Newswatch COVID-19 Digest: Friday February 26, 2021

Here are the latest local, regional and national headlines on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for Friday, February 26, 2021:

  • There have been 297,311 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Ontario, an increase of 1,138 (or 0.4 per cent) from the previous day. There are 280,324 people recovered from the virus while 6,916 people have died. The number of Ontario people tested is 10,872,503 of which 40,639 have pending results.
  • Canada’s coronavirus case total is 858,217. The country has 21,865 deaths from the virus – one in the Yukon, one in Nunavut, 1,348 in British Columbia, 1,874 in Alberta, 380 in Saskatchewan, 888 in Manitoba, 6,916 in Ontario, 10,361 in Quebec, 26 in New Brunswick, five in Newfoundland & Labrador and 65 in Nova Scotia.
  • The Eastern Ontario Health Unit area added 10 cases on Thursday – three in Prescott-Russell, three in SD&G and four in Cornwall – to bring the regional total to 2,769 cases, of which 108 are active (six more than Wednesday) and 2,594 are resolved (four more than Wednesday). There’s 67 deaths to date. Five people are in hospital (two more than Wednesday) and one in the ICU (no change). There are eight active institutional outbreaks (no change). Testing increased by 455 to 109,616. The breakdown of cases is: Prescott-Russell 1,201 cases (28 active), SD&G 626 cases (32 active), Cornwall 723 cases (26 active) and Akwesasne (ON/QC) 219 cases (22 active).
  • The local medical officer of health for Eastern Ontario says there’s likely two cases of the highly transmissible COVID-19 variant in the region. Read that story by clicking here.
  • The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit added three new cases on Thursday to bring the regional total to 859 confirmed cases, of which 11 are active (two more than Wednesday) and 794 are recovered (one more than Wednesday). There are 54 deaths to date. Three people are in hospital (one fewer than Wednesday), including one in ICU. There are two active institutional outbreaks. The community case breakdown is: Lanark County East 148 cases (one active), Lanark County West 164 cases (three active), Leeds-Grenville Central 96 cases (one active), Leeds-Grenville East 125 cases (three active) and Leeds-Grenville West 123 cases (one active).
  • Vaccines: Ontario 621,960 (+19,112); EOHU 5,921 (no change from Wednesday); LGL 2,954 individuals with at least 1 shot (last update Feb. 22).
  • Over 1,300 staff, doctors and volunteers at Brockville General Hospital started receiving their vaccines on Thursday. CEO Nick Vlacholias called it “a historical day for BGH.” Registered Nurse Jasmine Guest was the first high priority health care workers to get the vaccine at BGH.
  • The latest modelling from the Ontario government shows it’s likely 40 per cent of cases by the second week of March will be caused by a COVID-19 variant. Under worst cases, there will be 4,000 cases daily. A best case scenario would see 500 daily cases by the end of next month.
  • The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe says two community members are in hospital with “severe symptoms” of COVID-19 as the territory reported two new active cases on Wednesday for a total of 49 active cases. Three people have died to date.
  • St. Lawrence County (which includes Massena, Potsdam and Canton) surpassed 6,000 COVID-19 cases on Thursday with 86 new cases to reach 6,061 confirmed cases of the virus. It was three weeks ago (Feb. 4) the county surpassed 5,000. There have been 81 deaths to date and 17 people are in hospital. The areas with the most active cases are Gouverneur (86), Potsdam (75), Massena (74) and Ogdensburg (57).
  • The maker of the Pfizer vaccine has asked Health Canada to change the label, saying that it can be stored in regular freezers for up to two weeks. The safer storage protocol means it can be used more easily.
  • Quebecers 85 years of age and older were able to start registering Thursday to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Ontario seniors 80 and older can’t register until March 15.
  • The number of people in U.S. hospitals has dropped by 80,000 over the past six weeks. Roughly a fifth of the adult population has received the vaccine.

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