The snack food and beverage giant will give investors a fresh look at its demand trends on April 15.
It’s the one thing “mysteriously absent from their vocabulary,” says “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” correspondent Roy Wood Jr.
New Delhi [India], May 15 (ANI): The Delhi government will start the functioning of oxygen concentrator banks from Saturday across the city in order to provide adequate oxygen to COVID patients on time.
Australian government urged to have standby system in place for next repatriation flight from IndiaIndian community leaders call on officials to do more to avoid a repeat of the scores of empty seats on the first post-ban flight Passengers from Australia’s first post-ban repatriation flight from India are transported to the Howard Springs quarantine facility in Darwin. Photograph: Steven Hoare/Getty Images
Cyclists are expressing some relief over new software designed to cut down on the potentially dangerous traffic signal trend of red reverts. The "amber lock" is made-in-Ottawa software that's set to be rolled out at hundreds of intersections with high volumes of cyclists. Red reverts occur when vehicles, including bicycles, cause sensors in the road to trigger a traffic light change. The sensor technology is meant to speed the flow of traffic through intersections. But if the vehicle or bicycle moves past the sensors too soon, the signal immediately switches back to red and the cross traffic gets a green light again. That can leave cyclists caught in the middle of an intersection as the traffic signal is changing. Instead of that happening, the amber lock guarantees the opposing traffic signal will stay red for at least 10 seconds, giving them more time to cross the intersection, said Phil Landry, the city's director of traffic services. The red revert sensor technology is meant to speed the flow of traffic through intersections. But if the vehicle or bicycle moves past the sensors too soon, the signal immediately switches back to red and the cross traffic gets a green light again.() "It's a huge relief," said Somerset Coun. Catherine McKenney, an avid cyclist who's heard concerns about the red revert technology for years. "[We've had our] fingers crossed that nobody would get caught in a red revert." Érinn Cunningham, president of Bike Ottawa said he's been caught in an intersection because of a red revert, something he said is "pretty scary." Cunningham said he's heard from many others who've had similar experiences. "There can be a lot of traffic and it can be moving at a significant speed," Cunningham said. "So, it's a pretty vulnerable feeling." 192 intersections The software is unique to Ottawa, with the programming done by a consultant at a cost of about $46,000, said Landry. It's currently being tested at the city's traffic control centre before a planned rollout by the end of June. "We're not aware of any other municipality in North America that's created this feature," Landry said. He said the city also plans to include an automatic walk signal at intersections where the amber lock is triggered, ensuring pedestrians don't have to wait a full traffic cycle before being able to cross if they didn't press the walk button. While the city plans to roll out the software at 192 intersections — the city has roughly 1,200 — Landry said that number will likely increase after consultations with councillors, residents and the cycling community. Cunningham said he wants to see the technology rolled out at every intersection across the city. McKenney expects all intersections coming off the city's multi-use pathways will have the amber lock, along with every intersection within Somerset ward that doesn't automatically change. "I'll be honest. I can't see that there's an intersection in the downtown where there isn't a high number of cyclists that use the intersection," McKenney said. McKenney also said providing safer cycling infrastructure could encourage people to leave their cars behind. "We have to start somewhere and to get more people out of their cars. We have to provide that safe infrastructure for them."
Everton v Sheffield United: match preview Everton v Sheffield United: probable starters in bold, contenders in light. Photograph: Guardian
Marriage doesn’t work (just ask Bill and Melinda) – so let me present some alternativesI find the idea of being legally bound to my partner unacceptably claustrophobic Bill and Melinda Gates: ‘There’s only one conclusion to draw from this story: marriage doesn’t work.’ Photograph: Getty Images
West Brom v Liverpool: match preview West Brom v Liverpool: probable starters in bold, contenders in light. Photograph: Guardian
Crystal Palace v Aston Villa: match preview Crystal Palace v Aston Villa: probable starters in bold, contenders in light. Photograph: The Guardian
Last Days in Cleaver Square by Patrick McGrath review – memory, ageing and guiltA veteran of the Spanish civil war is visited by the ghost of Franco in a deftly handled story of past trauma and deceit Republican fighters arriving in France after fleeing Spain in February 1939. Photograph: STF/AFP/Getty Images
Out of office: how the pandemic is rewriting the workplace novelA new crop of novels are exploring work culture and burnout – yet for many, the office feels like a distant memory. In the light of coronavirus, where will this literature go next? Mind the gap … Illustration: Fabio Consoli/The Guardian
The Green party can show Labour how to connect with its former heartlandsRather than campaigning on the climate crisis, the party has won people’s support by focusing on their local environments ‘You don’t get Green candidates sweeping into towns every few years promising to keep factories open.’ Yassin Mohamud (left), one of the Green party’s new councillors in Bristol, with a supporter. Photograph: Adrian Sherratt/The Guardian
Tottenham v Wolves: match preview Spurs v Wolves: probable starters in bold, contenders in light. Photograph: Guardian
Doucoure is desperate to secure a place in Europe next season.
