Newswatch COVID-19 Digest: Friday December 24, 2021

Here are the latest local, regional and national headlines on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for Friday, December 24, 2021:

  • There have been 667,353 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Ontario, an increase of 5,790 cases from the previous day (VAX: 971 unvaccinated, 222 partially vaccinated, 4,392 fully vaccinated, 205 unknown). There have been 624,801 people recovered from the virus while 10,140 have died. The number of Ontario people tested is 20,754,771 of which 63,472 have pending results.
  • Canada’s coronavirus case total is 1,945,754. The country has 30,131 deaths from the virus – 14 in the Yukon, 12 in the Northwest Territories, four in Nunavut, 2,410 in British Columbia, 3,299 in Alberta, 945 in Saskatchewan, 1,369 in Manitoba, 10,140 in Ontario, 11,658 in Quebec, 151 in New Brunswick, 18 in Newfoundland & Labrador and 111 in Nova Scotia.
  • The Eastern Ontario Health Unit added 136 cases Thursday – 67 in Prescott-Russell, 39 in SD&G and 30 in Cornwall – to bring the regional total to 6,777 confirmed cases, of which 397 are active (110 more than Wednesday) and 6,246 are resolved (26 more than Wednesday). The number of deaths to date is 134. There are three people in hospital (one fewer than Wednesday) and one in the ICU (no change from Wednesday). There are seven institutional outbreaks (one more than Wednesday). Testing increased 410 to 178,747. The breakdown of cases is: Prescott-Russell 2,530 cases (165 active), SD&G 1,598 cases (120 active), Cornwall 2,042 cases (100 active) and Akwesasne (ON/QC) 607 cases (12 active)(Akwesasne health department reported six new cases Thursday: 614 total cases, 15 active, 12 deaths to date).
  • The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit added 78 cases Thursday to bring the regional total to 2,715 cases, of which 253 are active (34 more than Wednesday) and 2,397 are recovered (44 more than Wednesday). The number of deaths to date is 65. There are two people in hospital, one in the ICU and on a ventilator (no changes since Wednesday). There are no active institutional outbreaks. The community case breakdown is: Lanark County East 525 cases (33 active), Lanark County West 575 cases (47 active), Leeds-Grenville Central 439 cases (57 active), Leeds-Grenville East 534 cases (67 active), Leeds-Grenville West 394 cases (41 active) and Unknown/Out of Region 41 cases (eight active).
  • Vaccines: Ontario 26,113,307 (+253,258, last update Dec. 23); EOHU 375,891 (last update Dec. 23, +3,128 from previous update Dec. 22); LGL 157,816 individuals living in LGL with first doses, 149,722 with second doses, 30,828 with third doses. (last update Dec. 19, +1,385 first doses, +292 second doses, +14,199 third doses since previous update Dec. 12).
  • In addition to Ontario’s record high case count of 5,790 cases on Thursday, Quebec also smashed a record with 9,397 new cases.
  • SD&G OPP has closed all satellite offices to the public until further notice. The closure went into effect at noon on Wednesday. Those locations are Morrisburg, Winchester, Alexandria and Lancaster. The Long Sault detachment will remain open to the public. The OPP says some administrative services may be affected.
  • Alberta is asking people with COVID-19 symptoms to use rapid antigen tests and to not book PCR tests. The province is trying to keep those tests for higher-risk groups like those in continuing care.
  • The United Conservative Party in Alberta is being criticized by the Opposition NDP after going ahead with a Christmas party Tuesday, while the health minister had told workplaces to cancel parties. The NDP called the move hypocritical. A UCP spokesman says the party had reduced capacity and was only hours after the health minister’s advice. A similar party for Wednesday in Calgary was cancelled.
  • COVID-19 restrictions are being tightened in the far north. The government in Nunavut is restricting travel in and out of Iqaluit to essential only. The city also shut down the community swimming pool, theater and hair and nail salons. Restaurants are takeout only and indoor gatherings are limited to five people plus members of the household.
  • The Ottawa-Cornwall Diocese will hold four masses over four days. The diocese says there is a “dispensation from the obligation” of attending due to the current state of the pandemic. The first of four masses will be held tonight (Dec. 24). The others are on Saturday night, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day evening.

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