Newswatch COVID-19 Digest: Thursday September 2, 2021

Here are the latest local, regional and national headlines on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for Thursday, September 2, 2021:

  • There have been 566,206 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Ontario, an increase of 656 cases from the previous day (397 unvaccinated, 52 partially, 152 fully vaccinated, 55 unknown). There have been 550,829 people recovered from the virus while 9,516 have died (six of 13 newly reported deaths are old cases from data clean-up). The number of Ontario people tested is 17,256,160 of which 12,846 have pending results.
  • Canada’s coronavirus case total is 1,503,018. The country has 26,962 deaths from the virus – eight in the Yukon, one in the Northwest Territories, four in Nunavut, 1,818 in British Columbia, 2,383 in Alberta, 607 in Saskatchewan, 1,190 in Manitoba, 9,516 in Ontario, 11,288 in Quebec, 46 in New Brunswick, seven in Newfoundland & Labrador and 94 in Nova Scotia.
  • The Eastern Ontario Health Unit area added 24 cases Wednesday – six in Prescott-Russell, eight in SD&G and 10 in Cornwall – to bring the regional total to 4,879 confirmed cases, of which 71 are active (19 more than Tuesday) and 4,696 are resolved (five more than Tuesday). The number of deaths is at 112. There is one person in hospital in the ICU. There are no institutional outbreaks. Testing increased 235 to 151,212. The breakdown of cases is: Prescott-Russell 2,035 cases (27 active), SD&G 1,163 cases (21 active), Cornwall 1,321 cases (20 active) and Akwesasne (ON/QC) 360 cases (three active).
  • The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit removed a second case in as many days Wednesday to bring the regional total down to 1,811 confirmed cases, of which seven are active (three fewer than Tuesday) and 1,744 are recovered (two more than Tuesday). There are 60 deaths to date. There is one person in hospital. There are no active institutional outbreaks. The community case breakdown is: Lanark County East 393 cases (four active), Lanark County West 414 cases (zero active), Leeds-Grenville Central 214 cases (one active), Leeds-Grenville East 357 cases (one active), Leeds-Grenville West 206 cases (one active) and Unknown 19 cases (zero active).
  • Vaccines: Ontario 20,792,657 (+34,703, last update Sept. 1); EOHU 293,928 (last update Sept. 1, +0 from previous update Aug. 31); LGL 141,503 individuals living in LGL with first doses, 132,481 with second doses (last update Aug. 31, +1,403 first doses, +2,050 second doses since previous update Aug. 24).
  • Ontario residents will need to be fully vaccinated by Sept. 22 in order to access high-risk public spaces, such as theaters, restaurants, gyms and other venues. The new vaccine certificate policy announced Wednesday by Premier Doug Ford won’t apply to essential services like grocery stores and places for health care. There will be exceptions for people with medical exemptions and for those under 12 years old who can’t be vaccinated. The smartphone based QR code system is expected to be up by Oct. 22.
  • On the first day of its proof-of-vaccination program, Montreal business owners says they are adapting to the new system but say they lament having to turn away people when they are trying to recover. Health Minister Christian Dube says there’s a two-week grace period but on Sept. 15, businesses caught breaking the health order could face fines in the thousands of dollars.
  • New Brunswick isn’t rushing to implement a vaccine passport system. But Premier Blaine Higgs says the province may have to, so residents are able to easily travel across Canada.
  • Winchester District Memorial Hospital has introduced a mandatory vaccine policy. WDMH says all of its medical staff and volunteers and almost all of its other employees are fully vaccinated. Unlike the Cornwall Community Hospital which is following the province’s directive to require education or regular testing for unvaccinated staff, WDMH will be putting employees on an unpaid leave of absence. WDMH’s policy appears to follow 14 hospitals in Central Ontario that have a joint vaccination policy that will lead to unpaid leave or termination for unvaccinated staff.
  • The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board is pausing extracurricular activities at the start of the school year until the student body gets used to the COVID-19 safety measures. It’s the first Ontario school board to do so.
  • Across the river, St. Lawrence County (which includes Massena, Potsdam and Canton) added 42 cases Wednesday to bring the total of 8,607 cases. There are 381 active cases with most of them in Ogdensburg (47), Potsdam (41), Massena (29) and Canton (29). Eighteen people are in hospital and 99 people have died to date. A little over 51 per cent of the county’s 111,944 residents are vaccinated.
  • A study in the United Kingdom shows the odds of ending up in hospital from COVID-19 after vaccination dropped by two-thirds. The odds of being infected and being asymptomatic almost doubled. The survey followed more than 1.2 million adults who received at least one dose of a vaccine.
  • Whoops! An error on a news release led people to call a man in Texas to book vaccine appointments for a health unit in the Sarnia area. The health unit apologized to the man in a social media post.

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