Newswatch COVID-19 Digest: Thursday February 18, 2021

Here are the latest local, regional and national headlines on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for Thursday, February 18, 2021:

  • There have been 288,583 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Ontario, an increase of 847 (or 0.3 per cent) from the previous day. There are 270,869 people recovered from the virus while 6,729 people have died. The number of Ontario people tested is 10,467,249 of which 33,730 have pending results.
  • Canada’s coronavirus case total is 834,182. The country has 21,435 deaths from the virus – one in the Yukon, one in Nunavut, 1,317 in British Columbia, 1,798 in Alberta, 362 in Saskatchewan, 876 in Manitoba, 6,729 in Ontario, 10,258 in Quebec, 24 in New Brunswick, four in Newfoundland & Labrador and 65 in Nova Scotia.
  • The Eastern Ontario Health Unit area added nine cases on Wednesday – five in SD&G and four in Cornwall – to bring the regional total to 2,664 cases. The number of active cases dropped by five to 112 while resolved cases were up 12 to 2,486. Sixty-six people have died, two more than Tuesday. There are 11 people in hospital (down five from Tuesday) and one in ICU. There are 10 active institutional outbreaks (one fewer than Tuesday). Testing increased by 387 to 106,981. The breakdown of cases is: Prescott-Russell 1,173 cases (20 active), SD&G 607 cases (42 active), Cornwall 707 cases (39 active) and Akwesasne (ON/QC) 177 cases (11 active).
  • The Eastern Ontario Health Unit says people in the same household of someone identified as a high-risk contact of a person who tests positive for COVID-19 will have to isolate for two weeks, except for essential reasons. The new isolation measure is to address the very contagious virus variants. The new rule based on ministry guidelines is effective immediately.
  • Someone at the Cornwall campus of the TR Leger School has tested positive for COVID-19. Parents, staff and students were notified Wednesday. The health unit is doing contact tracing. The school board says the campus remains open and is operating on a regular schedule.
  • The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit added three newly confirmed cases on Wednesday to bring the regional total to 849 total confirmed cases, of which 14 are active (one fewer than Tuesday, individual area count shows 13 active) and 781 are recovered (four more than Tuesday). Fifty-four people have died to date. There are two people in hospital, one in the ICU on a ventilator. There is one active institutional outbreak (Lombard Manor). The community case breakdown is: Lanark County East 147 cases (zero active), Lanark County West 159 cases (seven active), Leeds-Grenville Central 95 cases (zero active), Leeds-Grenville East 122 cases (two active) and Leeds-Grenville West 123 cases (three active).
  • LGL health unit staff are giving first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to staff and caregivers in long-term care homes and high risk retirement homes this week. The health unit is also finalizing a plan for four vaccination sites in Brockville, Kemptville, Smiths Falls and Almonte. Nearly 900 people received a shot last week and just over 50 got their second shot. First doses for nursing and high risk retirement homes were completed last week.
  • The City of Brockville is reopening various facilities under the new green-prevent framework, starting today (Feb. 18). They include city hall, the police station, library, Brockville Memorial Center, museum, cemetery and the P&G Pavilion Rotary Rink. City hall meetings are by appointment. The waterworks facilities, fire stations, arts center and youth arena remain closed.
  • Weather in the United States is throwing a wrench in vaccine deliveries. The Pfizer vaccine is delivered by UPS from Belgium but goes through its hub in Kentucky. The Louisville facility closed Monday after the city got 15 centimeters of snow. Health Canada says that will put deliveries a day behind schedule.
  • Health Canada is still seeking more clinical data from the makers of the AstraZeneca vaccine and are not ready to approve it, despite the WHO giving it approval Monday. If it’s approved, Canada could get half a million doses next month.
  • There’s another 44 confirmed and 21 presumptive cases of COVID-19 in Newfoundland and Labrador Wednesday. The caseload is better than a week ago when new cases were 100 a day.

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