Newswatch COVID-19 Digest: Tuesday December 21, 2021

Here are the latest local, regional and national headlines on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for Tuesday, December 21, 2021:

  • There have been 653,727 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Ontario, an increase of 3,784 cases from the previous day (VAX: 746 unvaccinated, 119 partially vaccinated, 2,781 fully vaccinated, 138 unknown). There have been 620,023 people recovered from the virus while 10,113 have died. The number of Ontario people tested is 20,581,914 of which 40,962 have pending results.
  • Canada’s coronavirus case total is 1,896,462. The country has 30,063 deaths from the virus – 14 in the Yukon, 12 in the Northwest Territories, four in Nunavut, 2,402 in British Columbia, 3,292 in Alberta, 942 in Saskatchewan, 1,366 in Manitoba, 10,113 in Ontario, 11,642 in Quebec, 148 in New Brunswick, 18 in Newfoundland & Labrador and 110 in Nova Scotia.
  • The Eastern Ontario Health Unit added 120 cases over the weekend – 51 in Prescott-Russell, 44 in SD&G and 25 in Cornwall – to bring the regional total Monday to 6,519 confirmed cases, of which 234 are active (81 more than Friday) and 6,152 are resolved (39 more than Friday). One death was added to bring the total to 134. There are three people in hospital (two fewer than Friday) and one in the ICU (no change from Friday). There are seven institutional outbreaks (one more than Friday). Testing increased 438 to 177,495. The breakdown of cases is: Prescott-Russell 2,425 cases (103 active), SD&G 1,523 cases (62 active), Cornwall 1,974 cases (51 active) and Akwesasne (ON/QC) 597 cases (18 active)(Akwesasne health department as of Friday: 604 total cases, eight active, 12 deaths to date).
  • The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit added 142 cases over the weekend to bring the regional total Monday to 2,545 cases, of which 168 are active (16 more than Friday) and 2,312 are recovered (126 more than Friday). The number of deaths to date is 65. There are three people in hospital (no change from Friday), one in the ICU (one fewer than Friday) and one on a ventilator (new). There are no active institutional outbreaks. The community case breakdown is: Lanark County East 506 cases (22 active), Lanark County West 536 cases (16 active), Leeds-Grenville Central 411 cases (56 active), Leeds-Grenville East 480 cases (29 active), Leeds-Grenville West 367 cases (39 active) and Unknown/Out of Region 38 cases (six active).
  • Vaccines: Ontario 25,422,938 (+107,158, last update Dec. 20); EOHU 366,610 (last update Dec. 20, +4,948 from previous update Dec. 17); 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).
  • Federal Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly has tested positive for COVID-19. She tested positive after taking a rapid test and shared that result on Twitter. Joly is isolating until she gets a lab test result.
  • Vaccination clinics in the Eastern Ontario Health Unit region are moving to appointments only. The clinics will no longer accept walk-ins. It’s meant to reduce wait times and crowding now that booster shots are open to all adults as of yesterday. The health unit is working to add capacity to its clinics.
  • With a limited supply of Pfizer, the EOHU will be giving Moderna boosters to people 30 years old and older at its clinics. Pfizer is being reserved for those 12-29 years old. Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis says both vaccines are safe and effective. “The best option for a third dose is the first one available to you,” he says.
  • People across Ontario were snapping up third dose appointments on Monday. The health minister’s office says more than 125,000 third-dose appointments were booked through the portal in just a few hours. In Saskatchewan, tens of thousands of people did the same.
  • The National Hockey League will shut down Wednesday through Christmas Day, including games and scrimmages. It’s meant to try and stop the massive spread of the Omicron variant.
  • Quebec’s health minister is calling the COVID-19 situation “critical” in his province. Christian Dube has put new health restrictions in place – bars, theaters and restaurants closed as of 5 p.m. yesterday. Restaurants will be allowed to open their doors from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Schools are now closed with in-class instruction not starting until Jan. 10. There will be no spectators in the stands for professional and amateur sports. Gyms and spas are shut too. Work from home is mandatory. Quebec had nearly 4,600 new cases yesterday.
  • A hospital in Oakville is dealing with an outbreak. Six staff and one patient are affected in the adult mental health unit. All visitation and admissions to that unit have been suspended until further notice.
  • B.C. will continue the 15 per cent fee cap on food delivery services and 5 per cent on processing fees. The cap extension until the end of next year is meant to help businesses during the pandemic.

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