Newswatch COVID-19 Digest: Friday August 13, 2021

Here are the latest local, regional and national headlines on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for Friday, August 13, 2021:

  • There have been 553,962 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Ontario, an increase of 513 cases from the previous day. There have been 541,682 people recovered from the virus while 9,412 have died. The number of Ontario people tested is 16,787,683 of which 9,372 have pending results.
  • Canada’s coronavirus case total is 1,447,439. The country has 26,692 deaths from the virus – eight in the Yukon, four in Nunavut, 1,779 in British Columbia, 2,331 in Alberta, 586 in Saskatchewan, 1,184 in Manitoba, 9,412 in Ontario, 11,242 in Quebec, 46 in New Brunswick, seven in Newfoundland & Labrador and 93 in Nova Scotia.
  • The Eastern Ontario Health Unit area added three cases Thursday – one each in Prescott-Russell, SD&G and Cornwall – to bring the regional total to 4,779 confirmed cases, of which 29 are active (three more than Wednesday) and 4,639 are resolved (no change from Wednesday). The have been 111 deaths to date. There is one person in hospital in the ICU. There is one active institutional outbreak. Testing increased 344 to 148,463. The breakdown of cases is: Prescott-Russell 1,993 cases (five active), SD&G 1,136 cases (12 active), Cornwall 1,291 cases (12 active) and Akwesasne (ON/QC) 359 cases (zero active).
  • The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit area added one case Thursday to bring the regional total to 1,776 cases, of which four are active (one more than Wednesday) and 1,712 are recovered (no change). There are 60 deaths to date. There is no one in hospital. There are no active institutional outbreaks. The community case breakdown is: Lanark County East 388 cases (zero active), Lanark County West 400 cases (zero active), Leeds-Grenville Central 210 cases (zero active), Leeds-Grenville East 351 cases (two active) and Leeds-Grenville West 205 cases (two active).
  • Vaccines: Ontario 20,047,911 (+49,167, last update Aug. 12); EOHU 280,280 (last update Aug. 12, +899 from previous update Aug. 11); LGL 137,774 individuals living in LGL with first doses, 123,042 with second doses (last update Aug. 10, +1,273 first doses, +4,156 second doses since previous update Aug. 3).
  • Both the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne and the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe say there is an urgent need for residents to get vaccinated. In a joint statement Wednesday, the band councils say the Delta variant is confirmed in the territory and that people “previously…strong enough to fight COVID-19 off as a regular flu-like cold are now experiencing more serious illness and hospitalization,” due to the variant.
  • Students and employees at St. Lawrence College will have to be vaccinated to attend the Brockville, Cornwall and Kingston campuses. The college says the decision was based on public health recommendations. More details, including a grace period, will be announced next week. But two things are known: students and faculty will have to have at least their first dose by orientation day on Sept. 7 and there will be medical exemptions for those who can’t get the vaccine.
  • The Ontario Medical Association is calling for mandatory vaccines for teachers and school staff. The president of the OMA says children younger than 12 need to rely on others to keep them safe since they can’t get a vaccine. The premier has been against mandating vaccines.
  • British Columbia is requiring anyone working in long-term care and assisted living facilities to be vaccinated. Medical Officer of Health Dr. Bonnie Henry says those populations are particularly at risk for contracting the virus from the unvaccinated. The deadline for workers to get the shot will be Oct. 12.
  • Canada’s top doctor, Theresa Tam, says political candidates will have to follow local health guidelines and gatherings like campaign rallies are likely to spread the virus. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is widely expected to set the wheels in motion this weekend triggering a fall election during the pandemic.
  • In the U.S., hospitalization from the virus is at an all-time high in some southern states. States like Florida, Arkansas and Louisiana have more people in hospital now than at any prior point in the pandemic.
  • The 10 million Johnson & Johnson doses that Canada purchased will go to poorer countries. Procurement Minister Anita Anand says the doses are being donated through the COVAX program now that the country has millions of extra doses of other types of vaccine. The J&J shot was approved for use in Canada but worries about possible tainted vaccine from a Baltimore plant shelved its use.

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