Newswatch COVID-19 Digest: Thursday January 20, 2022

Here are the latest local, regional and national coronavirus headlines (COVID-19) for Thursday, January 20, 2022:

  • Public Health Ontario reported 60 new deaths on Wednesday (59 new deaths and one added through data clean-up), bringing the total to 10,726. There are 4,132 people in hospital (all hospitals reporting), 589 in ICU (up nine from the previous day) and 341 on a ventilator (up four from the previous day). Although PHO reported 5,744 new cases Wednesday, the statistic is likely lower than the number of infections given the limited testing in Ontario. The total case count is 969,437 cases.
  • Canada’s coronavirus case total (as of 9 a.m. Jan. 19) is 2,822,614. The country has 31,827 deaths from the virus – 15 in the Yukon, 13 in the Northwest Territories, five in Nunavut, 2,492 in British Columbia, 3,412 in Alberta, 961 in Saskatchewan, 1,466 in Manitoba, 10,666 in Ontario, 12,453 in Quebec, 192 in New Brunswick, 28 in Newfoundland & Labrador and 122 in Nova Scotia.
  • In an interim report as it works to update its website, the Eastern Ontario Health Unit had 37 people in hospital Tuesday (28 fewer than Friday) with seven in the ICU (one fewer than Friday). The number of deaths to date is 140 (no change). There are 41 (no change from Friday). There are no more raw testing numbers but test positivity is 22.2 per cent. The total active case count is 3,402 (down 189 from Friday). The health unit notes that with testing limited to high-risk individuals the number of cases in the region are likely much higher than reported. Public Health Ontario says the cumulative case total for the region is 11,398. Around 81 per cent of the population five and older have a first and second doses and a little 45 per cent have their third dose of vaccine.
  • The Akwesasne health department reported two new cases Wednesday: 747 cases, 13 active, 12 deaths to date.
  • The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit has 20 people in hospital (one fewer than Monday), seven in the ICU (two more than Monday) and two on a ventilator (no change from Monday). The number of deaths to date is 70 (three more than Monday). The three latest victims were reportedly all older than 65 and in long-term care with underlying medical conditions. There were 84 cases added since Monday but due to limited testing, the number of cases locally is likely higher than what is being reported. Local case numbers are updated Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Public Health Ontario says the cumulative case count for the region is 5,000. There are 16 lab-confirmed outbreaks in congregate care, communal living and other facilities (no change from Monday). A partial list of active .
  • Vaccines: Ontario 29,664,874 (+103,143, last update Jan. 19); EOHU 414,437 (last update Jan. 14, +2,730 from previous update Jan. 13); LGL 160,298 individuals living in LGL with first doses, 151,149 with second doses, 84,488 with third doses. (last update Jan. 16, +680 first doses, +631 second doses, +12,012 third doses since previous update Jan. 9).
  • Restaurants across the province are expected to reopen to indoor dining at the end of the month. That’s according to Toronto media, citing multiple sources. An announcement is expected today (Thursday) from Premier Doug Ford.
  • The Ontario government has opened up the application process for businesses to apply for the Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program. The program will allow eligible businesses to apply for a rebate up to 100 per cent of their property tax and energy costs they incurred during the period they were forced to either reduce capacity or shut down to stem the spread of the Omicron variant.
  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says more young children need to get vaccinated before it starts affecting other segments of the population. The PM says 48 per cent of kids ages five to 12 with one dose and three per cent with two shots is too low and other older family members will end up getting sick.
  • A study of the antiviral drug remdesivir shows it could have a modest but significant effect on those in hospital with COVID-19. The study by Toronto’s Sunnybrook hospital and UBC found patients treated with the drug required less ventilation.
  • Starbucks is no longer requiring its employees in the U.S. to be vaccinated. The company reversed a policy it put in place this month after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling rejecting President Joe Biden’s plan to require vaccines or regular testing for companies with more than 100 workers.

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