Here are the latest local, regional and national headlines on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for Tuesday, December 29, 2020:
- Ontario statistics were not updated Monday in statutory observance of Boxing Day. As of Sunday there had been 171,416 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 147,178 people recovered and 4,377 deaths. The number of Ontario people tested was just over 7.7 million.
- Canada’s coronavirus case total is 555,207. The country has 15,121 deaths from the virus – one in the Yukon, one in Nunavut, 808 in British Columbia, 1,002 in Alberta, 141 in Saskatchewan, 654 in Manitoba, 4,377 in Ontario, 8,060 in Quebec, eight in New Brunswick, four in Newfoundland & Labrador and 65 in Nova Scotia.
- With 37 new deaths reported in Quebec, Canada surpassed 15,000 deaths related to COVID-19.
- The Eastern Ontario Health Unit region added 58 cases since Christmas Eve to bring the regional total to 1,326 confirmed cases on Monday, of which 274 are active (28 more since Dec. 24) and 1,019 are resolved (30 more than Dec. 24). The number of deaths is 33. Seven people are in hospital, including two in ICU. There are 11 active outbreaks (includes nursing and retirement homes, lodging homes, group homes, schools and daycare). Testing increased by 259 since Dec. 24 to 92,289. The breakdown of cases is: Prescott-Russell 789 cases (149 active), SD&G 258 cases (58 active), Cornwall 239 cases (66 active) and Akwesasne (ON/QC) 40 cases (one active).
- There was no update to statistics Monday for the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit. The last known reported data was from Dec. 20. It still stands 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).
- The head of Ontario’s COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force will be providing an update later this morning (Tuesday) on the vaccine rollout. Retired General Rick Hillier will hold a news conference at 11 a.m. at Queen’s Park.
- The head of the World Health Organization says the new variants of COVID-19 are a cause for concern and countries should be testing for them. Chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says the variants don’t appear to be any worse when it comes to severity of illness.
- U.S. President Donald Trump signed the $900 billion pandemic relief bill. Trump wanted Americans to get $2,000 cheques but many Republicans did not, meaning residents will get $600 cheques.
- Final-stage testing has started in the United States on a fifth COVID-19 vaccine – Novavax. About 30,000 volunteers are needed to prove the drug’s safety and effectiveness. The vaccine is different than Pfizer and Moderna in how it protects people from the virus.
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