The Wales centre-half had been in the team under Jose Mourinho.
Ottawa's finance and economic development committee will consider a $2.9-million city grant next week for a future luxury car dealership in the Vanier area, under a program aimed at stimulating local businesses on Montreal Road. Mrak Holdings Inc., also known as Mark Motors, plans to replace the Audi and Alfa Romeo/Maserati dealerships across from Notre Dame Cemetery with a new, two-storey Porsche building that city staff describe in a report as "world-class." The new building would face the busy corner of Montreal Road and St. Laurent Boulevard. It's projected to cost $17 million to build, with the owners paying $1.7 million to the City of Ottawa for development fees and building permits. After it's constructed, the owners' property taxes would soar from $25,625 per year to $355,620. The city targeted Vanier for a community improvement plan in 2019. That designation, a tool allowed by the provincial government, allows the city to offer grants of up to 75 per cent of the increase in property taxes as an incentive to get owners to upgrade their properties and boost business. Mrak Holdings would be eligible for a grant of up to $2,910,171 over 10 years, and its application goes before the finance committee Tuesday for approval. 'Flagship' facility Montreal Road in Vanier is currently undergoing a major $64-million reconstruction. The hydro lines have been buried, and its water mains, sewers and road are being replaced. "The new facility will represent an important gateway to the Quartier Vanier shopping district and showcase the city's newly upgraded streetscape," wrote city staff in their report, adding the project will create jobs. The executive director of the Quartier Vanier business improvement area, meanwhile, says it might not seem ideal to have a car dealership on a main street, but the building will be "beautiful" and a "flagship". Nathalie Carrier said the Mrak family owns the dealerships that have been in that location for years, and they've been great community and business leaders. "We're happy to have them," she said Montreal Road isn't the only part of the city deemed eligible for community improvement grants. The City of Ottawa has also targeted Bells Corners in the west, St. Joseph Boulevard in Orléans, and has a community improvement plan for the wider Orléans area aimed at luring big employers.
The latest numbers on COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada as of 4:00 a.m. ET on Saturday, May 15, 2021. In Canada, the provinces are reporting 494,638 new vaccinations administered for a total of 17,734,225 doses given. Nationwide, 1,370,327 people or 3.6 per cent of the population has been fully vaccinated. The provinces have administered doses at a rate of 46,793.043 per 100,000. There were no new vaccines delivered to the provinces and territories for a total of 20,355,204 doses delivered so far. The provinces and territories have used 87.12 per cent of their available vaccine supply. Please note that Newfoundland and Labrador, P.E.I., Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the territories typically do not report on a daily basis. Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting 34,329 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 225,459 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 430.568 per 1,000. In the province, 1.88 per cent (9,870) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Newfoundland and Labrador for a total of 279,010 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 53 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 80.81 per cent of its available vaccine supply. P.E.I. is reporting 8,000 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 67,758 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 427.148 per 1,000. In the province, 7.20 per cent (11,429) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to P.E.I. for a total of 84,915 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 54 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 79.8 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Nova Scotia is reporting 58,592 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 415,570 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 425.833 per 1,000. In the province, 3.98 per cent (38,830) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Nova Scotia for a total of 498,490 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 51 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 83.37 per cent of its available vaccine supply. New Brunswick is reporting 44,577 new vaccinations administered over the past seven days for a total of 338,127 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 433.474 per 1,000. In the province, 4.12 per cent (32,130) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to New Brunswick for a total of 415,935 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 53 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 81.29 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Quebec is reporting 112,925 new vaccinations administered for a total of 4,127,768 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 482.405 per 1,000. