Newswatch COVID-19 Digest: Friday May 7, 2021

Here are the latest local, regional and national headlines on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for Friday, May 7, 2021:

  • There have been 483,057 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Ontario, an increase of 3,424 cases from the previous day. There have been 440,467 people recovered from the virus while 8,213 have died. The number of Ontario people tested is 14,364,746 of which 27,286 have pending results.
  • Canada’s coronavirus case total is 1,265,320. The country has 24,489 deaths from the virus – two in the Yukon, four in Nunavut, 1,595 in British Columbia, 2,102 in Alberta, 501 in Saskatchewan, 986 in Manitoba, 8,213 in Ontario, 10,971 in Quebec, 40 in New Brunswick, six in Newfoundland & Labrador and 69 in Nova Scotia.
  • The Eastern Ontario Health Unit area added 15 cases Thursday – 12 in Prescott-Russell and three in Cornwall – to bring the regional total to 4,503 confirmed cases, of which 253 are active (five more than Wednesday) and 4,149 are resolved (10 more than Wednesday). There are 101 deaths to date (no change). There are 21 people in hospital (two fewer than Wednesday) with nine in the ICU (two more than Wednesday). There are five active institutional outbreaks (no change). Testing increased 208 to 135,972. The breakdown of cases is: Prescott-Russell 1,894 cases (124 active), SD&G 1,054 cases (46 active), Cornwall 1,225 cases (77 active) and Akwesasne (ON/QC) 330 cases (six active).
  • Data shared during the Thursday afternoon news conference shows the number of people in hospital will drop to 17 later today and the ICU number remains at nine. With yesterday’s clinics, the number of vaccinations will be over 70,000 when it’s reported later today (Friday).
  • The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit area added eight cases Thursday to bring the regional total to 1,670 confirmed cases, of which 55 are active (seven fewer than Wednesday) and 1,556 are recovered (15 more than Wednesday). The number of deaths to date is 59. No one is in hospital (down one from Wednesday). There are no active institutional outbreaks. The community case breakdown is: Lanark County East 369 cases (15 active), Lanark County West 383 cases (11 active), Leeds-Grenville Central 184 cases (three active), Leeds-Grenville East 326 cases (16 active) and Leeds-Grenville West 187 cases (nine active).
  • Vaccines: Ontario 5,740,761 (+141,038, last update May 6); EOHU 68,137 (last update May 6, +484 from previous update May 5); LGL 45,741 individuals with at least 1 shot (last update May 3, +6,622 from previous update April 26).
  • The Eastern Ontario Health Unit has 31 vaccination clinics between now and the end of the month. Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis says, as of yesterday afternoon, there were 9,000 appointments still available. New clinics are being planned for weekends and evenings for people who can’t get away from work. The Ontario vaccination portal will open to those 40 years old and older next Thursday morning (May 13) as well as the second grouping of higher risk individuals.
  • The EOHU has created a standby list for those 18 years old and older in order to eliminate any chance of wasted vaccine. “We don’t want to waste even one dose,” Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis said. Drug stores in the region should be getting some Moderna vaccine soon, he said.
  • Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry MPP Jim McDonell says his period of isolation after contracting COVID-19 ended Thursday. McDonell says he had the first dose of vaccine but it probably didn’t have enough time to provide maximum protection since his possible exposure happened less than two weeks after the shot. “I do not doubt that it was responsible for my low level of symptoms.” The MPP thanked constituents for their well wishes.
  • The provincial government is spending $432,000 on a cognitive research facility, Baycrest, to help people with cognitive impairment due to COVID-19. The money through the Ontario Together Fund will allow Baycrest to train 500 therapists to provide post-acute care and rehabilitation to 5,000 Ontarians. The province says the facility will also create 17 new jobs.
  • Ontario Associate Medical Officer of Health Dr. Barbara Yaffe says there is traditionally a rise in cases around special holidays where people gather. Unless your mother is under the same roof with you, Yaffe says celebrate Mother’s Day virtually this weekend.
  • City councillors in Kingston have officially condemned the actions of anti-lockdown activist MPP Randy Hillier. The council voted on a motion calling the independent MPP’s action reckless and dangerous and willful spreading of misinformation. Kingston wants Hillier’s actions referred to the Ontario Integrity Commissioner.
  • With Health Canada approving Pfizer for children 12 to 15 years old, the Eastern Ontario Health Unit met yesterday and will meet again Saturday to plan for including that age group into their mass immunization clinics. The population in the EOHU area eligible for vaccination is approximately 168,000. With 12-15 age group, that expands to roughly 180,000.
  • Canada surpassed the vaccination rate of the United States for the first time on Wednesday, sparking optimism about the vaccine rollout. But Canada’s deputy chief public health officer says vaccines are not the silver bullet and strong public health measures are also necessary.
  • Two people are facing stiff fines after they allegedly produced altered COVID-19 test results before boarding flights to Toronto. The two cases involved people returning from the U.S. and the Dominican Republic.
  • A U.S. based survey of people in the arts community showed, of those asked, 76 per cent lost income and four in 10 had reduced food security, underlining the financial hardship facing the sector.
  • Canadian singer Justin Bieber has postponed his Canadian summer tour dates until 2022. The concerts in Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal have been moved to March and June of next year due to the pandemic.

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