Newswatch COVID-19 Digest: Thursday December 24, 2020

Here are the latest local, regional and national headlines on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for Thursday, December 24, 2020:

  • There have been 162,663 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Ontario, an increase of 2,408 (or 1.5 per cent) from the previous day. There are 139,010 people recovered from the virus while 4,229 people have died. The number of Ontario people tested is 7,527,962 of which 66,976 have pending results.
  • Canada’s coronavirus case total is 528,354. The country has 14,597 deaths from the virus – one in the Yukon, 796 in British Columbia, 890 in Alberta, 130 in Saskatchewan, 605 in Manitoba, 4,229 in Ontario, 7,867 in Quebec, eight in New Brunswick, four in Newfoundland & Labrador and 65 in Nova Scotia.
  • The Eastern Ontario Health Unit region added 28 cases on Wednesday to bring the regional total to 1,251 confirmed cases, of which 238 are active (12 fewer than Tuesday) and 980 are resolved (39 more than Tuesday). The number of deaths is 33, one more than Tuesday. 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). Testing increased by 414 to 92,030. The breakdown of cases is: Prescott-Russell 745 cases (131 active), SD&G 243 cases (51 active), Cornwall 223 cases (55 active) and Akwesasne (ON/QC) 40 cases (one active).
  • The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit had no new cases Wednesday to remain at 640 confirmed cases, of which 28 are active and 559 are recovered. 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).
  • Health Canada has approved the Moderna vaccine. The first doses are expected to be delivered by Christmas. It’s the second vaccine approved after Pfizer-BioNTech’s shot was given the green light earlier this month. Canada is expected to receive 168,000 Moderna doses this month and 40 million by the end of next year. The shot is expected to roll out within days.
  • The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne offices will be closed starting today (Dec. 24) until Jan. 1, 2021 and then from New Year’s Day until Jan. 25 only essential services will be operating under the provincial lockdown.
  • The travel restriction for passengers from the United Kingdom, which started Sunday, will be extended for another two weeks until Jan. 6. The 72-hour ban was set to expire on Wednesday.
  • The number of COVID-19 cases in British Columbia is levelling off but the province’s top doctor is telling people it’s not time to relax on public health rules. There were 518 new infections on Wednesday and 19 more deaths.
  • U.S. President Donald Trump wants Americans to receive $2,000 each under the COVID-19 relief bill and not the $600 currently planned. The proposal goes to a Christmas Eve vote. Trump has suggested he might not sign the bill.

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