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Quebec for a total of 4,578,079 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 54 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 90.16 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Ontario is reporting 141,765 new vaccinations administered for a total of 6,771,128 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 460.964 per 1,000. In the province, 2.83 per cent (415,531) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Ontario for a total of 7,843,825 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 53 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 86.32 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Manitoba is reporting 19,849 new vaccinations administered for a total of 625,404 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 454.177 per 1,000. In the province, 5.80 per cent (79,898) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Manitoba for a total of 759,870 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 55 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 82.3 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Saskatchewan is reporting 7,930 new vaccinations administered for a total of 553,389 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 469.31 per 1,000. In the province, 4.05 per cent (47,758) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Saskatchewan for a total of 637,115 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 54 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 86.86 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Alberta is reporting 66,876 new vaccinations administered for a total of 2,086,589 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 474.004 per 1,000. In the province, 7.39 per cent (325,409) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Alberta for a total of 2,355,255 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 54 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 88.59 per cent of its available vaccine supply. British Columbia is reporting 115,947 new vaccinations administered for a total of 2,393,265 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 466.38 per 1,000. In the province, 2.43 per cent (124,880) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to British Columbia for a total of 2,740,590 doses delivered so far. The province has received enough of the vaccine to give 53 per cent of its population a single dose. The province has used 87.33 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Yukon is reporting 382 new vaccinations administered for a total of 50,652 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 1,213.774 per 1,000. In the territory, 56.73 per cent (23,673) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Yukon for a total of 57,020 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 140 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 88.83 per cent of its available vaccine supply. The Northwest Territories are reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 49,811 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 1,103.992 per 1,000. In the territory, 49.87 per cent (22,501) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to the Northwest Territories for a total of 60,000 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 130 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 83.02 per cent of its available vaccine supply. Nunavut is reporting zero new vaccinations administered for a total of 29,305 doses given. The territory has administered doses at a rate of 756.727 per 1,000. In the territory, 33.26 per cent (12,879) of the population has been fully vaccinated. There were zero new vaccines delivered to Nunavut for a total of 45,100 doses delivered so far. The territory has received enough of the vaccine to give 120 per cent of its population a single dose. The territory has used 64.98 per cent of its available vaccine supply. *Notes on data: The figures are compiled by the COVID-19 Open Data Working Group based on the latest publicly available data and are subject to change. Note that some provinces report weekly, while others report same-day or figures from the previous day. Vaccine doses administered is not equivalent to the number of people inoculated as the approved vaccines require two doses per person. The vaccines are currently not being administered to children under 18 and those with certain health conditions. In some cases the number of doses administered may appear to exceed the number of doses distributed as some provinces have been drawing extra doses per vial. This report was automatically generated by The Canadian Press Digital Data Desk and was first published May 15, 2021. The Canadian Press
