Newswatch COVID-19 Digest: Tuesday February 23, 2021

Here are the latest local, regional and national headlines on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for Tuesday, February 23, 2021:

  • There have been 294,144 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Ontario, an increase of 1,058 (or 0.4 per cent) from the previous day. There are 276,937 people recovered from the virus while 6,872 people have died. The number of Ontario people tested is 10,725,321 of which 11,883 have pending results.
  • Canada’s coronavirus case total is 849,517. The country has 21,723 deaths from the virus – one in the Yukon, one in Nunavut, 1,335 in British Columbia, 1,843 in Alberta, 372 in Saskatchewan, 886 in Manitoba, 6,872 in Ontario, 10,318 in Quebec, 26 in New Brunswick, four in Newfoundland & Labrador and 65 in Nova Scotia.
  • The Eastern Ontario Health Unit area added 12 cases on Monday – eight in Prescott-Russell, two in SD&G and two in Cornwall – to bring the regional total to 2,713 cases, of which 106 are active (24 fewer than Friday) and 2,540 are resolved (36 more than Friday). Sixty-seven people have died to date. There are three people in hospital, eight fewer than Friday, and none in ICU (down one from Friday). There are nine active institutional outbreaks. Testing increased by 299 to 108,056. The breakdown of cases is: Prescott-Russell 1,190 cases (24 active), SD&G 615 cases (30 active), Cornwall 712 cases (25 active) and Akwesasne (ON/QC) 196 cases (27 active).
  • Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis says residents and staff in 22 retirement facilities across the region received vaccines over the weekend. In total, over 800 shots were given “which is unbelievable.” There are still 14 of the 36 retirement homes to visit, which will complete the first round of vaccines for all congregate senior living, Roumeliotis says.
  • The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit added two newly confirmed cases over the weekend to bring the regional total to 854 confirmed cases, of which 10 are active (four fewer than Friday) and 790 are recovered (six more than Friday). Fifty-four people have died to date. There are two people in hospital, including one in the ICU on a ventilator. There are two active institutional outbreaks. The community case breakdown is: Lanark County East 147 cases (zero active), Lanark County West 164 cases (five active), Leeds-Grenville Central 95 cases (zero active), Leeds-Grenville East 123 cases (two active) and Leeds-Grenville West 123 cases (two active).
  • The LGL health unit will have a “soft launch” of mass vaccination sites in Brockville, Kemptville, Smiths Falls and Almonte this week. The health unit continues with its vaccine plan, including second doses or priority groups that need them and first doses for staff and caregivers in long-term care homes and high risk retirement homes. As of Monday, there have been 2,954 people in the region who have received at least one shot.
  • A half dozen branches of the SD&G Library opened to in-branch services on Monday (Feb. 22) . They are Alexandria, Crysler, Ingleside, Lancaster, Morrisburg and Winchester. The county says “short stays” beyond using the computer and browsing the collections is still not allowed. Curbside service continues at the other branches.
  • Staff at Winchester District Memorial Hospital started receiving the COVID-19 vaccine on Friday (Feb. 19). The hospital says 84 staff and doctors got the shot. Others got their first shot last week at Dundas Manor.
  • The Ontario government is spending just over $4 million to train nearly 400 personal support workers (PSWs). The money will go to three schools to handle the training for the future workers in long-term care homes.
  • A person at Seaway District High School in Iroquois has tested positive. Contact tracing is underway. The school is operating normally.
  • Akwesasne’s board of education says it doesn’t have any supply teachers – because they’re all working through remote education to keep class sizes small. A board official says right now they receive 1-5 calls daily for contact tracing, which would close classes or a school if sessions were in person. “If we were in session, we would be losing staff members and we do not have supply teachers at this time,” the official told parents last week. AMBE hasn’t had classrooms open since October. The board plans return to class under a “hybrid model” April 12.
  • The days of COVID-19 electricity relief have come to an end. The Ontario Energy Board says time-of-use and tiered pricing resumes today (Tuesday). That affects Hydro One customers and those on Rideau St. Lawrence Distribution. The government had locked hydro rates at 8.5 cents per kilowatt hour around the clock since Jan. 1 during the stay-at-home order.
  • Cornwall Mayor Bernadette Clement says “we are happy to be in orange” category for public health restrictions but she reminded the public there are “obligations” as far as public health measures. Clement made the comments at the opening of the city council meeting Monday night.

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