Newswatch COVID-19 Digest: Thursday February 24, 2022

Here are the latest local, regional and national coronavirus headlines (COVID-19) for Thursday, February 24, 2022:

  • Public Health Ontario reported 19 deaths on Wednesday to bring the total to 12,306. There are 1,106 people in hospital (all hospitals reporting), 319 in ICU (no change from the previous day) and 199 on a ventilator (down three from the previous day). Although PHO reported 1,425 new cases Wednesday, the statistic is likely lower than the number of infections given the limited testing in Ontario. The total case count is 1,091,526.
  • Canada’s coronavirus case total (as of 9 a.m. Feb. 23) is 3,255,058. The country has 36,161 deaths from the virus – 20 in the Yukon, 19 in the Northwest Territories, five in Nunavut, 2,830 in British Columbia, 3,830 in Alberta, 1,054 in Saskatchewan, 1,660 in Manitoba, 12,288 in Ontario, 13,886 in Quebec, 300 in New Brunswick, 15 in PEI, 63 in Newfoundland & Labrador and 191 in Nova Scotia.
  • Two deaths were reported Wednesday in the Eastern Ontario Health Unit area bringing the regional total to 194. There are eight people in hospital (one more than Tuesday) with two in the ICU (one more than Tuesday). There are seven institutional outbreaks (no change from Tuesday). Test positivity from limited testing in high-risk populations is 11.4 per cent (down 1.2 from Tuesday). Public Health Ontario says the cumulative case total for the region as of Wednesday is 13,469.
  • The Akwesasne health department’s weekly report had one new case Friday (Feb. 18): 786 cases, two active, 12 deaths to date.
  • In its Wednesday report, the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit has seven people in hospital (one more than Tuesday), four in the ICU (one more than Tuesday) and one on a ventilator (no change from Tuesday). The number of deaths to date is 81 (no change from Tuesday). There were 17 cases added since Tuesday 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 Wednesday is 6,580. There are four lab-confirmed outbreaks in congregate care, communal living and other facilities (one fewer than Tuesday). A partial list of active institutional outbreaks.
  • Vaccines: Ontario 31,559,024 (+30,467, last update Feb. 23); EOHU 457,410 (last update Feb. 23, +338 from previous update Feb. 22); LGL 162,025 individuals living in LGL with first doses, 156,379 with second doses, 103,432 with third doses, 1,761 with fourth doses (new metric). (last update Feb. 20, +128 first doses, +685 second doses, +1,348 third doses since previous update Feb. 13).
  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is revoking the Emergencies Act now that the demonstrations in Ottawa and at the border are over or have slowed down. Trudeau says threats remain but police and existing legislation will be enough to prevent other occupations. The Emergencies Act was implemented last week.
  • The so-called “Freedom Convoy” has sparked a call to look at security around Parliament Hill. Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson says changes need to be considered to better protect neighbourhoods and the Hill. Wellington Street is still closed to traffic and will stay so until a new council is elected and can figure out a traffic plan.
  • The Ontario government ended its state of emergency at 5 p.m. on Wednesday to align with the federal government. But “emergency tools” afforded to law enforcement to deal with demonstrations will stay in place for now. The state of emergency has been in effect since Feb. 11.
  • The federal government has signed an agreed to buy 100,000 doses of the AstraZeneca antibody therapy. It’s still under view by Health Canada. Evushield is a pre-exposure preventive for COVID-19 and used for high risk populations.

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