Newswatch COVID-19 Digest: Thursday January 21, 2021

Here are the latest local, regional and national headlines on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for Thursday, January 21, 2021:

  • There have been 244,932 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Ontario, an increase of 2,655 (or 1.1 per cent) from the previous day. There are 212,897 people recovered from the virus while 5,568 people have died. The number of Ontario people tested is 9,054,585 of which 48,963 have pending results.
  • Canada’s coronavirus case total is 725,495. The country has 18,462 deaths from the virus – one in the Yukon, one in Nunavut, 1,104 in British Columbia, 1,484 in Alberta, 226 in Saskatchewan, 788 in Manitoba, 5,568 in Ontario, 9,208 in Quebec, 13 in New Brunswick, four in Newfoundland & Labrador and 65 in Nova Scotia.
  • The Eastern Ontario Health Unit added 25 cases on Wednesday to bring the regional total to 2,253 confirmed cases. There were six in Prescott-Russell, eight in SD&G and 11 in Cornwall. Of all cases, 560 are active (18 fewer than Tuesday) and 1,645 are resolved (41 more than Tuesday). There were two more deaths – the second time in as many days – bringing the total to 48. The number of people in hospital dropped by one to 26. Patients in ICU stands at six. Active institutional outbreaks remains at 16. Testing increased by 384 to 99,155. The breakdown of cases is: Prescott-Russell 1,070 cases (153 active), SD&G 476 cases (145 active), Cornwall 583 cases (228 active) and Akwesasne (ON/QC) 124 cases (34 active).
  • The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit added two newly confirmed cases on Tuesday to bring the regional total to 778. There are 20 active (three fewer than Tuesday) and 704 recovered (five more than Tuesday). The number of deaths to date is 54. There are two people in hospital, one more than Tuesday, including one in the ICU. There are no active institutional outbreaks (Kemptville Retirement Living declared over Jan. 19). The community case breakdown is: Lanark County East 132 cases (10 active), Lanark County West 135 cases (two active), Leeds-Grenville Central 82 cases (three active), Leeds-Grenville East 116 cases (four active) and Leeds-Grenville West 113 cases (one active).
  • Students in Leeds-Grenville and Lanark will return to in-person learning on Monday (Jan. 25) as well as six other health unit areas. Education Minister Stephen Lecce made the announcement Wednesday. The Eastern Ontario Health Unit and Ottawa Public Health areas will not and will continue with remote learning. There’s been no timeline set for when they will return to class.
  • After the blitz on big box stores, the Ontario government is expanding its inspection blitzes of essential businesses to include more types of establishments. It started on Tuesday with 300 dedicated officers to do inspections. Restaurants providing take-out meals, essential service sector places like gas stations and farming operations will be looked at. During last week’s inspections, inspectors in the hot zones visited 240 big box stores and found 76 contraventions. Sixty-nine per cent of the stores were following the law. Among the 11 regions inspectors plan to visit is Leeds, Grenville and Lanark.
  • The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe reported four new cases of COVID-19 in the territory Wednesday to bring the total positive cases to 129. There are 21 active cases, 48 people in isolation and 114 recovered.
  • The restrictions in Alberta that have been in place for a couple of months appear to be working, according to the province’s chief medical health officer. Dr. Deena Hinshaw is encouraged by the positivity rate, which has dropped to 4.5 per cent from 11 per cent in early December. The province had 669 new cases and 21 deaths reported Wednesday.
  • The new director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is coming into the agency at a time when the department has been on the sidelines and the death toll from coronavirus has surpassed 400,000. Dr. Rochelle Walensky is taking the new role.
  • As part of his first order of business, U.S. President Joe Biden signed 17 executive orders – the first being a mandatory masking rule on federal property.

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