Here are the latest local, regional and national headlines on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for Friday, March 12, 2021:
- There have been 313,520 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Ontario, an increase of 1,092 (or 0.3 per cent) from the previous day. There are 295,128 people recovered from the virus while 7,109 people have died. The number of Ontario people tested is 11,584,449 of which 42,033 have pending results.
- Canada’s coronavirus case total is 899,757. The country has 22,371 deaths from the virus – one in the Yukon, one in Nunavut, 1,397 in British Columbia, 1,933 in Alberta, 401 in Saskatchewan, 911 in Manitoba, 7,109 in Ontario, 10,518 in Quebec, 29 in New Brunswick, six in Newfoundland & Labrador and 65 in Nova Scotia.
- The Eastern Ontario Health Unit area added 10 cases on Thursday – three in Prescott-Russell, two in SD&G and five in Cornwall – to bring the regional total to 2,943 cases, of which 159 are active (four fewer than Wednesday) and 2,715 are resolved (14 more than Wednesday). There are 69 deaths to date. Eight people are in hospital (one more than Wednesday) and one in the ICU (up one from Wednesday). There are eight active institutional outbreaks (down one from Wednesday). Testing was up 1,428 to 114,584. The breakdown of cases is: Prescott-Russell 1,240 cases (37 active), SD&G 668 cases (45 active), Cornwall 789 cases (71 active) and Akwesasne (ON/QC) 246 cases (six active).
- The EOHU region has seen a six-fold increase in COVID-19 variants of concern. Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis says almost all of them are due to people carrying the infection back from Ottawa. Click here to read more.
- The health unit is finishing the first phase of its vaccine program. It’s had six invite-only clinic across the regions – three were running Thursday. They are reserved for health care workers, first responders and those 80 years old and older receiving chronic home care. Second doses to remaining retirement homes will happen next week. On Monday, the health unit will open for appointments for community members 80 years old and older. The second phase of vaccination is expected to start in April.
- The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit added another 11 cases on Thursday – the second time in as many days – to bring the regional total to 953 confirmed cases, of which 66 are active (one more than Wednesday) and 833 are recovered (10 more than Wednesday). There are 54 deaths to date. No one is in hospital. There is one active institutional outbreak (Perth Community Care). The community case breakdown is: Lanark County East 205 cases (37 active), Lanark County West 188 cases (17 active), Leeds-Grenville Central 99 cases (three active), Leeds-Grenville East 132 cases (six active) and Leeds-Grenville West 125 cases (two active).
- Vaccines: Ontario 1,019,407 (+40,610, updated daily); EOHU 13,514 (last update March 11, +708 from previous update March 10); LGL 6,725 individuals with at least 1 shot (last update March 8, +1,929 from previous update March 1).
- Health advisers say Ontario’s ability to control the spread of variants will determine what kind of summer we will have. While deaths and illness in long-term care have declined, outside that group the progress has stalled.
- Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy says the province will deliver its 2021 budget on Wednesday, March 24. It’s the second COVID-19 related budget. Bethlenfalvy says the province is forecast to spend 25 billion more than the last fiscal year, while not cutting services or raising taxes.
- B.C. is allowing outdoor gatherings up to 10 people. But restrictions around indoor gatherings, bars, restaurants, retails and other venues will remain in place. Private social gatherings are not allowed other than the people who live under the same roof – and that includes the back yard. The province had 569 new cases Thursday and three more deaths.
- Flags flew at half staff and tributes poured in for the families of COVID-19 victims as the country recognized the one year anniversary Thursday (March 11) of the global pandemic.
- Moderna is now giving booster shots to some people as it tests a vaccine that covers the B1351 variant (which originated in South Africa).
- Norway, Denmark and Iceland health authorities have temporarily suspended using the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine after reports of blood clots in some people. Europe’s medicine regulator maintains the vaccine benefits outweigh the risks, according to Reuters.
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