Here are the latest local, regional and national headlines on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for Tuesday, March 2, 2021:
- There have been 301,839 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Ontario, an increase of 1,023 (or 0.3 per cent) from the previous day. There are 284,283 people recovered from the virus while 6,986 people have died. The number of Ontario people tested is 11,080,168 of which 13,416 have pending results.
- Canada’s coronavirus case total is 870,033. The country has 22,017 deaths from the virus – one in the Yukon, one in Nunavut, 1,363 in British Columbia, 1,888 in Alberta, 385 in Saskatchewan, 896 in Manitoba, 6,986 in Ontario, 10,399 in Quebec, 27 in New Brunswick, six in Newfoundland & Labrador and 65 in Nova Scotia.
- The Eastern Ontario Health Unit added 28 cases over the weekend – eight in Prescott-Russell, five in SD&G, seven in Cornwall and eight in Akwesasne – to bring the regional total to 2,804 cases on Monday, of which 129 are active (13 more than Friday) and 2,608 are resolved (15 more than Friday). There are 67 deaths to date. Six people are in hospital (one more than Friday), none in the ICU. There are six active institutional outbreaks (two fewer than Friday). Testing was up 513 to 110,676. The breakdown of cases is: Prescott-Russell 1,212 cases (36 active), SD&G 633 cases (34 active), Cornwall 732 cases (32 active) and Akwesasne (ON/QC) 227 cases (27 active).
- It could be up to a week-and-a-half before we know what COVID-19 variant of concern (VOC) was involved in sickening three employees at the St. Albert Cheese Cooperative. Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis says it takes 7-10 days for lab results on whether it’s the U.K., Brazilian, South African or some other strain. There are four confirmed VOCs in the region (point below came after latest update from medical officer of health). Roumeliotis says there were 11 high-risk contacts at the cheese factory, who are self-isolating for two weeks. “I’m happy to say it’s contained.”
- The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne’s Department of Health says it’s received confirmation of at least one variant case in the northern portion of the territory. The health department did not say what strain of the variant it is. But it says “individuals who have tested positive for the COVID-19 variant have been in isolation and following community health guidelines.”
- The Eastern Ontario Health Unit has received its allotment of three tray of Pfizer vaccines (about 3,300 doses). It’s expected to receive the same next week and the following week. Roumeliotis says a “substantial” amount of Moderna vaccine should be here by the end of the week. The health unit is setting up “multiple” vaccination sites and is looking at community arenas as one option. Roumeliotis identified Rockland, Casselman and Cornwall as locations for “fixed clinics” for health care providers and essential staff and essential visitors.
- The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit added six cases over the weekend to bring Monday’s total to 866 confirmed cases, of which 14 are active (four more than Friday) and 798 are recovered (two more than Friday). There are 54 deaths to date. Three people are in hospital, including one in ICU on a ventilator. There is one active institutional outbreak (Lombard Manor declared over Feb. 26). The community case breakdown is: Lanark County East 152 cases (five active), Lanark County West 166 cases (three 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 704,695 (+17,424, updated daily); EOHU 7,274 (last update March 1, +452 from previous update Feb. 26); LGL 4,796 individuals with at least 1 shot (last update March 1, +1,842 from previous update Feb. 22).
- The provincial government announced money for transit system in Brockville and Cornwall to deal with financial trouble due to the coronavirus.
- A Cornwall Catholic high school has at least one confirmed case of COVID-19. The Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario announced Monday that one class at St. Matthew Catholic Secondary School has been closed as a result.
- The provincial government is spending just over $14 million on nearly 300 Seniors Active Living Centers. The virtual programs, like online crafts and virtual fitness programming, are allowing seniors to be safe and socially connected during the pandemic.
- The committee overseeing newly approved COVID-19 vaccines in Canada is not recommending the AstraZeneca vaccine for seniors. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization is not recommending the shot be used on people over the age of 65 because there’s not enough evidence to show it works effectively on that age group.
- British Columbia has extended the time between first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccines to four months. It’s meant to free up more medicine so others can get their first shot.
- Alberta is removing some economic restrictions. Premier Jason Kenney announced Monday that low intensity activities, like Pilates, can resume. Libraries are at 15 per cent capacity. But it’s not the same for hotels, retail and community centers that are still under tight control.
- The World Health Organization believes it’s premature to think the coronavirus pandemic will be a history by the end of the year. The head of the emergencies program believes the virus remains in control right now but the world needs to focus on keeping transmission as low as possible.
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