Newswatch COVID-19 Digest: Wednesday September 9, 2020

The Eastern Ontario Health Unit office at 1000 Pitt Street in Cornwall, Ont. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

Here are the latest local, regional and national headlines on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for Wednesday, September 9, 2020:

  • There have been 43,536 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Ontario, an increase of 185 (or 0.4 per cent) from the previous day. There are 39,196 people recovered from the virus while 2,813 people have died. The number of Ontario people tested is 3,171,062 of which 8,357 have pending results.
  • Canada’s coronavirus case total is 133,748. The country has 9,153 deaths from the virus – 213 in British Columbia, 247 in Alberta, 24 in Saskatchewan, 16 in Manitoba, 2,813 in Ontario, 5,770 in Quebec, two in New Brunswick, three in Newfoundland & Labrador and 65 in Nova Scotia.
  • The Eastern Ontario Health Unit added three new cases in SD&G on Tuesday – all in North Glengarry – to bring the total to 203 confirmed positive cases in the region. Of those, 20 are active and 168 are resolved. There are no people in hospital and there are 12 deaths to date. Testing increased by 535 to 43,285. The breakdown of cases is: Prescott-Russell 131 cases (13 active), SD&G 44 cases (five active) and Cornwall 28 cases (two active).
  • The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit region added one case on Tuesday to bring the total confirmed positive cases to 366. Of those, 313 have recovered. The new case in eastern Lanark County is the only active case. There have been 52 deaths to date.
  • The Ontario government has paused the loosening of COVID-19 related restrictions for four weeks. Health Minister Christine Elliott says the latest climb in cases – 185 Tuesday and 190 on Monday – is “disturbing” and put a hold on loosening guidelines based on the spike in cases.
  • Premier Doug Ford says it’s frustrating that three areas of the province – Ottawa, Toronto and Brampton – continue to be hot spots in the province. Ford says people need to refrain from having large communal gatherings like parties and weddings. “We have to start putting the hammer down on people who don’t want to follow protocols and guidelines because it’s going to affect every single one of us,” Ford said.
  • People looking to take their exams for certification in skilled trades will now be able to do so. The 24 provincial centers for apprenticeship and trade-related certifications were closed to in-person exams since March. They are now open with COVID-19 precautions in place.
  • Quebec is moving to a colour-coded alert system by region to avoid a potential second wave of the virus. There are four colours – green, yellow, orange and red. Red is maximum alert.
  • In St. Lawrence County, N.Y. (which includes Massena, Potsdam and Canton), the number of cases rose by four over the long weekend to 296 confirmed positive cases. Of those, 19 are active, 273 have recovered and four have died. There are two people in hospital. The county health department will set up a testing site at the Massena Community Center on Wednesday due to the cluster of cases – there have been 51 in Massena of which nine are active. Twenty-two cases were in the space of a week with at least 150 contacts traced, according to the Watertown Daily Times.
  • Nightclubs and banquet halls in British Columbia are being forced to close under an order from provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. The move comes after recent spikes in cases related to those types of facilities. Over 400 new cases have been registered since Friday. The order also includes a 10 p.m. cutoff for booze at bars and restaurants.
  • Alberta has had 11 cases of COVID-19 at 11 schools since they opened last week. At nearly 1,700, the province has its highest number of active cases since early May.
  • England has reduced public gatherings to no more than six people to control the spread of coronavirus. Young partyers are being blamed for a sharp spike in new cases.
  • A Canadian antibody study shows fewer than one per cent of blood donors in the spring tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies. That roughly translates to an exposure rate of 0.7 per cent by the end of May.
  • After 44 years in the City of Ottawa, the Ottawa Athletic Club will close its doors Friday, citing the effects of COVID-19. The Lancaster Road family-owned fitness center also housed a tennis training facility, indoor pool and had a number of other programs.

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