Newswatch COVID-19 Digest: Tuesday May 11, 2021

Here are the latest local, regional and national headlines on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for Tuesday, May 11, 2021:

  • There have been 495,019 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Ontario, an increase of 2,716 cases from the previous day. There have been 454,701 people recovered from the virus while 8,327 have died. The number of Ontario people tested is 14,529,616 of which 12,837 have pending results.
  • Canada’s coronavirus case total is 1,294,186. The country has 24,682 deaths from the virus – two in the Yukon, four in Nunavut, 1,622 in British Columbia, 2,117 in Alberta, 502 in Saskatchewan, 997 in Manitoba, 8,327 in Ontario, 10,993 in Quebec, 41 in New Brunswick, six in Newfoundland & Labrador and 71 in Nova Scotia.
  • The Eastern Ontario Health Unit area added 39 cases over the weekend on Monday – 16 in Prescott-Russell, five in SD&G, five in Cornwall and 13 in Akwesasne – to bring the regional total to 4,567 confirmed cases. Of all cases, 209 are active (39 fewer than Friday) and 4,256 are resolved (77 more than Friday). There was one more death, bringing the total deaths to 102. There are 14 people in hospital (two fewer than Friday) with five in the ICU (one fewer than Friday). There are three active institutional outbreaks (two fewer than Friday). Testing is up 344 to 136,536. The breakdown of cases is: Prescott-Russell 1,925 cases (103 active), SD&G 1,065 cases (38 active), Cornwall 1,234 cases (58 active) and Akwesasne (ON/QC) 343 cases (10 active).
The Eastern Ontario Health Unit produced a chart on Monday, May 10, 2021 with a breakdown of where the over 75,000 vaccines in the region are being given. The data will be added to the health unit website in the coming days. (EOHU/Zoom via Newswatch Group)
  • All six testing centers in the Eastern Ontario Health Unit area are now being run by hospitals, not health unit staff. The region’s top doctor, Paul Roumeliotis, says those staff are now working on getting people vaccinated. With only five COVID-19 cases Sunday and four cases as of Monday afternoon, Roumeliotis says that puts less pressure on contact tracers who can also be used to do vaccinations. “We have spoken to the hospitals and we will be able to deploy as needed if they need to downsize (testing),” Roumeliotis told Newswatch. He says some hospitals have also deployed their testers to do vaccinations in the hospital.
  • The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit area added 10 cases over the weekend on Monday to bring the regional total to 1,685 confirmed cases, of which 39 are active (13 fewer than Friday) and 1,586 are recovered (23 more than Friday). There are 60 deaths to date. No one is in hospital. There are no active institutional outbreaks. The community case breakdown is: Lanark County East 372 cases (nine active), Lanark County West 385 cases (five active), Leeds-Grenville Central 188 cases (seven active), Leeds-Grenville East 327 cases (six active) and Leeds-Grenville West 192 cases (12 active).
  • Vaccines: Ontario 6,238,778 (+94,093, last update May 10); EOHU 75,309 (last update May 10, +3,052 from previous update May 7); LGL 51,935 individuals with at least 1 shot (last update May 10, +6,194 from previous update May 3).
  • Bookings are opening at 8 a.m. this morning (Tuesday) for people with high-risk medical conditions, such as diabetes and dementia, and the second grouping of people who can’t work from home. On Thursday at 8 a.m., the Ontario vaccine portal will open to those 40 years of age and older. The province hopes to have 65 per cent of the population with at least one shot by the end of the month.
  • Ontario’s stay-at-home order will not end on May 20 but will likely be extended into early June. Health Minister Christine Elliott hinted at the extension during a reporter’s scrum Monday but no formal announcement has been made. That would come from Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams, who has said he wants to see case counts “well below 1,000” before that happens. The stay-at-home order started April 7 and was supposed to be in place four weeks before it was extended to six weeks.
  • EOHU Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis says they are seeing “good trends downwards” on the rate of infections in the region. The rolling average of cases per 100,000 people has been steadily dropping since the week after Easter and is now at 44.2 per cases per 100,000 people – just above the red zone threshold of 40.
  • While Pfizer and Moderna vaccines deliveries are picking up, Roumeliotis says there’s “no sight line on” AstraZeneca and the health unit doesn’t know about Johnson & Johnson shots. Roumeliotis also shared some encouraging news about the shot – only 0.06 per cent of people who got their first inoculation contracted COVID-19 and “most of those” were within the two week window after getting the vaccine, before the shot has been able to achieve maximum protection. “We do have a good level of protection.”
  • People who received the AstraZeneca vaccine may receive a different type of drug for their second dose. Health Minister Christine Elliott says the province will likely mix and match doses due to supply shortages. Quebec is looking to do the same. Both are waiting a U.K. study on mixing vaccines and advice from a federal immunization panel.
  • At least 76 cases have now been attributed to an outbreak at a Kingston construction site, the local health unit reported. In addition, 31 close contacts of those cases have also tested positive. The LGL District Health Unit has encouraged anyone who visited any construction site in Kingston to monitor for systems and access a Brockville assessment center if needed.
  • While nationally cases are declining, the country’s top doctor is worried the rate of that decline is slowing. Dr. Theresa Tam says some areas are increasing, creating a challenge for Canada’s overall progress.
  • The oilsands in Alberta is getting ready with more protective COVID-19 measures as spring maintenance shutdowns take place and thousands of workers are brought in to do the work. Companies are using rapid testing and offering vaccines to workers.
  • A woman in Italy accidentally received six doses of the Pfizer vaccine all at once. It happened Sunday at a Tuscany hospital where the director of patient security told CBS News the nurse had a momentary attention lapse. Shots from the six-shot vial are individually extracted and diluted in separate vials. The nurse mistakenly injected all of the liquid from the undiluted vial. The 23-year-old woman monitored at the hospital and then discharged with no adverse reactions. She will be monitored long term.
  • Some Alberta students have a chance at free tuition at the University of Lethbridge. The school is giving nine chances to win fall tuition to those who get the shot before Sept. 9. It’s worth about $3,600.

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