Newswatch COVID-19 Digest: Tuesday May 4, 2021

Here are the latest local, regional and national headlines on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for Tuesday, May 4, 2021:

  • There have been 473,901 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Ontario, an increase of 3,436 cases from the previous day. There have been 428,786 people recovered from the virus while 8,118 have died. The number of Ontario people tested is 14,231,121 of which 15,119 have pending results.
  • Canada’s coronavirus case total is 1,243,242. The country has 24,342 deaths from the virus – two in the Yukon, four in Nunavut, 1,596 in British Columbia, 2,090 in Alberta, 498 in Saskatchewan, 979 in Manitoba, 8,118 in Ontario, 10,944 in Quebec, 38 in New Brunswick, six in Newfoundland & Labrador and 67 in Nova Scotia.
  • The Eastern Ontario Health Unit area added 55 cases over the weekend – 24 in Prescott-Russell, seven in SD&G, 14 in Cornwall and 10 in Akwesasne – to bring Monday’s regional total to 4,449 confirmed cases, of which 221 are active (47 fewer than Friday) and 4,127 are resolved (102 more than Friday). There are 101 deaths to date (no change). There are 30 people in hospital (two more than Friday) with eight in the ICU (one more than Friday). There are six active institutional outbreaks (two fewer than Friday). Testing increased 265 to 135,172. The breakdown of cases is: Prescott-Russell 1,864 cases (106 active), SD&G 1,047 cases (41 active), Cornwall 1,208 cases (68 active) and Akwesasne (ON/QC) 330 cases (six active).
  • Fresh data shared with reporters Monday afternoon, taken after the daily snapshot of hospitals at noon (above), shows there’s actually 22 people in hospital and six in intensive care in the EOHU area. Those numbers will appear in the update later today (Tuesday).
  • The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit area added 18 cases over the weekend on Monday to bring the regional total to 1,647 confirmed cases, of which 59 are active (13 fewer than Friday) and 1,529 are recovered (31 more than Friday). The number of deaths to date is 59. One person is in hospital and no one is in the ICU (down from one ICU case Friday). There are no active institutional outbreaks. The community case breakdown is: Lanark County East 359 cases (21 active), Lanark County West 380 cases (10 active), Leeds-Grenville Central 181 cases (two active), Leeds-Grenville East 323 cases (19 active) and Leeds-Grenville West 183 cases (six active).
  • Vaccines: Ontario 5,378,249 (+53,880, last update May 3); EOHU 63,351 (last update May 3, +2,539 from previous update April 30); LGL 45,741 individuals with at least 1 shot (last update May 3, +6,622 from previous update April 26).
  • After being above the provincial average for variants of concern (VOCs), the Eastern Ontario Health Unit area has flipped. EOHU Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis says last week’s Ontario average of all cases tested that were variants was 73.5 per cent. For the Eastern Ontario Health Unit area it was 35.7 per cent. “I was pleasantly surprised that it is low. It’s still out there but it’s lower. That’s good news,” he said.
  • Acknowledging there’s a pattern of people not following public health orders during long weekends, Roumeliotis says he is recommending the province extend the stay-at-home order to cover the Victoria Day weekend. The order is scheduled to end on May 20 – the Thursday before the long weekend. “I’m recommending, personally, to extend it at least to include that weekend. We had to do the stay-at-home order after the Easter weekend,” he told Newswatch.
  • The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) is now recommending that the Johnson & Johnson single dose vaccine only be given to people 30 years old and older who don’t want to wait for the Pfizer of Moderna shot.
  • The Ontario government will open vaccinations to those 50 years old and older on Thursday morning at 8 a.m. It will also open to the “group one” of people who can’t work from home, including education staff like teachers, bus drivers and custodians, as well as critical responders not vaccinated in the previous rollout. EOHU Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis says those people will have to sign an online attestation but won’t have to provide proof as the health unit is going on the honour system.
  • In the first two hours it was opened Monday, Ontario’s booking system took over 73,000 appointments for all adults in the 114 designated virus hot spots in Ontario. There was some grumbling on social media about problems with the system.
  • Nunavut has suspended its common travel area with the Northwest Territories due to coronavirus concerns. Anyone coming from the NWT to Nunavut must now isolate for two weeks. There are exceptions for essential workers or medical appointments.

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