Newswatch COVID-19 Digest: Wednesday March 31, 2021

Here are the latest local, regional and national headlines on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for Wednesday, March 31, 2021:

  • There have been 347,570 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Ontario, an increase of 2,336 (or 0.7 per cent) from the previous day. There are 320,409 people recovered from the virus while 7,351 people have died. The number of Ontario people tested is 12,498,641 of which 35,066 have pending results.
  • Canada’s coronavirus case total is 976,598. The country has 22,926 deaths from the virus – one in the Yukon, four in Nunavut, 1,455 in British Columbia, 1,987 in Alberta, 434 in Saskatchewan, 934 in Manitoba, 7,351 in Ontario, 10,658 in Quebec, 30 in New Brunswick, six in Newfoundland & Labrador and 66 in Nova Scotia.
  • The Eastern Ontario Health Unit area added 18 cases on Tuesday – seven in Prescott-Russell, 10 in SD&G and one in Cornwall – to bring the regional total to 3,358 confirmed cases. There are 336 active (four more than Monday) and 2,947 resolved (12 more than Monday). The number of deaths is 75 (two more than Monday). Thirty-six people are in hospital (four more than Monday) and seven in the ICU (four more than Monday). There are 13 active institutional outbreaks (three more than Monday). Testing was unchanged at 121,642. The breakdown of cases is: Prescott-Russell 1,373 cases (120 active), SD&G 821 cases (121 active), Cornwall 906 cases (89 active) and Akwesasne (ON/QC) 258 cases (six active).
  • Based on Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis’ real time figures shared Monday afternoon, the hospitalization rate change between Monday and Tuesday would be one more person in hospital and two more in ICU. The figures in the previous bullet are statistics compiled by case contact management (CCM).
  • The Eastern Ontario Health Unit will brief reporters Thursday on the latest coronavirus situation and then the next briefing won’t be until Tuesday, April 6, due to the Easter Monday. Briefings are normally held twice a week on Mondays and Thursdays.
  • The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit added seven newly confirmed cases on Tuesday to bring the regional total to 1,255. Of those, 89 are active (15 fewer than Monday) and 1,112 are recovered (22 more than Monday). There are 54 deaths to date. One person is in hospital, in the ICU on a ventilator. There is one active institutional outbreak (Rideau Ferry Country Home, Perth Community Care declared over). The community case breakdown is: Lanark County East 246 cases (eight active), Lanark County West 350 cases (33 active), Leeds-Grenville Central 116 cases (six active), Leeds-Grenville East 188 cases (30 active) and Leeds-Grenville West 147 cases (10 active).
  • Vaccines: Ontario 2,102,380 (+70,645, updated daily); EOHU 23,526 (last update March 30, +1,193 from previous update March 26); LGL 18,368 individuals with at least 1 shot (last update March 29, +4,371 from previous update March 22).
  • The LGL District Health Unit says all of its bookings for vaccines through the provincial system are full through the end of April. Plans are in the works for May clinics, which should be online next week, the health unit tweeted Tuesday.
  • Tuesday marked the last day for retired Gen. Rick Hillier as the head of the COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force. In a statement, Premier Doug Ford says Hillier accepted his leadership role “with determination, drive and total commitment.”
  • Premier Doug Ford says people shouldn’t make plans for Easter. The premier is concerned with rising daily COVID-19 case numbers and now Ontario hospitals are taking care of over 1,000 people with the virus – the highest it’s been since early February. A decision may come later this week on additional lockdown measures.
  • The federal government is spending nearly $18 million over the next year for a safe voluntary isolation site for temporary foreign agricultural workers in the Windsor-Essex region. The 125-room facility will be operated by the City of Windsor. The area was one of the worst hotspots in the first wave of the pandemic, due to the spread of the virus between workers living in close quarters.
  • Canada is expected to receive more than 44 million COVID-19 vaccine doses before Canada Day, not including any of the one-shot vaccine from Johnson & Johnson. Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam is concerned about the variants of concern that are putting renewed strain on the country’s health care system.
  • The Prince Edward Island government has expanded a program to get people back into sit-down dining at restaurants during the pandemic. The Dine In and Save program covers half the cheque for eatery bills, up to $15 per person. The government already spent half a million dollars and the program was so popular it’s put another $375,000 into it.
  • Residents around Cornwall, Ingleside, Martintown and Lancaster can get a free taxi ride to get their vaccine at a Cornwall vaccination site. It’s part of a fair accessibility project between the local and provincial chambers of commerce, a local cab company and Ontario Power Generation. Call Choice Taxi at 613-938-8899 and ask for a ride to your appointment through Project GoVax.

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