Newswatch COVID-19 Digest: Saturday May 22, 2021

Here are the latest local, regional and national headlines on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for Saturday, May 22, 2021:

  • There have been 518,980 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Ontario, an increase of 1,890 cases from the previous day. There have been 488,201 people recovered from the virus while 8,579 have died. The number of Ontario people tested is 14,938,913 of which 19,891 have pending results.
  • Canada’s coronavirus case total is 1,352,121. The country has 25,162 deaths from the virus – two in the Yukon, four in Nunavut, 1,667 in British Columbia, 2,164 in Alberta, 524 in Saskatchewan, 1,022 in Manitoba, 8,579 in Ontario, 11,075 in Quebec, 43 in New Brunswick, six in Newfoundland & Labrador and 76 in Nova Scotia.
  • The Eastern Ontario Health Unit area added 14 cases Friday – six in Prescott-Russell, seven in SD&G and one in Cornwall – to bring the regional total to 4,741 confirmed cases. Of those, 172 are active (five fewer than Thursday) and 4,466 are resolved (19 more than Thursday). The number of deaths is at 103. There are 10 people in hospital (one more than Thursday) with three in the ICU (no change). There are two active institutional outbreaks (no change). Testing increased 216 to 138,650. The breakdown of cases is: Prescott-Russell 1,986 cases (64 active), SD&G 1,130 cases (61 active), Cornwall 1,275 cases (44 active) and Akwesasne (ON/QC) 350 cases (three active).
  • The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit area added four cases Friday to bring the regional total to 1,718 confirmed cases, of which 26 are active (three more than Thursday) and 1,632 are recovered (one more than Thursday). 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 377 cases (five active), Lanark County West 390 cases (four active), Leeds-Grenville Central 202 cases (10 active), Leeds-Grenville East 334 cases (five active) and Leeds-Grenville West 194 cases (two active).
  • Vaccines: Ontario 7,735,148 (+158,524, last update May 21); EOHU 94,446 (last update May 21, +2,673 from previous update May 20); LGL 57,836 individuals with at least 1 shot (last update May 17, +5,901 from previous update May 10).
  • Ontario is moving ahead with giving the AstraZeneca vaccine as a second dose for those who already had the vaccine for COVID-19. Using the drug had been paused due to concerns about the rare side effect of blood clots. Around 45,000 doses are set to expire at the end of the month.
  • Children 12 years old and older will be able to book a vaccine through the provincial portal starting Sunday morning at 8 a.m. Those eligible must be 12 years old on the date of booking. The Pfizer vaccine is the only one approved in Canada for children 12 and older.
  • Friends and family will be able to have outdoor visits at Ontario long-term care homes starting today (May 22). It will be a maximum of two visitors per residents in addition to two essential caregivers. Visitors won’t have to take a rapid COVID-19 test but they will be screened when arriving on site.
  • The Cornwall Community Hospital says it has been cleared by the Ontario government to start dealing with the backlog of over 2,000 elective surgeries. The hospital had to pause those procedures on April 20 due to the third wave of the coronavirus. In a statement, CCH says it’s confident it will be able to cut that wait list and “catch up within the coming months, just as it has after each wave.” Some of those procedures include tonsil removal, cataracts, tendon and muscle repairs.
  • Eastern Ontario MPs Eric Duncan and Michael Barrett are applauding a push by two Watertown, N.Y. politicians to have New York State’s opening of vaccinations to non-residents apply to Canadian truckers. Both Members of Parliament are hoping the eligibility will be extended for those drivers heading into the Empire State for essential work. It’s not clear yet whether that will be allowed by the New York State Department of Health.
  • Under the new provincial rules regarding opening of outdoor recreation, the splash pads at Cornwall’s Lamoureux Park, Riverdale Park and St. Theresa Park are opening today (May 22). Tennis courts are also open at five city parks.
  • The federal government has extended the ban on direct flights from India and Pakistan into Canada until at least June 21. The April 22 restriction was going to expire today. Those coming from an indirect flight have to have a pre-departure COVID-19 test from a third country before coming to Canada.
  • During this Victoria Day weekend, the country’s deputy chief medical officer of health says people need to choose low-risk outdoor activities. Dr. Howard Njoo says case counts have shot up after holiday weekends in the past.
  • Manitoba has appealed to the federal government for medical help as it deals with a coronavirus crisis. Premier Brian Pallister, speaking with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, says the province needs nurses and respiratory therapists to deal with the surge in cases.
  • With a high uptake in vaccines, Yukon residents can now gather in groups up to 200 people, both indoors and outdoors. Starting Tuesday, bars and restaurants will be at full capacity.

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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