Newswatch COVID-19 Digest: Thursday May 6, 2021

Here are the latest local, regional and national headlines on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for Thursday, May 6, 2021:

  • There have been 479,633 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Ontario, an increase of 2,941 cases from the previous day. There have been 436,470 people recovered from the virus while 8,187 have died. The number of Ontario people tested is 14,310,628 of which 29,179 have pending results.
  • Canada’s coronavirus case total is 1,257,328. The country has 24,450 deaths from the virus – two in the Yukon, four in Nunavut, 1,594 in British Columbia (count dropped by three due to data correction by province), 2,102 in Alberta, 501 in Saskatchewan, 982 in Manitoba, 8,187 in Ontario, 10,964 in Quebec, 39 in New Brunswick, six in Newfoundland & Labrador and 69 in Nova Scotia.
  • The Eastern Ontario Health Unit area added 21 cases Wednesday – eight in Prescott-Russell, five in SD&G and eight in Cornwall – to bring the regional total to 4,488 confirmed cases, of which 248 are active (21 more than Tuesday) and 4,139 are resolved (no change from Tuesday). There are 101 deaths to date (no change). There are 23 people in hospital (one more than Tuesday) with seven in the ICU (one more than Tuesday). There are five active institutional outbreaks (no change). Testing increased 277 to 135,764. The breakdown of cases is: Prescott-Russell 1,882 cases (120 active), SD&G 1,054 cases (47 active), Cornwall 1,222 cases (75 active) and Akwesasne (ON/QC) 330 cases (six active).
  • The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit area added 14 cases Wednesday to bring the regional total to 1,662 confirmed cases, of which 62 are active (nine more than Tuesday) and 1,541 are recovered (five more than Tuesday). The number of deaths to date is 59. One person is in hospital (no change). There are no active institutional outbreaks. The community case breakdown is: Lanark County East 366 cases (22 active), Lanark County West 381 cases (10 active), Leeds-Grenville Central 183 cases (two active), Leeds-Grenville East 325 cases (18 active) and Leeds-Grenville West 186 cases (nine active).
  • Vaccines: Ontario 5,599,723 (+132,603, last update May 5); EOHU 67,653 (last update May 5, +3,174 from previous update May 4); LGL 45,741 individuals with at least 1 shot (last update May 3, +6,622 from previous update April 26).
  • Ontario vaccine booking opens this morning (Thursday) at 8 a.m. for those at or turning 50 years old this year and older as well as the first grouping of essential workers who can’t work from home. Those include education workers, food manufacturing and distribution workers and agriculture and farm workers.
  • The province is rolling out mobile vaccine units that will go to small to medium-sized businesses in hot spot communities. Five mobile units will start on Friday in Toronto, York and Peel Regions. There is the possibility of expanding to 15 units.
  • The Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario is concerned with the province’s plan to have school boards provide remote learning through the entire school year, starting in September. Board chairman Todd Lalonde says online learning was brought in to cover a time of “special circumstances” but having it long term will see education suffer with “significant disadvantages for various marginalized groups,” including rural students with bad or no internet. The board’s vice chairman is concerned with students exposed to a disproportionate amount of screen time, affecting their mental health.
  • An outbreak at a Kingston construction site has the top doctor for Leeds-Grenville and Lanark County issuing a caution. Dr. Paula Stewart says any construction workers or tradespeople who worked at any Kingston construction site recently should monitor for coronavirus symptoms and get tested if they exhibit symptoms. The health unit says the outbreak started around April 26 and “social interactions with workers outside of work” may have spread the virus faster. The construction project was a long-term care home overseen by Pomerleau Construction.
  • Health Canada has approved the Pfizer vaccine for children 12 to 15 years old. Health Minister Christine Elliott says the shots could be given through school with both doses completed before the next school year. Alberta is planning to give the shot to those 12 and up, possibly as soon as Monday.
  • New Brunswick has recorded its first death related to a rare blood clot side effect from the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine. The chief medical officer of health says the person was in their 60s and got their first shot in mid-April, developing symptoms a week later. They died two days after being admitted to hospital. There was also an AstraZeneca blood clot related death in Alberta.
  • Canada’s top doctor, Theresa Tam, says coronavirus deaths across Canada have levelled off but there are still more admissions to hospitals and into ICUs, which could change that. The rate of hospitalizations increased three per cent last week compared to the week prior.
  • Almost 4,000 more people died in India Wednesday as the coronavirus pandemic continues to ravage its population. Many people have died in ambulances or in parking lots waiting for a bed or oxygen, according to Reuters. The daily infection count from the health ministry was just over 382,000 new cases on Wednesday, but its feared the actual figures may be much higher.

Have a story or news release related to COVID-19? Send it along for possible inclusion in a future digest on Cornwall Newswatch. Email editor@cornwallnewswatch.com. Please put “COVID-19 Digest” in the subject line.

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