Newswatch COVID-19 Digest: Saturday April 17, 2021

Here are the latest local, regional and national headlines on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for Saturday, April 17, 2021:

  • There have been 408,383 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Ontario, an increase of 4,812 cases from the previous day. There have been 360,742 people recovered from the virus while 7,664 have died. The number of Ontario people tested is 13,422,529 of which 38,815 have pending results.
  • After shattering a single day record case count on Thursday, the 4,812 new cases Friday is a new record since the pandemic began in March last year.
  • (Health Canada did not update its statistics at 7 p.m. Friday. The following was compiled by Newswatch from official provincial/territorial websites). Canada’s coronavirus case total is 1,106,055. The country has 23,541 deaths from the virus – one in the Yukon, four in Nunavut, 1,530 in British Columbia, 2,034 in Alberta, 462 in Saskatchewan, 955 in Manitoba, 7,664 in Ontario, 10,785 in Quebec, 33 in New Brunswick, six in Newfoundland & Labrador and 67 in Nova Scotia.
  • The Eastern Ontario Health Unit area reported 30 more cases on Friday – 16 in Prescott-Russell, seven in SD&G and seven in Cornwall – to bring the regional total to 3,994 confirmed cases (The change is 30 cases since Thursday but the health unit has added back two cases in Prescott-Russell, one in SD&G and one in Cornwall as part of its “data cleaning” exercise), of which 488 are active (10 fewer than Thursday) and 3,414 are resolved (39 more than Thursday). There are 92 deaths to date, four more than Thursday (total was 87 Thursday and 88 Wednesday, the difference from Thursday to Friday is five; one death was removed Thursday and was to be added back in Friday. The victim was mistakenly thought to be a case that should be attributed to Ottawa Public Health). Thirty-six people are in hospital (one fewer than Thursday) with eight in the ICU (no change). There are 15 active institutional outbreaks (no change). Testing was unchanged at 129,847. The breakdown of cases is: Prescott-Russell 1,655 cases (226 active), SD&G 973 cases (109 active), Cornwall 1,089 cases (142 active) and Akwesasne (ON/QC) 277 cases (11 active).
  • The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit added 12 cases Friday to bring the regional total to 1,485 confirmed cases, of which 120 are active (12 fewer than Thursday) and 1,308 are recovered (25 more than Thursday). There are 57 deaths to date. Ten people are in hospital (two more than Thursday), four in ICU (one more than Thursday) with two on a ventilator (no change). There is one active institutional outbreak (Rideau Ferry Country Home). The community case breakdown is: Lanark County East 310 cases (25 active), Lanark County West 362 cases (nine active), Leeds-Grenville Central 151 cases (25 active), Leeds-Grenville East 281 cases (48 active) and Leeds-Grenville West 161 cases (11 active).
  • Vaccines: Ontario 3,644,038 (+115,634, last update April 16); EOHU 37,889 (last update April 16, +20 from previous update April 15); LGL 27,592 individuals with at least 1 shot (last update April 12, +5,660 from previous update April 6).
  • The Ontario government will be setting up checkpoints between Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba and curb non-essential travel into the province. People from Quebec will only be allowed into Ontario for work, health care services, delivery of goods and services and Aboriginal or treaty rights. The O.P.P. says it will have officers at points of entry starting Monday. That’s part of more restrictions Premier Doug Ford announced Friday afternoon. The stay-at-home order has been extended two weeks for a total of six weeks (until at least May 20). Outdoor recreation, including golf courses, playgrounds, soccer, basketball and tennis courts are closed as of today (Saturday). Non-essential construction will stop. Police have been given more power to stop and question motorists and pedestrians to inquire as to why they are not at home and where they live.
  • Starting Monday, weddings, funerals and religious services will be limited to 10 people for both indoors and outdoors. Receptions will not be allowed except for members of the same household. Drive-in services are allowed.
  • Speaking ahead of the announced restrictions (above two bullet points) Premier Ford says “we are on our heels” in this pandemic and the province had few options left. “We’re down but by no means are we out,” he said.
  • New Ontario modelling data released Friday shows the province needs to give at least 100,000 vaccinations a day and have the stay-at-home order in place for six weeks in order to flatten the curve. Doing nothing, the worst-case scenario shows the province would see 30,000 cases a day by June.
  • Canada will receive about half the Moderna vaccines it was expecting next week. Federal Procurement Minister Anita Anand says 650,000 doses will be coming. It was expecting 1.2 million. The company blames the cut shipment on production capacity.
  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is sending in the Red Cross to help with vaccination rollout in Ontario. The Red Cross will help with mobile vaccination teams as well as hospital and long-term care home aid.
  • The federal government has bought another eight million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine that will be delivered in May, June and July. A shipment of Johnson & Johnson vaccine arrives in two weeks and will be distributed the first week of May.
  • Some doctors are calling for looser age restrictions on the AstraZececa vaccine in order that more people can receive it. Right now, it’s not given to people younger than 55.
  • A poll commissioned by Canada’s largest private sector union, Unifor, shows 70 per cent of Ontario residents asked support five provincially-legislated paid sick days for workers while 64 per cent support 10 days of paid leave. Only 23 per cent believe the practice would hurt businesses. The poll was taken April 7-12 with a margin of error of 2.8 per cent.
  • The premiers of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador say vaccine supplies should still be rolled out based on population and won’t share their doses with harder hit provinces. But both say they will help in other ways.

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