Newswatch COVID-19 Digest: Tuesday March 23, 2021

Here are the latest local, regional and national headlines on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for Tuesday, March 23, 2021:

  • There have been 330,573 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Ontario, an increase of 1,699 (or 0.5 per cent) from the previous day. There are 308,578 people recovered from the virus while 7,244 people have died. The number of Ontario people tested is 12,113,837 of which 14,407 have pending results.
  • Canada’s coronavirus case total is 938,719. The country has 22,716 deaths from the virus – one in the Yukon, four in Nunavut, 1,437 in British Columbia, 1,968 in Alberta, 418 in Saskatchewan, 928 in Manitoba, 7,244 in Ontario, 10,614 in Quebec, 30 in New Brunswick, six in Newfoundland & Labrador and 66 in Nova Scotia.
  • The Eastern Ontario Health Unit added 71 cases over the weekend – 17 in Prescott-Russell, 30 in SD&G and 24 in Cornwall – to bring the regional total of 3,134 cases (Note: Change in cumulative total cases is 72 but reported change in cases is 71 – no explanation given), of which 227 are active (56 more than Friday) and 2,838 are resolved (16 more than Friday). There are 69 deaths to date (no change). Thirty-eight people are in hospital (16 more than Friday) and six in the ICU (no change). There are eight active institutional outbreaks (two more than Friday). Testing increased by 607 to 118,657. The breakdown of cases is: Prescott-Russell 1,287 cases (54 active), SD&G 732 cases (74 active), Cornwall 863 cases (93 active) and Akwesasne (ON/QC) 252 cases (six active).
  • Nearly a fifth of all confirmed coronavirus cases in the Eastern Ontario Health Unit area to date are caught within the community. Statistics released Monday by the health unit show a quarter are caught by other members in the same household while 56 are in congregate living settings. Of those community contractions, only 10 per cent are in schools.
  • EOHU Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis is pleading with people to be civil and polite with contact tracers. Roumeliotis says his staff have been “yelled at, screamed at, abusive language, swearing and so on to them. Our staff literally sometimes are in tears. The civility is gone.” Staff had to make the initial 71 calls over the weekend for newly confirmed positive cases.
  • Roumeliotis says the EOHU region will likely move another step up the province’s color-coded framework of restrictions from orange to red next week based on public health indicators. Asked by the Morrisburg Leader during Monday’s media briefing, Roumeliotis confirmed he would be recommending the increased restrictions to Ontario Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams. “Unfortunately I have no choice, you saw the numbers.”
  • The Upper Canada school board says an individual at Morrisburg Public School has tested positive for COVID-19. The school is running normally and the health unit is doing contact tracing.
  • The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit added 76 cases over the weekend to bring the regional total to 1,137 confirmed cases, of which 139 are active (41 more than Friday) and 944 are recovered (35 more than Friday). There are 54 deaths to date. One person is in hospital in the ICU (new). There are two active institutional outbreaks (Perth Community Care, Rideau Ferry Country Home). The community case breakdown is: Lanark County East 235 cases (18 active), Lanark County West 297 cases (83 active), Leeds-Grenville Central 112 cases (10 active), Leeds-Grenville East 149 cases (19 active) and Leeds-Grenville West 135 cases (seven active).
  • The LGL District Health Unit is pausing some services for three weeks in order to take those staff and put them in contact tracing and COVID-19 vaccination positions. Breastfeeding, sexual health and non-COVID immunization clinics are cancelled until at least April 9. Well water testing bottles and coolers are available in the Brockville and Smiths Falls offices.
  • Vaccines: Ontario 1,553,040 (+31,335, updated daily); EOHU 19,443 (last update March 22, +2,300 from previous update March 19); LGL 13,997 individuals with at least 1 shot (last update March 22, +3,746 from previous update March 15).
  • Maxville won’t have a summer fair – at least this year. The Kenyon Agricultural Society’s board of directors announced the Maxville Fair, usually held in late June, is cancelled due to the pandemic and the current timeline for the rollout of vaccines. The 132nd edition of the fair was also cancelled in June 2020.
  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says more than 4.7 million vaccine doses have been delivered across Canada so far. Health officials though are concerned about how fast COVID-19 variants are spreading, warning about a third wave. Alberta, B.C., Ontario and Quebec have recorded the highest numbers of variants in Canada – most of them the B117 variant first discovered in the U.K.

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