Here are the latest local, regional and national headlines on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for Wednesday, December 23, 2020:
- There have been 160,255 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Ontario, an increase of 2,202 (or 1.4 per cent) from the previous day. There are 136,767 people recovered from the virus while 4,188 people have died. The number of Ontario people tested is 7,471,302 of which 47,872 have pending results.
- Canada’s coronavirus case total is 521,509. The country has 14,425 deaths from the virus – one in the Yukon, 777 in British Columbia, 871 in Alberta, 125 in Saskatchewan, 590 in Manitoba, 4,188 in Ontario, 7,794 in Quebec, eight in New Brunswick, four in Newfoundland & Labrador and 65 in Nova Scotia.
- The Eastern Ontario Health Unit region added 10 cases on Tuesday to bring the regional total to 1,223 confirmed cases, of which 250 are active (28 fewer than Monday) and 941 are resolved (38 more than Monday). The number of deaths is 32. Five people are in hospital, including two in ICU. There are nine active outbreaks (includes nursing and retirement homes, lodging homes, group homes, schools and daycare), four fewer than Monday. Testing increased by 668 to 91,616. The breakdown of cases is: Prescott-Russell 730 cases (133 active), SD&G 240 cases (67 active), Cornwall 213 cases (49 active) and Akwesasne (ON/QC) 40 cases (one active).
- The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit added one new case Tuesday to bring the regional total to 640 confirmed cases, of which 28 are active (five fewer than Monday) and 559 are recovered (six more than Monday). The number of deaths to date is 53. There are no institutional outbreaks. The community case breakdown is: Leeds-Grenville East (three active), Leeds-Grenville Central (five active), Leeds-Grenville West (seven active), Lanark County West (10 active) and Lanark County East (three active).
- As part of the Ontario lockdown measures, the City of Cornwall says the Benson Center and Aquatic Center will be closed until Jan. 23. Only one essential caregiver will be allowed to visit residents at Glen-Stor-Dun Lodge. The Cornwall Public Library will have curbside service starting Jan. 4. Child care centers remain open.
- The United Counties of SD&G building will be closed to the public until Jan. 25. Applications for various permits are being accepted electronically. The SD&G Library will have curbside, delivery and pickup Dec. 28-30 and Jan. 2 onward.
- In-passenger road tests in Eastern Ontario are cancelled until Jan. 23 under the province-wide shutdown starting Boxing Day. DriveTest clients will get a credit in the system to book their test once things reopen.
- Hydro One customers will have their electricity rates locked in at the off-peak rate of 8.5 cents per kilowatt hour, 24 hours a day for all time-of-use and tiered customers starting Jan. 1, 2021 for 28 days.
- Parents of students aged 13 through Grade 12 will be eligible for a $200 one-time payment to offset education expenses under the province’s Support for Learners program. It will be open to public, private and home schooled students. You will have to apply next month to receive the money.
- The Eastern Ontario Health Unit will be testing sewage as part of monitoring for COVID-19 in the community. The pilot project will likely be in Hawkesbury, Cornwall, Rockland and Morrisburg, among other locations. Checking sewage, like the City of Ottawa has done, and helped researchers see trends on the spread of the virus within the community.
- Saint Regis Mohawk Health Services received its first 200 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on Monday. Following U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, the first shots will be given to front line health care workers, police officers and other front line workers as early as next week. It’s been 280 days since a state of emergency was declared in Akwesasne.
- Premier Doug Ford says if the federal government won’t start testing travellers at Ontario points of entry of travellers coming back to Canada, Ontario will. Federal Public Safety Minister Bill Blair defends the border controls and quarantine requirements in place right now saying they are among the strictest in the world.
- Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam says a more infectious strain of COVID-19 spreading through the United Kingdom has not been detected in this country. Officials are putting steps in place (genome sequencing networks) in order to detect it.
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