Newswatch COVID-19 Digest: Wednesday February 2, 2022

Here are the latest local, regional and national coronavirus headlines (COVID-19) for Wednesday, February 2, 2022:

  • Public Health Ontario reported 63 new deaths Tuesday, bringing the total to 11,504. There are 3,091 people in hospital (all hospitals reporting), 568 in ICU (down 15 from the previous day) and 349 on a ventilator (up two from the previous day). Although PHO reported 2,622 new cases Tuesday, the statistic is likely lower than the number of infections given the limited testing in Ontario. The total case count is 1,035,916 cases.
  • Canada’s coronavirus case total (as of 9 a.m. Feb. 1) is 3,055,826. The country has 33,873 deaths from the virus – 16 in the Yukon, 15 in the Northwest Territories, five in Nunavut, 2,616 in British Columbia, 3,566 in Alberta, 992 in Saskatchewan, 1,562 in Manitoba, 11,444 in Ontario, 13,223 in Quebec, 238 in New Brunswick, 10 in PEI, 40 in Newfoundland & Labrador and 146 in Nova Scotia.
  • The Eastern Ontario Health Unit had 48 people in hospital Tuesday (no change from Monday) with 13 in the ICU (no change from Monday). The number of deaths to date is 170 (two more than Monday). There are 35 institutional outbreaks (six fewer than Monday). Test positivity from limited testing in high-risk populations is 20.7 per cent (down 0.6 per cent). Public Health Ontario says the cumulative case total for the region as of Tuesday is 12,607.
  • The Akwesasne health department report as of Monday: 779 cases, 10 active, 12 deaths to date.
  • In its Monday report, the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit has 18 people in hospital (two fewer than Friday), seven in the ICU (two more than Friday) and two on a ventilator (one more than Friday). The number of deaths to date is 75 (one more than Friday). There were 124 cases added since Friday 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 as of Tuesday is 5,649. There are 20 lab-confirmed outbreaks in congregate care, communal living and other facilities (two more than Friday). A partial list of active institutional outbreaks.
  • Vaccines: Ontario 30,707,331 (+57,600, last update Feb. 1); EOHU 446,838 (last update Feb. 1, +1,063 from previous update Jan. 31); LGL 161,268 individuals living in LGL with first doses, 153,073 with second doses, 97,045 with third doses. (last update Jan. 30, +736 first doses, +1,458 second doses, +5,477 third doses since previous update Jan. 23).
  • New modelling by the Ontario Science Advisory Table shows cases will rise after Monday’s reopening but it’s not known by how much. The scenarios depend on how many people have immunity from exposure to the Omicron variant, which is difficult to determine since Ontario limited PCR testing to only high-risk cases. Wastewater data suggests the latest wave peaked around Jan. 11.
  • With Ottawa still at a standstill Tuesday due to the truckers’ convoy, politicians from all levels of government are saying enough is enough. Law enforcement estimates it’s spending $800,000 a day to supervise the protest and respond to urgent situations. During a news conference in Ajax, Premier Doug Ford told reporters the protesters have been heard and now it’s time for them to go home.
  • Quebec Premier Francois Legault is abandoning his plan to tax those who are unvaccinated. The premier is worried about dividing Quebecers and wants to maintain peace in the province. Legault had planned for a significant health care premium for those unvaccinated because they were a disproportionate burden on the health care system. During his news conference Tuesday, the premier also announced that gyms and spas will be allowed to reopen Feb. 14.
  • The Mounties are taking “further action” against a convoy in Alberta that has been blocking a major border crossing into the United States near Coutts, Alta. The RCMP says the demonstration has been impeding emergency vehicles.

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