In just a few weeks, it will be the fifth anniversary of the massive Rideau Street sinkhole that opened up above where the Confederation Line tunnel was being built. Most everyone in Ottawa will remember the shocking event in which, miraculously, no one was hurt, although a parked van and three lanes of traffic were swallowed whole. And yet in all this time, we have never once heard that the sinkhole cost the city tens of millions of dollars — until this week. The revelation that the city is suing its own insurance companies for more than $360 million due to costs it incurred due to the sinkhole was startling on many fronts, not least of which the fact that in the years since the sinkhole occurred, the city hasn't publicly said anything about the event having any long-term financial impact. Then there's the news that the city's insurers rejected its claim for the costs in December. And finally, the discovery that the consortium that built the Confederation Line, Rideau Transit Group (RTG), is blaming the city for the sinkhole. It's a complicated and expensive mess, and it all raises a bigger question: How many more millions did the LRT cost Ottawa taxpayers that the city hasn't told us about? According to court documents, it took Rideau Transit Group nine months to repair the damage done by the sinkhole.(Andrew Foote/CBC) Legal dispute explained First, let's dissect the lawsuit. News of it came through a confidential memo sent to council and first reported by the Ottawa Citizen, even though there's no good reason for information about the city filing a lawsuit in public court to be kept secret. It's a convoluted document, but here's what we can say for sure based on the memo to councillors, several publicly available court documents and background conversations with people familiar with the issue. As part of the Confederation Line construction, a project that has always been touted as costing $2.1 billion, RTG took out what's known as a builders' risk policy with a team of insurance companies led by Zurich Insurance. The policy covers RTG, but also the city and others working on the project against losses that might occur should something go wrong. The policy has a $700-million payout cap for any single event — such as a massive sinkhole. The insurance companies have paid out $45 million to RTG for sinkhole-related losses. But back in February 2019, RTG made an insurance claim of $235.7 million, arguing that the entire 15-month delay to complete the Confederation Line was due to sinkhole. The insurers disagreed. They contend that non-sinkhole related problems with the Alstom trains and station construction meant that the LRT wouldn't have been finished any earlier. They denied the entire claim, and RTG sued for $275,000 million. That court fight continues. This week, we find out that the city believes the "sinkhole event" cost it $131 million including $104.2 million for so-called "carrying costs," $3.3 million for delayed opening expenses and $22.8 million to pay consultants and employees. The city also made a claim for its costs to the insurers last August. Again, the insurance team denied the claim. This week, the city took its fight to court and will be asking that a judge deal with its suit at the same time as the RTG suit. But wait, there's more! RTG blames sinkhole on city Although the city is claiming losses of $131 million, the suit is for $361 million. The rest of the claim — $230 million — has to do with who will ultimately be found responsible for the sinkhole. In 2017, an engineering consultant's report commissioned by the city found it was "highly likely" that the sinkhole was caused by ground that was loosened during the LRT tunnel construction. But RTG has never agreed with that assessment, believing that the city is to blame — possibly due to poor construction in that area in the past that RTG could not have known about. In fact, that exact scenario had occurred earlier in the project. A report found that a much smaller sinkhole on Waller Street in 2014, at the eastern end of the tunnel, was caused by a "previously excavated construction pit" filled with "poor quality, uncompacted" material — hence, not RTG's fault, although it picked up the costs at the time. So to hedge its bets on getting compensated for its sinkhole-related losses, on top of suing the insurers, RTG has also made a claim against the city for $230 million under the LRT contract's dispute-resolution process, which is confidential. The city, in turn, is including that $230 million in its own lawsuit against the insurance companies in case Ottawa is found responsible for causing the sinkhole. Who's really to blame for the sinkhole? As we learned this week, that's still under dispute.(CBC) Many questions remain unanswered Many troubling questions remain from this week's news. After RTG handed the Confederation Line over to the city in August 2019, the city held back $59 million from its final payment. This money was supposed to cover the city's costs of the 15-month delay — everything from having to keep buses on the road, to driver overtime, to keeping the rail office open. It was understood that RTG might dispute this holding back of payment, but never did the city suggest taxpayers could be on the hook for hundreds of millions more due to the LRT delay. Why was the public not made aware of this possibility earlier? And how many more millions over $2.1 billion did the city actually shell out for the Confederation Line construction? On a final note, taxpayers were told over and over that the public-private-partnership or P3 format of the LRT contract meant that the private partners — RTG — would be taking all the risks if something went awry. It appears not to have worked out that way. At Tuesday's finance and economic development committee meeting, councillors will get to ask questions about this lawsuit. According to the agenda, that discussion will be behind closed doors, perhaps signalling some new surprises for taxpayers down the road.
Warmer weather has been speeding up the life cycle of the pests.
