Newswatch COVID-19 Digest: Wednesday February 16, 2022

Here are the latest local, regional and national coronavirus headlines (COVID-19) for Wednesday, February 16, 2022:

  • Public Health Ontario reported 19 deaths on Tuesday to bring the total to 12,120. There are 1,550 people in hospital (all hospitals reporting), 384 in ICU (down 10 from the previous day) and 243 on a ventilator (no change from the previous day). Although PHO reported 1,593 new cases Tuesday, the statistic is likely lower than the number of infections given the limited testing in Ontario. The total case count is 1,076,078.
  • Canada’s coronavirus case total (as of 9 a.m. Feb. 15) is 3,203,134. The country has 35,580 deaths from the virus – 20 in the Yukon, 17 in the Northwest Territories, five in Nunavut, 2,764 in British Columbia, 3,776 in Alberta, 1,012 in Saskatchewan, 1,637 in Manitoba, 12,101 in Ontario, 13,710 in Quebec, 292 in New Brunswick, 14 in PEI, 56 in Newfoundland & Labrador and 176 in Nova Scotia.
  • Two new deaths were reported Tuesday in the Eastern Ontario Health Unit area bringing the regional total to 185. There were 15 people in hospital Tuesday (three fewer than Monday) with four in the ICU (no change from Monday). There are 14 institutional outbreaks (two fewer than Monday). Test positivity from limited testing in high-risk populations is 16.2 per cent (no change from Monday). Public Health Ontario says the cumulative case total for the region as of Tuesday is 13,265.
  • The Akwesasne health department report as of Friday (Feb. 11): 785 cases, seven active, 12 deaths to date.
  • In its Monday report, the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit has nine people in hospital (one fewer than Friday), six in the ICU (one fewer than Friday) and zero on a ventilator (one fewer than Friday). The number of deaths to date is 80 (one more than Friday). There were 96 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 6,318. There are 14 lab-confirmed outbreaks in congregate care, communal living and other facilities (one more than Friday). A partial list of active institutional outbreaks.
  • Vaccines: Ontario 31,329,083 (+25,258, last update Feb. 15); EOHU 455,224 (last update Feb. 15, +205 from previous update Feb. 14); LGL 161,897 individuals living in LGL with first doses, 155,694 with second doses, 102,084 with third doses. (last update Feb. 13, +305 first doses, +1,349 second doses, +2,359 third doses since previous update Feb. 6).
  • The federal government will drop the requirement for a PCR test for fully vaccinated travellers entering Canada starting Feb. 28. Instead, travellers will have the choice of getting a rapid antigen test approved by the country they are coming from and administered by a lab technician or health service. Travellers will still be randomly selected for molecular testing at airports but are not required to quarantine until they get their results. The government also plans to lift the non-essential travel advisory.
  • Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly has resigned. He faced continued criticism over his handling of the Ottawa anti-vaccine mandate protesters near Parliament Hill. Federal Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino says an integrated command center has been set up for information sharing and coordinate enforcement between the RCMP and the OPP.
  • B.C. will drop capacity limits for indoor and outdoor gatherings starting at 11:59 p.m. tonight (Wednesday). It will also apply to sporting events, fitness centers, bars, restaurants and nightclubs. Masking and vaccination proof will still be required.
  • Quebec will phase out its vaccine passport system as of March 14. That’s two weeks after Ontario’s proof of vaccination system is shelved.

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