Newswatch COVID-19 Digest: Friday April 16, 2021

Here are the latest local, regional and national headlines on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for Friday, April 16, 2021:

  • There have been 403,571 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Ontario, an increase of 4,736 cases from the previous day. There have been 357,591 people recovered from the virus while 7,639 have died. The number of Ontario people tested is 13,358,225 of which 39,682 have pending results.
  • The 4,736 new Ontario cases Thursday was a new record for a daily high case count since the pandemic began in March 2020.
  • Canada’s coronavirus case total is 1,096,716. The country has 23,500 deaths from the virus – one in the Yukon, four in Nunavut, 1,524 in British Columbia, 2,034 in Alberta, 460 in Saskatchewan, 955 in Manitoba, 7,639 in Ontario, 10,778 in Quebec, 33 in New Brunswick, six in Newfoundland & Labrador and 66 in Nova Scotia.
  • The Eastern Ontario Health Unit area reported 61 more cases on Wednesday – 32 in Prescott-Russell, 10 in SD&G and 19 in Cornwall – to bring the regional total to 3,960 confirmed cases, of which 498 are active (33 more than Wednesday) and 3,375 are resolved (19 more than Wednesday). There are 88 deaths to date. Thirty-seven people are in hospital (two more than Wednesday) with eight in the ICU (no change). There are 15 active institutional outbreaks (no change). Testing increased by 437 to 129,847. The breakdown of cases is: Prescott-Russell 1,637 cases (233 active), SD&G 965 cases (111 active), Cornwall 1,081 cases (143 active) and Akwesasne (ON/QC) 277 cases (11 active).
  • Due to a data cleanup exercise there were actually 57 newly confirmed cases on Wednesday – not 69, for a difference of 12. That’s why Thursday’s total accurately reflects 3,960 cases and not 3,972 if you were to add Thursday’s 61 newly confirmed cases to the previous total from Wednesday. The number of deaths is still 88. The total on the health unit website showed 87 on Thursday because one was removed after the health unit believed it was an Ottawa case. It’s not Ottawa’s case so it will be added back in sometime today (Friday).
  • The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit added 13 cases Thursday to bring the regional total to 1,473 confirmed cases, of which 133 are active (no change from Wednesday) and 1,283 are recovered (13 more than Wednesday). There are 57 deaths to date. Eight people are in hospital, three in ICU with two on a ventilator (no changes in hosp stats). There is one active institutional outbreak (Rideau Ferry Country Home). The community case breakdown is: Lanark County East 309 cases (31 active), Lanark County West 359 cases (eight active), Leeds-Grenville Central 149 cases (29 active), Leeds-Grenville East 277 cases (53 active) and Leeds-Grenville West 159 cases (10 active).
  • Vaccines: Ontario 3,528,404 (+105,430, last update April 15); EOHU 37,869 (last update April 15, +1,996 from previous update April 14); LGL 27,592 individuals with at least 1 shot (last update April 12, +5,660 from previous update April 6).
  • More than 8.8 million doses of vaccine have been given across Canada. Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Howard Njoo says there have been 3,444 adverse events from the shots – 464 were serious.
  • The provincial government is discussing the possibility of an Ontario-wide curfew, sources have told Toronto’s 680 News.
  • Ontario Associate Medical Officer of Health Dr. Barbara Yaffe says the coronavirus “situation is dire” with a 36 per cent increase in the seven day case average over the past week. The government is expected to release new modelling data today (Friday).
  • EOHU Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis says the health unit received a shipment of Moderna Thursday morning. Between the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, the health unit plans to give almost 38,000 shots between now and the first week of May. Roumeliotis says they are only limited by the amount of drug they receive because they have the capacity to vaccinate.
  • Roumeliotis says “if there’s any good news” the percentage of variants of concern in the EOHU area that was 73 per cent last week is now 54 per cent. But with more than half of all new cases being VOCs, he “can’t stress enough these next two weeks are very important” to follow the stay-at-home order in order to make sure local hospitals that “are at capacity” aren’t overwhelmed. Thirty-seven people are in hospital. There are eight people in ICU – six in Cornwall, one in Hawkesbury and one in Ottawa.
  • Essential front-line workers will have access to emergency child care for school-aged children starting Monday. The government is providing it at no charge to eligible health care and other front-line workers.
  • The CEO of Pfizer says people will “likely” need a third COVID-19 vaccine dose within one year after being fully vaccinated. Albert Bourla told CNBC that further annual booster shots are possible.
  • Brazil has another problem related to coronavirus – hospitals are running out of sedatives. A doctor there told The Associated Press they have had to tie down patients and use intramuscular blockers to insert breathing tubes while they’re conscious.
  • The return for the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks after a COVID-19 outbreak has been delayed. The league has postponed the team’s game originally scheduled for tonight. At least 21 players and four staff have tested positive since the end of March.
  • Somebody recently called the cops to report an illegal gathering. It turns out the gathering was people outside an Eastern Ontario clinic waiting to get their vaccines. Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis calls it “bizarre” and notes clinics are exempt from the stay-at-home order and precautions are in place.

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