Manitoba farmer Chuck Fossay has never seen his fields this dry. As he scoops up a handful of black top soil, it runs through his fingers like sand. "It's just bone dry. And there's nothing there to support the seed and the crop to grow," he said. Farming near Starbuck, Man., about 20 minutes west of Winnipeg, Fossay is trying to get his canola into the ground. He's planting a little deeper this year, hoping to find moisture so the seeds can germinate and start growing. He hopes that with some well-timed rain, he can still salvage a near-average crop but with conditions this dry, he said it's likely compromised before it's even planted. Despite drought conditions, Chuck Fossay is still trying to get a crop into the ground.(Jaison Empson/CBC) "Dry is dry and nothing grows without water. That's just a fact of life. You need water to live. And if you don't have enough water, nothing grows," Fossay said. "If we don't get a rain, a nice, general soaking rain probably the next two weeks, we're probably talking a crop failure out here in Manitoba." 'Extreme drought' It will take more than just one day of rain. An abnormally dry fall is being followed by one the driest springs in recent memory. On this Canadian Drought Monitor map, red areas depict extreme drought conditions in Manitoba and Saskatchewan as of April 30, 2021.(Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada) Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada considers southwestern Manitoba and southeastern Saskatchewan to be under "extreme drought" conditions, while most of the rest of Prairies are also considered to be experiencing moderate drought. "Parts of it are close to record dry conditions when you look at soil moisture, that's less than 40 per cent of normal," said John Pomeroy, a Canada Research Chair in Water Resources and Climate Change. He works out of the University of Saskatchewan's lab in Canmore, Alta. While droughts are part of the agricultural cycle, Pomeroy said what is unusual this year is the scope of the dryness, extending "from Vancouver Island to southern Quebec, down into the United States, into California, right into Mexico ... it's enormous." Economic impacts Also enormous is the potential impact on Canada's economy. If these conditions persist, it won't just be farmers hit hard. For consumers, it can mean higher grocery prices. Water is also a critical resource in the resource and energy sectors; potash mining, oil production and hydroelectricity rely on it. "Back about 20 years ago, there were four years where there was a $10-billion hit to the western Canadian economy from drought and 41,000 jobs lost in Saskatchewan alone. So there's an impact," Pomeroy said "It's like losing the automotive industry out of southern Ontario." Dave Sauchyn is a senior research scientist at the University of Regina's Prairie Adaptation Research Collaborative. He says a major rainfall lasting days could be a billion-dollar storm, replenishing soil moisture and salvaging the growing season this year. (Dave Sauchyn/Submitted to CBC) Drought and dry conditions can also threaten the water supply as rivers dry up and lake levels drop. "There's a lot of small communities, rural communities that have a less than reliable water supply. So they might get their water, for example, from a shallow well, they might get their water from a reservoir and those water supplies are being depleted," said Dave Sauchyn, a professor and researcher with the University of Regina's Prairie Adaptation Research Collaborative. He helped write a report on climate change impacts and approaches to adaptation. Already, one community in southern Manitoba has started restricting water use, asking residents to cut their consumption by 25 per cent. The province has also put a ban on campfires and access to back country trails in drought-affected areas, activities that have been extremely popular during the pandemic. Near the Ontario border, a forest fire has already cause damage in Manitoba's Whiteshell Provincial Park. But for those who rely on Mother Nature for their livelihoods, the stakes are high. 'Cattle cannot survive without water' Close to the Manitoba-Saskatchewan border, Bill Campbell is worried about his own farm, but he's also hearing concerns from farmers across the province as president of Keystone Agricultural Producers, an advocacy group based in Winnipeg. Bill Campbell is a cattle farmer and president of the Keystone Agricultural Producers. He worries the dry conditions mean he won't be able to grow grass for his cattle, and the dugouts and rivers they drink from will run dry.(Jaison Empson/CBC News) "We always say that April showers bring May flowers. Well, it also brings me grass," Campbell said as he watched his cattle graze on grass that is brittle and dry. "It becomes a major concern when we have limited forage reserves like bales in the yard or silage left over. And once you run out of that reserves, what do you do? You send them to pasture for a limited amount of time and they eat all that's there." Looking at the Souris River on his land, Campbell points out rocks that should be covered with a metre of water that are now exposed. "We rely on retention ponds, dugouts, springs, creeks, various water streams and a lot of them are dry and cattle will not survive without water," he said.
