Newswatch COVID-19 Digest: Wednesday May 19, 2021

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

  • There have been 513,102 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Ontario, an increase of 1,616 cases from the previous day. There have been 479,630 people recovered from the virus while 8,506 have died. The number of Ontario people tested is 14,817,959 of which 20,325 have pending results.
  • Canada’s coronavirus case total is 1,338,141. The country has 25,018 deaths from the virus – two in the Yukon, four in Nunavut, 1,650 in British Columbia, 2,152 in Alberta, 522 in Saskatchewan, 1,012 in Manitoba, 8,506 in Ontario, 11,050 in Quebec, 42 in New Brunswick, six in Newfoundland & Labrador and 72 in Nova Scotia.
  • The number of deaths from COVID-19 in Canada hit a new threshold on Tuesday with 25,000 deaths since the pandemic began. Ontario’s 17 reported deaths pushed the count over 25,000. The first death in the country was on March 9, 2020.
  • The Eastern Ontario Health Unit area added 18 cases Tuesday – seven in Prescott-Russell, two in SD&G, two in Cornwall and seven in Akwesasne – to bring the regional total to 4,693 confirmed cases. Of those, 175 are active (three fewer than Monday) and 4,415 are resolved (21 more than Monday). The number of deaths is at 103. There are eight people in hospital (one fewer than Monday) with three in the ICU (no change). There are two active institutional outbreaks (one fewer than Monday). Testing increased 261 to 138,036. The breakdown of cases is: Prescott-Russell 1,966 cases (68 active), SD&G 1,111 cases (56 active), Cornwall 1,266 cases (48 active) and Akwesasne (ON/QC) 350 cases (three active).
  • The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit area added two cases Tuesday to bring the regional total to 1,708 confirmed cases, of which 20 are active (two fewer than Monday) and 1,628 are recovered (four more than Monday). There are 60 deaths to date. One person is in hospital. There are no active institutional outbreaks. The community case breakdown is: Lanark County East 376 cases (five active), Lanark County West 388 cases (two active), Leeds-Grenville Central 198 cases (seven active), Leeds-Grenville East 331 cases (four active) and Leeds-Grenville West 194 cases (two active).
  • Vaccines: Ontario 7,286,177 (+109,032, last update May 18); EOHU 89,263 (last update May 18, +791 from previous update May 17); LGL 57,836 individuals with at least 1 shot (last update May 17, +5,901 from previous update May 10).
  • The Eastern Ontario Health Unit statistics show everyone eligible for a vaccine who are 70 years old or older in the region have been at least partially vaccinated as of Tuesday. Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis is hopeful that 75 to 80 per cent of the population will have had at least their first dose by the end of summer.
  • Doctors and health care workers at Cornwall Community Hospital have started receiving their second doses of COVID-19 vaccine ahead of schedule. The timelines were moved up following approval by the provincial government. CEO Jeanette Despatie says it’s an “emotional moment for many of our frontline workers and physicians who have selflessly dedicated themselves” caring for COVID-19 patients.
  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada will receive nine million doses of Pfizer vaccine in July.
  • Canada’s top doctor is optimistic about the summer. Dr. Theresa Tam was reacting to word that provinces and territories are breaking targets to get their populations vaccinated.
  • Quebec plans to lift its curfew on May 28 that has been in place for more than four months. Premier Francois Legault announced it as part of a reopening plan that will also see restaurant patios welcome back customers on that day. If 75 per cent of the population is fully vaccinated by the end of August, Quebecers will be able to take off their masks in most public places.
  • Saskatchewan is scaling back the number of vaccination appointments to allow for school immunization programs. The province wants to make sure students get the shot before school begins this fall.
  • Federal Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson is asking Canadians to camp carefully as the country gets ready for a second COVID-19 summer. Parks Canada has rules in place for its parks that also conform to local health rules. If you are going to a federal park, you’re urged to check the site’s website first for details on those restrictions.
  • In order to save anchor attractions and tour bus operators on the brink of going under and help them expand after the pandemic, the B.C. government has launched a $50 million grant program to help the tourism sector. Not-for-profits and businesses can get up to $1 million grants.
  • Seasonal residents and family members will be able to start reunification on Prince Edward Island the first week of June. Any travel will need to be pre-approved and there will be a two week isolation plan, according to Premier Dennis King.

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