Newswatch COVID-19 Digest: Saturday April 24, 2021

Here are the latest local, regional and national headlines on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for Saturday, April 24, 2021:

  • There have been 437,310 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Ontario, an increase of 4,505 cases from the previous day. There have been 387,712 people recovered from the virus while 7,863 have died. The number of Ontario people tested is 13,778,955 of which 31,363 have pending results.
  • Canada’s coronavirus case total is 1,164,581. The country has 23,883 deaths from the virus – one in the Yukon, four in Nunavut, 1,554 in British Columbia, 2,059 in Alberta, 471 in Saskatchewan, 964 in Manitoba, 7,863 in Ontario, 10,860 in Quebec, 34 in New Brunswick, six in Newfoundland & Labrador and 67 in Nova Scotia.
  • The Eastern Ontario Health Unit area added 31 cases Friday – 18 in Prescott-Russell, six in SD&G and seven in Cornwall – to bring the regional total to 4,255 confirmed cases, of which 415 are active (46 fewer than Thursday) and 3,742 are resolved (75 more than Thursday). There are two more deaths, bringing the total to 98. Twenty-nine people are in hospital (one more than Thursday) with six in the ICU (no change). There are 17 active institutional outbreaks (no change). Testing increased by 206 to 132,843. The breakdown of cases is: Prescott-Russell 1,771 cases (188 active), SD&G 1,018 cases (82 active), Cornwall 1,160 cases (127 active) and Akwesasne (ON/QC) 306 cases (18 active).
  • The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit area added 10 cases Friday to bring the regional total to 1,562 confirmed cases, of which 78 are active (six fewer than Thursday) and 1,426 are recovered (16 more than Thursday). There are 58 deaths to date. Seven people are in hospital (one more than Thursday), two in ICU and two ventilated (no change in ICU/vent numbers). There are no active institutional outbreaks. The community case breakdown is: Lanark County East 325 cases (15 active), Lanark County West 368 cases (eight active), Leeds-Grenville Central 175 cases (23 active), Leeds-Grenville East 298 cases (19 active) and Leeds-Grenville West 176 cases (12 active).
  • Vaccines: Ontario 4,400,674 (+133,872, last update April 23); EOHU 48,336 (last update April 23, +1,221 from previous update April 22); LGL 32,264 individuals with at least 1 shot (last update April 19, +4,672 from previous update April 12, week-to-week change includes doses not previously linked to health unit).
  • Pregnant women have been added to the priority list under Phase 2 for people to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The province made the decision Friday based on public health data. There have been more cases of those carrying a child ending up in the ICU with complications from novel coronavirus.
  • The B1617 variant, first discovered in India, has now been identified in 36 cases in the province in the last couple of days, according to Public Health Ontario. Thirty of them were detected through airport and border screening.
  • The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) has adjusted its recommendation on the AstraZeneca vaccines. It now says the shot can be given to people 30 years old and older. Previously it was 55 years old and older though several provinces decided on their own to lower the age rule prior to NACI’s decision. Ontario says it will keep the age limit at 40 years old due to vaccine supply.
  • The federal government has inked a long term deal with Pfizer for millions of more vaccines through 2024. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada will receive 35 million booster doses next year, followed by 30 million the year after. There are options for 30 million doses in 2022 and 2023 and 60 million in 2024.
  • Prime Minister Trudeau and his wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, received their first doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine on Friday.
  • The Ontario government has confirmed its first case of a rare blood clot side effect linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine. Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams says the man in his 60s is recovering at home after experiencing vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) after getting the first dose. It’s the fourth reported case in Canada out of roughly 1.1 million doses given.
  • The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe had no new cases on Friday. There are five active cases, two fewer than Thursday, while 20 people remain in quarantine. The tribe’s health department is starting a walk-in clinic for first shots of Moderna every Wednesday, starting next week at the former IGA building on State Route 37 in Akwesasne. Just over 5,900 vaccinations have been given with 2,702 people fully vaccinated.
  • A health panel with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has voted to resume use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after it was suspended a week-and-a-half ago due to cases of blood clots.
  • Canada’s top doctor is troubled by the latest COVID-19 case numbers. Dr. Theresa Tam says average infections have dramatically increased since last week. She adds that what summer will bring will depend on the vaccine rollout.

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