Newswatch COVID-19 Digest: Thursday April 1, 2021

Here are the latest local, regional and national headlines on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for Thursday, April 1, 2021:

  • There have been 349,903 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Ontario, an increase of 2,333 (or 0.7 per cent) from the previous day. There are 322,382 people recovered from the virus while 7,366 people have died. The number of Ontario people tested is 12,551,173 of which 40,466 have pending results.
  • Canada’s coronavirus case total is 982,116. The country has 22,959 deaths from the virus – one in the Yukon, four in Nunavut, 1,458 in British Columbia, 1,990 in Alberta, 436 in Saskatchewan, 935 in Manitoba, 7,366 in Ontario, 10,667 in Quebec, 30 in New Brunswick, six in Newfoundland & Labrador and 66 in Nova Scotia.
  • The Eastern Ontario Health Unit area recorded seven COVID-19 related deaths on Wednesday to bring the total fatalities to 82. There were 35 cases added – 12 in Prescott-Russell, nine in SD&G and 14 in Cornwall – to bring the regional total to 3,393 confirmed cases. There are 351 active (15 more than Tuesday) and 2,960 resolved (13 more than Tuesday). Thirty-four people are in hospital (two fewer than Tuesday) and seven in the ICU (no change from Tuesday). There are 14 active institutional outbreaks (one more than Tuesday). Testing increased by 1,347 to 122,989. The breakdown of cases is: Prescott-Russell 1,385 cases (123 active), SD&G 830 cases (125 active), Cornwall 920 cases (97 active) and Akwesasne (ON/QC) 258 cases (six active).
  • The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit added three newly confirmed cases on Wednesday to bring the regional total to 1,258. Of those, 77 are active (12 fewer than Tuesday) and 1,127 are recovered (15 more than Tuesday). 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). The community case breakdown is: Lanark County East 246 cases (seven active), Lanark County West 344 cases (21 active), Leeds-Grenville Central 117 cases (six active), Leeds-Grenville East 189 cases (24 active) and Leeds-Grenville West 146 cases (nine active).
  • Vaccines: Ontario 2,192,253 (+89,873, updated daily); EOHU 24,452 (last update March 31, +926 from previous update March 30); LGL 18,368 individuals with at least 1 shot (last update March 29, +4,371 from previous update March 22).
  • Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce has announced a third round of one-time relief cheques for families. The Ontario COVID-19 Child Benefit will see $400 per students up to Grade 12 and $500 for students up to 21 years old with special education needs. The government notes that the payment is double what it was in the last round. Parents who got the Support for Learners payments will have the money automatically deposited into their bank accounts. Those who need to apply can do so during a two week window, starting May 3. The money – some $980 million – was included in the 2021 budget.
  • Premier Doug Ford has indicated that an announcement will be coming today (Thursday) regarding further restrictions or a lockdown ahead of the Easter weekend.
  • Quebec is moving three cities – Quebec City, Levis and Gatineau – into lockdown to combat a surge in coronavirus cases. Schools and non-essential business will be closed and there’s an 8 p.m. curfew.
  • When it comes to spreading misinformation, it seems Ontario residents in their mid-50s to mid-60s – especially in rural Eastern Ontario and Ottawa – are the biggest spreaders. That’s according to a study by the Ontario Medical Association. The OMA says about six per cent of the 14.6 million Ontarians spread misinformation online.
  • A batch of the Johnson & Johnson one-dose vaccine failed a quality check and had to be scrapped. It involved one of 10 contract companies for J&J. It’s not clear how it will affect deliveries to Canada.
  • Preliminary data from a study by Pfizer of 2,200 kids shows its vaccine works in children ages 12 to 15. Currently the vaccine is only approved for those 16 and older in Canada. The drug maker is asking Health Canada to extend its use to the younger set.
  • Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam says the next few weeks of the pandemic will be the most challenging. With a growing number of variant cases across the country, Tam says there’s less room for error in public health measures.

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