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COVID-19: What you need to know on Tuesday, May 31


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Ontario

(Reported Tuesday)

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15: New deaths (14 recent, one in a data cleanup)

13,241: Total deaths

808: People in hospital and testing positive

140: In ICU

62: On a ventilator (subset of previous number)

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

1,303,033: Total cases

Ottawa

(Reported Tuesday)

3 : New deaths

810: Total deaths

11: Ottawa residents in hospital due to an active infection

2: In ICU because of active infection

60: Confirmed COVID-19 patients in Ottawa hospitals as of Saturday (includes non-Ottawa residents), 26 in hospital because COVID-19 (three in ICU) and 34 for other reasons (two in ICU)

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

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73,452:Total cases

373: Active cases

16: Ongoing outbreaks in institutional settings

7.46 Per cent test positivity in the community (seven-day average as of Sunday)

Current public health protections

The Public Health Agency of Canada announced Tuesday that COVID-19 restrictions at the border will remain in place for at least another month.

The agency made the announcement on Twitter a day after Parliament voted down a Conservative opposition motion to revert to pre-pandemic rules for travel.

Restrictions at Canadian airports and land borders include vaccine mandates, random COVID-19 tests and the requirement that international travellers answer pandemic-related questions on the ArriveCan app.

The specific restrictions vary depending on age, citizenship and vaccination status.

The Canadian Airports Council has blamed massive customs delays across the country on the pandemic measures and insufficient staff, which have led to long lineups.

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In Ottawa, Algonquin College said Monday that its mandatory masking policy will be lifted “for the majority of the college and academic programming” on June 1.

“Masking will continue to be required for any program where a regulatory body requires a masking mandate, such as massage therapy,” and at in-person convocation ceremonies in June, according to the statement from president Claude Brulé.

As of Monday, masks went from mandatory to “strongly encouraged” for students, staff and visitors at Ottawa-Carleton District School Board buildings.

Ottawa Public Health said it continued to “strongly recommend” wearing masks in “indoor and/or crowded public spaces.”

OPH reported in a “snapshot” last week that the viral signal detected in Ottawa’s wastewater remained high and was relatively unchanged from the previous week. The per cent of lab tests coming back positive was moderate and decreasing — although testing remains limited to certain groups.

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New COVID-19 hospital admissions and outbreaks in institutional settings were low and relatively unchanged from last week.

“The pandemic isn’t over, and it remains very important to stay up to date on your COVID vaccinations,” OPH said.

Along with masking in indoor and/or crowded public spaces, public health officials advise people to stay home when sick, follow self-isolation guidance and hold gatherings outdoors to reduce the risk.

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

How to get vaccinated

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.

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Book vaccinations 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.

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

Where to get tested for COVID-19 in Ottawa

Those eligible for lab testing and assessment for antiviral treatment are residents 70 and older, 60 and older with fewer than three vaccine doses and 18 and older who are immunocompromised or with fewer than three doses and at least one risk factor such as a chronic medical condition.

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 and how to book a test 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.

-with files from The Canadian Press

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