Here are the latest local, regional and national headlines on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for Thursday, December 30, 2021:
- There have been 725,841 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Ontario, an increase of 10,436 cases from the previous day (VAX: 1,514 unvaccinated, 425 partially vaccinated, 8,221 fully vaccinated, 276 unknown). There have been 638,678 people recovered from the virus while 10,171 have died. The number of Ontario people tested is 21,111,643 of which 74,535 have pending results.
- (Health Canada did not update statistics at 7 p.m. Wednesday. The following totals are compiled by Newswatch from official provincial/territorial websites.) Canada’s coronavirus case total is 2,102,470. The country has 30,253 deaths from the virus – 14 in the Yukon, 12 in the Northwest Territories (no update since Dec. 22), four in Nunavut, 2,419 in British Columbia, 3,310 in Alberta, 951 in Saskatchewan, 1,384 in Manitoba, 10,171 in Ontario, 11,702 in Quebec, 157 in New Brunswick, 18 in Newfoundland & Labrador and 111 in Nova Scotia.
- The Eastern Ontario Health Unit added 265 cases Wednesday – 74 in Prescott-Russell, 87 in SD&G and 104 in Cornwall – to bring the regional total to 7,656 confirmed cases, of which 1,120 are active (218 more than Tuesday) and 6,402 are resolved (47 more than Tuesday). The number of deaths to date is 134. There are four people in hospital (one fewer than Tuesday) and one in the ICU (no change from Tuesday). There are 10 institutional outbreaks (four fewer than Tuesday; five long-term care or group homes, four schools and one daycare.). Testing increased 358 to 180,038. The breakdown of cases is: Prescott-Russell 2,929 cases (489 active), SD&G 1,836 cases (319 active), Cornwall 2,284 cases (300 active) and Akwesasne (ON/QC) 607 cases (12 active)(Akwesasne health department report on Wednesday had 23 new cases since Dec. 27: 640 total cases, 25 active, 12 deaths to date).
- The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit added 115 cases Wednesday to bring the regional total to 3,243 cases, of which 635 are active (79 more than Tuesday) and 2,543 are recovered (36 more than Tuesday). The number of deaths to date is 65. There are four people in hospital, two in the ICU and two a ventilator (no changes from Tuesday). There are no active institutional outbreaks. The community case breakdown is: Lanark County East 621 cases (112 active), Lanark County West 658 cases (103 active), Leeds-Grenville Central 570 cases (150 active), Leeds-Grenville East 652 cases (151 active), Leeds-Grenville West 479 cases (102 active) and Unknown/Out of Region 56 cases (17 active).
- Vaccines: Ontario 26,815,586 (+176,349, last update Dec. 29); EOHU 383,588 (last update Dec. 29, +1,239 from previous update Dec. 28); 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).
- South Stormont and South Glengarry have closed their public facilities until early in the new year. The Long Sault Arena and indoor facilities are closed in South Stormont, putting any public skating or stick and puck games on ice. It’s a similar case in South Glengarry.
- The Cornwall Community Hospital says people shouldn’t show up at the emergency department for COVID-19 tests. In a statement, the hospital says its dealing with a staff shortage like other Ontario hospitals and staff exposed to the virus from people showing up for tests mean they have to stop work and be tested, putting further strain on the local health care system.
- Some health care workers in Quebec who test positive for COVID-19 will be allowed to stay on the job. Health Minister Christian Dube announced the controversial move Tuesday in order to keep the health system running. The decision will be made on a case-by-case basis. Manitoba and Ontario are considering a similar measure.
- The teachers’ union in British Columbia wants a delay to the start to the school year after the Christmas break. The B.C. Teachers Federation tweeted that officials need to do more if they expect to keep schools open next month. It’s making a number of recommendations, including masking and rapid testing proposals.
- New Year’s Eve celebrations in commercial locations of Greece will be silent – no music allowed. The ban on music was supposed to start Jan. 3 but starts today instead after Omicron cases skyrocketed.
- In order to put pressure on the unvaccinated to get the shot, France is planning to move ahead with only allowing the fully vaccinated access to places like restaurants, museums and sports arenas. The country had nearly 180,000 new cases on Tuesday.
- The World Junior Hockey Championships have been cancelled due to a rise in coronavirus cases, according to multiple news reports. The Alberta championships have saw some teams already forfeit because of infections among players.
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