Newswatch COVID-19 Digest: Friday March 19, 2021

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

  • There have been 323,509 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Ontario, an increase of 1,553 (or 0.5 per cent) from the previous day. There are 303,493 people recovered from the virus while 7,202 people have died. The number of Ontario people tested is 11,925,298 of which 32,330 have pending results.
  • Canada’s coronavirus case total is 922,848. The country has 22,590 deaths from the virus – one in the Yukon, four in Nunavut, 1,419 in British Columbia, 1,957 in Alberta, 411 in Saskatchewan, 918 in Manitoba, 7,202 in Ontario, 10,576 in Quebec, 30 in New Brunswick, six in Newfoundland & Labrador and 65 in Nova Scotia.
  • Nunavut’s death count jumped from one to four on Thursday. A government news release said the deaths were among 12 cases diagnosed in Manitoba in December and January and were just now credited to the Nunavut statistics, according to Nunatsiaq News. The first death happened Dec. 19, 2020 after a man from Arviat died in a Winnipeg hospital.
  • The Eastern Ontario Health Unit area added 17 cases Thursday – seven in Prescott-Russell, seven in SD&G and three in Cornwall – to bring the regional total of 3,036 cases, of which 152 are active (29 fewer than Wednesday) and 2,815 are resolved (46 more than Wednesday). There are 69 deaths to date. Twenty-one people are in hospital (one more than Wednesday) and three in the ICU (one fewer than Wednesday). There are eight active institutional outbreaks (one fewer than Wednesday). Testing increased by 572 to 117,543. The breakdown of cases is: Prescott-Russell 1,256 cases (29 active), SD&G 696 cases (45 active), Cornwall 832 cases (72 active) and Akwesasne (ON/QC) 252 cases (six active).
  • The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit added 21 cases on Thursday to bring the regional total to 1,053 confirmed cases, of which 99 are active (five more than Wednesday) and 900 are recovered (16 more than Wednesday). There are 54 deaths to date. One person is in hospital. There is one active institutional outbreak (Perth Community Care). The community case breakdown is: Lanark County East 227 cases (25 active), Lanark County West 241 cases (51 active), Leeds-Grenville Central 110 cases (nine active), Leeds-Grenville East 136 cases (seven active) and Leeds-Grenville West 133 cases (seven active).
  • Vaccines: Ontario 1,359,453 (+58,119, updated daily); EOHU 16,335 (last update March 17, +184 from previous update March 16); LGL 10,251 individuals with at least 1 shot (last update March 15, +3,526 from previous update March 8).
  • The Eastern Ontario Health Unit has received a cumulative total of 22,000 vaccine doses as of Thursday and has given between 17,500 and 18,000 shots. It’s expecting another 24,000 doses over the next five weeks. The health unit has moved 14 clinics at the Cornwall Civic Complex over to Cornwall Square due to mobility issues for the 80 and older crowd. Cornwall clinics will eventually transition to the Benson Center as the health unit moves to other segments of the general population.
  • At least 30 drug stores in Cornwall, SD&G and Prescott-Russell have expressed interest in giving the COVID-19 vaccine as part of the second vaccination phase, according to local Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis. Right now, shots given at drug stores are only happening in Toronto, Kingston and Windsor.
  • The Ottawa Public Health Unit region is moving to the red-control restriction level immediately. The government says it’s being done at the request of Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches due to “concerning trends” in public health indicators. The new measure took effect at 12:01 a.m. this morning (Friday).
  • Another extension for non-essential border travel between Canada and the U.S. Federal Safety Minister Bill Blair tweeted the restriction, which has been in place since March 2020, is further extended until April 21.
  • The local Catholic school board says at least one case was reported Wednesday at Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic School in Ingleside. The board says there is no change to the school or classes. Since the start of school during the pandemic, CDSBEO has had 49 cases, of which nine are active.
  • Premier Doug Ford says nearly half of all Ontarians 80 years old and older have received at least their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Quebec’s health minister received the AstraZeneca vaccine on Thursday. A European Medicines Agency says a review found no evidence the shot raises the risk of blood clots. While some European counties suspected use of the vaccine, Canada did not.
  • The federal head of the vaccine task force, Maj. Gen. Dany Fortin, says the country is taking stock of enough vaccine to make sure every eligible Canadian has their first shot by Canada Day.
  • U.S. President Joe Biden says they have reached a milestone ahead of schedule – 100 million Americans vaccinated before his first 100 days in office. But Biden is urging residents not to let their guard down. The U.S. is giving Canada 1.5 million doses of AstraZeneca and there’s 2.5 million going to Mexico. Ontario Premier Doug Ford was elated at the news Thursday afternoon.

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