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COVID-19: What you need to know on Tuesday, May 3


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Ontario

(Reported Tuesday)

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16: New deaths (includes one from a data cleanup)

12,858: Total deaths

1,699: People in hospital and testing positive

202: In ICU

84: On ventilators (subset of previous number)

1,547: New confirmed cases (case numbers are considered underestimates with testing limited to certain groups)

1,263,202: Total cases

Ottawa

(Reported Tuesday)

0 : New deaths

798:Total deaths

39: Ottawa residents in hospital due to active infections

6: In ICU because of active infections

114: Confirmed COVID-19 patients in Ottawa hospitals as of April 30 (includes non-Ottawa residents), 58 in hospital because COVID-19 (6 in ICU) and 56 for other reasons (3 in ICU)

71: New COVID-19 cases (case numbers are considered underestimates with testing limited to certain groups)

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71,770:Total cases

1,459: Active cases

59: Ongoing outbreaks in institutional settings

15.85: Per cent test positivity in the community (seven-day average)

Current public health measures

With COVID-19 levels remaining high in Ontario, a coalition of health groups is calling on the province to reinstate indoor mask requirements, which were dropped on March 21.

Requiring masks in indoor public spaces would be a simple, effective way to help get the sixth wave of the pandemic under control, said three experts at a media conference Monday sponsored by the Ontario Health Coalition, which represents more than 400 organizations and individuals working to improve the public health-care system.

Last week, Ottawa Public Health said, “This is not the time to let down our guard.”

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The health unit reported that the capital’s wastewater virus detection levels were very high but decreasing while the per cent of lab tests coming back positive remained high. New hospitalizations were moderate and new outbreaks moderate and decreasing.

OPH’s advice: stay up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations with walk-in jabs available and stay home when sick.

COVID-19 testing and treatment are available for those at higher risk — but don’t delay seeking care because treatment works best if started within five days of symptoms starting, OPH said.

If isolating, the five-day requirement only ends if symptoms have been improving for 24 hours and masks must be worn in public until after Day 10.

“Speaking of masks, just keep wearing them anyway,” OPH said. “Wear a mask, especially indoors when physical distancing isn’t possible.

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“It’s a simple (and) effective way to protect others.”

Ontario has extended mask mandates in hospitals, long-term care homes, on transit and other high-risk settings until June 11.

How to get vaccinated

Ontario parents will now be given the choice of either Pfizer or Moderna vaccines for their children between the ages of six and 11.

The provincial government had previously only made Pfizer vaccines available to that age group, even thought Health Canada had approved vaccines by both Pfizer and Moderna.

Fourth doses of COVID-19 vaccines are available to Ontario residents aged 60 and over as well as First Nation, Inuit and Métis people and household members aged 18 and up.

Eligible people can book through the province’s COVID-19 vaccination portal or by calling 1-833-943-3900, through public health units that use their own booking systems and at participating pharmacies.

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Ottawa Public Health community clinics and after-school clinics are open for drop-in shots for people eligible for a first dose, second dose or booster dose.

Where to get tested for COVID-19 in Ottawa

Anyone 70 and older, people 60 and older with fewer than three vaccine doses, and those 18 and older with fewer than three doses and at least one risk factor such as a chronic medical condition can now be tested and assessed for treatment in Ontario.

Molecular testing in the province has been prioritized for people at increased risk and those living or working in high-risk settings.

Ottawans can find out more about eligibility on the Ottawa Public Health website along with what to do if they have symptoms, test positive or are high-risk contacts.

Where to get rapid tests

Ontario is distributing free rapid antigen tests through pharmacy and grocery store locations across the province until at least July 31.

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