Covid-19 update: active cases reduce slightly
With eight new Covid-19 cases over the weekend, the total number of cases in the Outaouais since the start of the pandemic reached 14,256 as of October 29. According to the Centre intégré de la santé et des services sociaux de l’Outaouais (CISSSO), there were 75 active Covid-19 cases in the region at the time. With 223 deaths in the Outaouais - one more than last week - CISSSO officials noted that 13,958 people had recovered from the virus. Last week, four people were hospitalized, with three needing intensive care, and one of CISSSO’s employees was infected. Over the last week, CISSSO said it administered an average of 261 Covid-19 screening tests per day.
It added that Gatineau’s urban core has accounted for the majority of coronavirus cases in the region at this point, with 10,783 cumulative cases and 54 active ones.
The MRC de Papineau has had 1,577 total cases, with 10 active cases; the MRC de la Vallée-de-la-Gatineau has had 599 with five or less active cases; the MRC des Collines-de-l’Outaouais has recorded 860 cases with five or less active cases; and the MRC de Pontiac has seen 420 total cases, with five or less active case. The origin of 17 active cases had yet to be determined.
-Provincial safety regulations, vaccine passport
The provincial government enforces the obligation of digital or paper-proof vaccination passports for everyone over the age 13 to engage in certain activities deemed as non-essential, such as going to restaurants, bars, gyms, and festivals, with the purpose of not spreading the virus in at-risk areas until further notice. People can access vaccination passports via the VaxiCode application online or by printing it.
Still advising people to avoid unnecessary contact, current Covid-19 green zone regulations allow people to host indoor gatherings of no more than 10 people from different addresses or the maximum of three different households, with a maximum of 20 people for outdoor gatherings.
Local restaurant dining rooms are allowed to operate with a maximum of 10 people from different addresses or the occupants from a maximum of three private dwellings per table. Outdoor patios can accommodate a maximum of 20 people per table. Attendance registers are mandatory.
Bars are also allowed to operate at 50 per cent capacity stipulated on one’s respective liquor license, whereas singing (karaoke) and dancing remain prohibited, adding that patrons must remain seated at their respective tables.
Such establishments must close by 2 am and stop selling alcohol at 1 am. Max capacities per table are the same for bars as for restaurants. Stadiums and large indoor halls can host events with a potential maximum capacity of 7,500 people. With more than 500 people, audiences must be separated into maximal sections of 500 people.
In post-secondary institutions, mask wearing is mandatory in all indoor communal spaces, and during transportation to and from school, adding that proof of vaccination is required for students to participate in certain extracurricular activities. But social distancing is not mandatory in classrooms. It is required in gyms, eating areas, certain activities such as singing classes, and common areas when possible. Welcoming and integration activities will also be allowed in compliance to provincial Covid-19 public safety guidelines.
For adult education centres, masks remain necessary at all times inside schools, including common areas, classrooms, and school transportation.
In preschool, the government says masks are not needed. Museums, zoos, and aquariums can operate in compliance with public safety measures. Details about the provincial government’s safety regulations, including the vaccination passport, are available on its website.
People wanting to get tested for Covid-19 are encouraged to consult CISSSO’s online self-assessment tool before calling 1-877-644-4545 to set up an appointment within 24 hours. More COVID-19 related information regarding the Outaouais is available on CISSSO’s website.
--Vaccination rollout: no appointment needed, third dose for some
CISSSO recommends everyone over 12 to get vaccinated. People aged 12 and 13 must have their legal guardian’s consent to be vaccinated. It also advises people on dialysis, and those who are immunocompromised, such as living with HIV, and undergoing chemotherapy, to schedule an appointment for a third dose of the vaccine. Reminding to wait at least four weeks between doses, CISSSO encourages people to get vaccinated at various walk-in clinics in the region.
With no appointment necessary at the mobile clinics, CISSSO will announce additional dates and locations as they become available.