Newswatch COVID-19 Digest: Friday August 21, 2020

Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis speaks to reporters on Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020 during his semiweekly briefing on the novel coronavirus. (EOHU/Zoom via Newswatch Group)

Here are the latest local, regional and national headlines on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for Friday, August 21, 2020:

  • There have been 41,048 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Ontario, an increase of 76 (or 0.2 per cent) from the previous day. Numbers for 11 health units weren’t reported due to computer problems. There are 37,291 people recovered from the virus while 2,793 people have died. The number of Ontario people tested is 2,682,845 of which 22,104 have pending results.
  • Canada’s coronavirus case total is 123,873. The country has 9,054 deaths from the virus – 200 in British Columbia, 228 in Alberta, 22 in Saskatchewan, 12 in Manitoba, 2,793 in Ontario, 5,730 in Quebec, two in New Brunswick, three in Newfoundland & Labrador and 64 in Nova Scotia.
  • The Eastern Ontario Health Unit region added three more cases Thursday – two in Prescott-Russell and one in SD&G. Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis says one of the P-R cases was contracted at a party in Ottawa. The other two are under investigation. That brings the regional total to 183 with 166 resolved. There are 11 deaths to date and one active institutional outbreak (at Valoris Group Home in Clarence-Rockland, triggered by a worker from Quebec who doesn’t show up in the local case count). Testing increased by 481 to 36,308. The breakdown of cases is: Prescott-Russell 120 cases (106 resolved + 11 deaths), SD&G 38 cases (35 resolved) and Cornwall 25 cases (25 resolved).
  • The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit area added a case on Thursday to bring the number of confirmed cases to 357. The new case, which is the only active case in the region, is in the community in the eastern portion of Leeds-Grenville. The number of deaths and recoveries remain unchanged at 52 and 304.
  • 3M Canada will start making N95 masks at its plant in Brockville. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier Doug Ford will announce $23 million each for the plant retooling today. The plant is expected to make 100 million masks a year.
  • The Ontario government has extended all orders under the Reopening Ontario Act until Sept. 22, with the exception of two emergency orders. An order covering the education sector is extended until Aug. 31 and an order covering limitation periods on various legal proceedings will end with suspended time periods starting back up Sept. 14.
  • The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) will be extended another four weeks before switching to income-support programs at the end of next month. It will be replaced by an Employment Insurance plan with lower qualifications – people will have to have worked 120 hours to qualify for 26 weeks of benefits – for those who can’t get regular EI. There’s also a sickness and caregiving benefit of $500 a week. It still needs to be passed by the House of Commons. The package is $37 billion.
  • Across the border, St. Lawrence County (which includes Massena, Potsdam and Canton) is down to a single active case of COVID-19. There have been 262 positive cases in the county to date and 257 have recovered while four have died. There is nobody in hospital.
  • There are no active cases of the virus in Akwesasne, according to Franklin County Public Health.
  • Nearly all of Saskatchewan schools will require masks this fall but the provincial government has stopped short of mandating them. The government is leaving it up to school boards.
  • Cineplex says its 164 theaters, 1,687 screens and 10 entertainment complexes will open Friday. The company has been gradually reopening.

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