing sports. Organized games are permitted outdoors again and gyms are open.
People can eat both indoors and outdoors at restaurants and bars.
Personal care services and non-essential businesses can open.
Events during which people remain seated in designated spaces, like bleachers or stands, can now welcome up to 250 people indoors and 500 people outdoors. This applies to sports events, meetings, conventions and ceremonies.
Stadiums, venues and festivals can welcome 15,000 spectators outdoors. For indoor venues, 7,500 people are now allowed.
What can I do?
This means it is important to take precautions now and in the future like staying home while sick — and getting help with costs if needed — keeping hands and surfaces clean and maintaining distance from anyone you don't live with, even with a mask on.
Vaccines curb the spread of all types of the coronavirus.
There's federal guidance for what vaccinated people can do in different situations.
The federal government has announced fully vaccinated U.S. citizens and permanent residents living there would be able to visit Canada without having to quarantine starting Aug. 9, while tourists from all other countries would be allowed as of Sept. 7.
Health Canada recommends older adults and people with underlying medical conditions get help with errands.
Canada's task force says people can wait up to 16 weeks between doses. There are factors pushing provinces to drastically speed up that timeline, including supply and the more infectious delta variant.
That same task force says it's safe and effective to mix first and second doses.
There is evidence giving a second dose of a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine offers better protection for people who got a first AstraZeneca-Oxford shot. Both Ontario and Quebec are giving people who got a first AstraZeneca dose the option to get a second of the same kind.
There have been more than three million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the wider Ottawa-Gatineau region — combined first and second doses — which has about 2.3 million residents.
Ontario is vaccinating anyone age 12 or older.
People can look for provincial appointments opening up online or over the phone at 1-833-943-3900. Pharmacies continue to offer vaccines through their own booking systems, as do some family doctors.
Local health units have flexibility in the larger framework, including around booking, so check their websites for details. They offer standby lists for doses on short notice and recently, more walk-in options.
Vaccine bookings depend on the supply being sent to health units, which generally aren't reporting the supply problems of previous months.
People may have to show proof of being fully vaccinated to access certain services if there is an autumn surge of cases.
Symptoms and testing
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. Recently, a runny nose and headache have become more common.
Children tend to have an upset stomach and/or a rash.
If you have severe symptoms, call 911.
In eastern Ontario:
Anyone seeking a test should make an appointment. Check with your health unit for clinic locations and hours.
Ontario recommends only getting tested if you fit certain criteria, such as having symptoms, exposure or a certain job.
Staff, caregivers and visitors who have been fully-immunized and show no symptoms of the coronavirus no longer need to be tested before entering a long-term care facility.
Travellers who need a test have a few more local options to pay for one.
In western Quebec:
Tests are strongly recommended for people with symptoms and their contacts.
Call 1-877-644-4545 with questions, including if walk-in testing is available nearby.
First Nations, Inuit and Métis:
First Nations, Inuit and Métis people, or someone travelling to work in a remote Indigenous community, are eligible for a test in Ontario.
Akwesasne has COVID-19 vaccine clinics, with information online or at 613-575-2341. 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.
For more information