Newswatch COVID-19 Digest: Saturday February 27, 2021

Here are the latest local, regional and national headlines on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for Saturday, February 27, 2021:

  • There have been 298,569 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Ontario, an increase of 1,258 (or 0.4 per cent) from the previous day. There are 281,331 people recovered from the virus while 6,944 people have died. The number of Ontario people tested is 10,936,552 of which 35,502 have pending results.
  • Canada’s coronavirus case total is 861,472. The country has 21,915 deaths from the virus – one in the Yukon, one in Nunavut, 1,355 in British Columbia, 1,877 in Alberta, 380 in Saskatchewan, 889 in Manitoba, 6,944 in Ontario, 10,372 in Quebec, 26 in New Brunswick, five in Newfoundland & Labrador and 65 in Nova Scotia.
  • The Eastern Ontario Health Unit area added seven cases on Friday – three in Prescott-Russell, two in SD&G and two in Cornwall – to bring the regional total to 2,776 cases, of which 116 are active (eight more than Thursday) and 2,593 are resolved (one fewer [correct] than Thursday). There’s 67 deaths to date. Five people are in hospital and none in the ICU (one fewer than Thursday). There are eight active institutional outbreaks (no change). Testing increased by 547 to 110,163. The breakdown of cases is: Prescott-Russell 1,204 cases (31 active), SD&G 628 cases (34 active), Cornwall 725 cases (29 active) and Akwesasne (ON/QC) 219 cases (22 active).
  • The EOHU has confirmed four cases involving COVID-19 variants of concern. Three are at a St. Albert cheese factory and the fourth is in the community. Read that story by clicking here.
  • With the three confirmed variant cases, the St. Albert Cheese Coop has closed its factory for the weekend. The store was closed Friday but is expected to open today (Saturday). The health unit says an investigation is underway.
  • A Cornwall gym says two of its members have tested positive for COVID-19. In an email to members, Caveman Strong on Water Street says those members were last in the facility on Monday in the strength and conditioning area. While mats are sanitized daily, the gym is closed over the weekend to allow a crew to “deeply clean and sanitize every corner and equipment.” The Eastern Ontario Health Unit confirms one positive case at the gym but it has not declared an outbreak. “We are actively communicating with all individuals who have been identified as possible close contacts to this case. We are also working with the facility to ensure all public health measures are in place,” the health unit said in a statement to Cornwall Newswatch.
  • The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit added one new case Friday to bring the regional total to 860 confirmed cases, of which 10 are active (one fewer than Thursday) and 796 are recovered (two more than Thursday). There are 54 deaths to date. Three people are in hospital, including one in ICU on a ventilator. There are two active institutional outbreaks. The community case breakdown is: Lanark County East 148 cases (one active), Lanark County West 164 cases (two active), Leeds-Grenville Central 96 cases (one active), Leeds-Grenville East 126 cases (three active) and Leeds-Grenville West 123 cases (one active).
  • Vaccines: Ontario 643,765 (+21,805); EOHU 5,921 (last update Feb. 24); LGL 2,954 individuals with at least 1 shot (last update Feb. 22).
  • The Ontario government is pulling the so-called “emergency brake” on two health units based on the latest health indicators. The Simcoe-Muskoka and Thunder Bay District Health Units are moving in the grey-lockdown framework Monday. In the case of Simcoe-Muskoka, it has the highest number of COVID-19 variants in Ontario at 170.
  • Health Canada has approved the AstraZeneca vaccine. With the Friday approval, the country now has three approved vaccines. Canada has pre-ordered 20 million doses. There are two other vaccines going through the regulatory process from Johnson & Johnson and Novavax.
  • The Cornwall courthouse now requires you to wear a medical-grade mask when entering the building at 29 Second Street West. The masks are supplied. The new rule for an ASTM Level 3 mask came from the Ministry of the Attorney General and took effect Tuesday.
  • The Ontario government is reforming some rules around child care in order to get parents back to work. Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced the amendments Friday, which will take effect Monday, March 8. They include an exemption for certain authorized providers from the three hour operating limit. The ministry will no longer require child care operations to seek ministry approval for older children to bring meals from home.
  • The head of a Winnipeg downtown business association told city council as many as 37 businesses have closed for good since the pandemic started.
  • A group of health care professionals in Alberta are asking the government not to ease restrictions. The Edmonton Zone Medical Staff Association is actually insisting that rules be tightened.

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