Here are the latest local, regional and national headlines on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for Wednesday, March 24, 2021:
- There have been 332,119 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Ontario, an increase of 1,546 (or 0.5 per cent) from the previous day. There are 309,849 people recovered from the virus while 7,253 people have died. The number of Ontario people tested is 12,146,393 of which 31,325 have pending results.
- Canada’s coronavirus case total is 942,320. The country has 22,735 deaths from the virus – one in the Yukon, four in Nunavut, 1,438 in British Columbia, 1,971 in Alberta, 419 in Saskatchewan, 929 in Manitoba, 7,253 in Ontario, 10,618 in Quebec, 30 in New Brunswick, six in Newfoundland & Labrador and 66 in Nova Scotia.
- The Eastern Ontario Health Unit’s daily cumulative case total increased by 22 cases on Tuesday to bring the regional total of 3,156 cases. The health unit only reported a change of 16 more cases – four in Prescott-Russell, eight in SD&G and four in Cornwall. No explanation is given for the discrepancy. There are 237 active cases (10 more than Monday) and 2,850 are resolved (12 more than Monday). There are 69 deaths to date. Twenty-seven people are in hospital (11 fewer than Monday) and six in the ICU (no change). There are eight active institutional outbreaks (no change). Testing increased by 718 to 119,375. The breakdown of cases is: Prescott-Russell 1,291 cases (60 active), SD&G 740 cases (79 active), Cornwall 867 cases (92 active) and Akwesasne (ON/QC) 258 cases (six active).
- The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit added 13 cases on Tuesday to bring the regional total to 1,150 confirmed cases, of which 131 are active (eight fewer than Monday) and 965 are recovered (21 more than Monday). There are 54 deaths to date. Two people are in hospital (one more than Monday) and one person is in the ICU. There are two active institutional outbreaks (Perth Community Care, Rideau Ferry Country Home). The community case breakdown is: Lanark County East 237 cases (16 active), Lanark County West 303 cases (74 active), Leeds-Grenville Central 112 cases (nine active), Leeds-Grenville East 155 cases (25 active) and Leeds-Grenville West 136 cases (seven active).
- Vaccines: Ontario 1,603,699 (+50,659, 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).
- The Upper Canada school board is reporting at least one case each at three of its schools. One of them is in Leeds-Grenville at North Grenville District High School. The health unit is contacting high risk exposures to the infected person. NGDHS is operating normally. The other cases involved students or staff at Russell High School and Carleton Place High School.
- The provincial government is spending $3.7 million to help transport seniors and those with disabilities to COVID-19 vaccine appointments. The announcement came ahead of today’s (Wednesday) budget.
- There are barriers to physical distancing in overcrowded housing and places where housing is not affordable. That’s why Federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu announced nearly $24 million to operate self-isolation centers in Toronto and the regions of Peel, York and Durham.
- Health Canada will add a warning to the AstraZeneca vaccine acknowledging the rare possible side effect of blood clots. But the agency’s chief medical officer says it doesn’t change its position on the vaccine – that the benefits outweigh the risks.
- Canada’s chief public health officer says the B117 variant appears to strike the elderly and younger age groups with more severe illness. The strain first identified in the United Kingdom is responsible for most of the COVID-19 variant cases in Canada.
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