Newswatch COVID-19 Digest: Friday December 17, 2021

Here are the latest local, regional and national headlines on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for Friday, December 17, 2021:

  • There have been 639,341 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Ontario, an increase of 2,421 cases from the previous day (VAX: 686 unvaccinated, 72 partially vaccinated, 1,530 fully vaccinated, 133 unknown). There have been 615,174 people recovered from the virus while 10,102 have died. The number of Ontario people tested is 20,380,597 of which 28,959 have pending results.
  • Canada’s coronavirus case total is 1,857,999. The country has 30,012 deaths from the virus – 14 in the Yukon, 12 in the Northwest Territories, four in Nunavut, 2,396 in British Columbia, 3,285 in Alberta, 941 in Saskatchewan, 1,359 in Manitoba, 10,102 in Ontario, 11,627 in Quebec, 144 in New Brunswick, 18 in Newfoundland & Labrador and 110 in Nova Scotia.
  • The Eastern Ontario Health Unit added 21 cases Thursday – 11 in Prescott-Russell, four in SD&G, five in Cornwall and one in Akwesasne – to bring the regional total to 6,363 confirmed cases, of which 143 are active (12 more than Wednesday) and 6,087 are resolved (eight more than Wednesday). There number of deaths to date is 133. There are three people in hospital (one more than Wednesday) and none in the ICU (no change from Wednesday). There are three institutional outbreaks (no change from Wednesday). Testing increased 299 to 176,731. The breakdown of cases is: Prescott-Russell 2,356 cases (58 active), SD&G 1,469 cases (25 active), Cornwall 1,941 cases (42 active) and Akwesasne (ON/QC) 597 cases (18 active)(Akwesasne health department reported two new cases Thursday: 600 total cases, six active, 12 deaths to date).
  • The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit added 45 cases Thursday to bring the regional total to 2,359 cases, of which 121 are active (28 fewer than Wednesday) and 2,173 are recovered (73 more than Wednesday). The number of deaths to date is 65. There are two people in hospital (one fewer than Wednesday) and one in the ICU (no change from Wednesday). There are no active institutional outbreaks. The community case breakdown is: Lanark County East 475 cases (11 active), Lanark County West 513 cases (18 active), Leeds-Grenville Central 358 cases (42 active), Leeds-Grenville East 449 cases (16 active), Leeds-Grenville West 327 cases (34 active) and Unknown/Out of Region 30 cases (zero active).
  • Vaccines: Ontario 24,849,505 (+137,803, last update Dec. 16); EOHU 358,828 (last update Dec. 16, +1,714 from previous update Dec. 15); LGL 156,431 individuals living in LGL with first doses, 149,430 with second doses, 16,629 with third doses. (last update Dec. 12, +1,988 first doses, +347 second doses, +4,845 third doses since previous update Dec. 5).
  • The Ontario Science Advisory Table believes vaccination booster shots won’t be enough to calm the latest surge of a COVID-19 variant. Co-chair Dr. Adalsteinn Brown says a “circuit breaker” is needed, which would include having people cut their personal contacts in half. Ontario is forecast to see nearly 10,000 daily cases soon if nothing it done to blunt the curve. ICU occupancy is expected to be in “unstable levels” early next month.
  • Beckwith Public School in Perth will be closed until the end of the week and then students will be on Christmas break. The school is dealing with additional cases of COVID-19. There were also cases reported Wednesday associated with South Edwardsburg Public School in Johnstown, The Stewart School in Perth and TISS in Brockville. All those schools remain open. Two cases at The Stewart School were not at school while infectious, the board said.
  • A new set of restrictions in Quebec. Starting Monday, all bars and restaurants, retail stores and entertainment venues will be at 50 per cent capacity. Banned are work parties, dancing, and karaoke inside establishments. Premier Francois Legault is also putting the brakes on easing indoor gathering limits – they’ll stay at a maximum of 10 people.
  • The Montreal Canadiens played in an empty Bell Center last night. Two hours before the start of the game, Quebec health officials requested no fans attend due to the rapid rise in COVID-19 cases. The Habs were hosting the Philadelphia Flyers.

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