Recent developments: What's the latest? Preliminary talks on lifting restrictions along the Canada-U.S. border are underway, according to an official with direct knowledge of the file. Canadians who have had one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine should be able to socialize with close family and friends outdoors over the summer months, Canada's chief public health officer said today. Ottawa Public Health (OPH) reported 116 new COVID-19 cases and one more death Friday. How many cases are there? The region is coming down from a record-breaking peak of the pandemic's third wave, one that has included more dangerous coronavirus variants. As of Friday, 25,848 Ottawa residents have tested positive for COVID-19. There are 1,188 known active cases, 24,126 resolved cases and 534 deaths. The transfer of COVID-19 patients from other regions to Ottawa hospitals continues. As of the most recent update Tuesday, there were 27 COVID-19 patients from other communities in Ottawa ICUs. Public health officials have reported more than 47,000 COVID-19 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, including more than 44,200 resolved cases. Elsewhere in eastern Ontario, 183 people have died. In western Quebec, the death toll is 208. Akwesasne has had more than 680 residents test positive and 10 deaths between its northern and southern sections. Kitigan Zibi has had 34 cases. Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory has had 11, with one death. Pikwakanagan hasn't had any. 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 can I do? Eastern Ontario: Ontario is under a stay-at-home order until at least June 2. People should only leave home for essential reasons like getting groceries, seeking health care and exercising in their immediate area. An outdoor produce market in the ByWard Market on a sunny spring day in Ottawa on May 11, 2021.(Brian Morris/CBC) The vast majority of gatherings are prohibited. Exceptions include small activities with households and small religious services. Ontario has moved to online learning. Daycares remain open. Golf courses and tennis and basketball courts are among the closed recreation venues. Most non-essential businesses can only offer curbside pickup. Access to malls is restricted and big-box stores can only sell essential items. Gyms and personal care services are closed, while restaurants are only available for takeout and delivery. Police checkpoints between Ontario and Quebec are not running 24/7. Officers in Ontario have the power to stop and question people if they believe they've gathered illegally. Local health units and communities can also set their own rules, as Ottawa is doing around playgrounds. Western Quebec High schools, gyms, theatres, personal care services and non-essential businesses are closed in Gatineau, the Pontiac and Collines-de-l'Outaouais until Monday. Private gatherings are banned in those areas, except for a person who lives alone seeing one other household. Distanced outdoor exercise is allowed in groups up to eight people. The curfew is from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. Vallée-de-la-Gatineau and Papineau are red zones with looser restrictions, meaning a 9:30 p.m. curfew and allowing secondary schools and non-essential businesses to reopen. The rest of the region joins it next week. People are asked to only have close contact with people they live with, be masked and distanced for all other in-person contact and only leave their immediate area for essential reasons — under threat of a fine if they go to a yellow or green zone. Distancing and isolating The novel coronavirus primarily spreads through droplets that can hang in the air. People can be contagious without symptoms, even after getting a vaccine. Coronavirus variants of concern are more contagious and are now established. 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. Masks, preferably ones that fit snugly and have three layers, are mandatory in indoor public settings in Ontario and Quebec. OPH says residents should wear masks outside their homes whenever possible. People have to show proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test to enter Canada by land without a fine and have to pay for their stay in a quarantine hotel if entering by air. Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms should self-isolate, as should those who've been ordered to do so by their public health unit. The length varies in Quebec and Ontario. Health Canada recommends older adults and people with underlying medical conditions get help with errands. Vaccines Four COVID-19 vaccines have been deemed safe and approved in Canada. Ontario and Quebec have both stopped giving first doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine, but plan to give second doses. Canada's task force said first doses offer such strong protection that people can wait up to four months to get a second. About 975,000 doses have been given out in the Ottawa-Gatineau region since mid-December, including nearly 450,000 doses to Ottawa residents and about 200,000 in western Quebec. Eastern Ontario Ontario's general vaccination age is 40 and older. Other factors such as jobs and health conditions also qualify younger adults. People can book provincial appointments online or over the phone at 1-833-943-3900. Appointments are available through the province for people age 18 and up in Ottawa's three "hot spot" postal codes, Indigenous adults and, through the city, Ottawans in more than 20 "priority" neighbourhoods. A handful of Ottawa pharmacies in hot spots are offering a limited supply of Moderna vaccines to people age 18 and up. Ontario is speeding up the second dose for some groups, such as frontline health-care workers and more Indigenous people. It plans to allow everyone over age 12 to make an appointment starting the week of May 31 and expects about two-thirds of adults to have a first dose by the end of May. Local health units have some flexibility in the larger framework, so check their websites for details. Western Quebec Quebec is vaccinating everyone age 18 and older. Teens age 16 and 17 are eligible if they have certain jobs or a chronic illness or disability. The province plans to reach children as young as 12 in June. People who qualify can make an appointment online or over the phone. 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. Children tend to have an upset stomach and/or a rash. 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: 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. People without symptoms but who are part of the province's targeted testing strategy can make an appointment at select pharmacies. Travellers who need a test have very 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 and check wait times online. 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 a COVID-19 test site by appointment only and a curfew of 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. 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. People in Pikwakanagan can book a COVID-19 test by calling 613-625-1175. Anyone in Tyendinaga who's interested in a test can call 613-967-3603 and in Kitigan Zibi, 819-449-5593. Tyendinaga's council is asking people not to travel there to camp or fish. 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