Newswatch COVID-19 Digest: Friday February 25, 2022

Here are the latest local, regional and national coronavirus headlines (COVID-19) for Friday, February 25, 2022:

  • Public Health Ontario reported 41 deaths on Thursday to bring the total to 12,347. There are 1,066 people in hospital (all hospitals reporting), 302 in ICU (down 17 from the previous day) and 192 on a ventilator (down seven from the previous day). Although PHO reported 2,404 new cases Thursday, the statistic is likely lower than the number of infections given the limited testing in Ontario. The total case count is 1,093,930.
  • Canada’s coronavirus case total (as of 9 a.m. Feb. 24) is 3,261,911. The country has 36,254 deaths from the virus – 20 in the Yukon, 19 in the Northwest Territories, five in Nunavut, 2,831 in British Columbia, 3,883 in Alberta, 1,054 in Saskatchewan, 1,663 in Manitoba, 12,306 in Ontario, 13,903 in Quebec, 300 in New Brunswick, 15 in PEI, 64 in Newfoundland & Labrador and 191 in Nova Scotia.
  • There were 10 people in hospital in the Eastern Ontario Health Unit area Thursday (two more than Wednesday) with one in the ICU (one fewer than Wednesday). The number of deaths to date is 194. There are eight institutional outbreaks (one more than Wednesday). Test positivity from limited testing in high-risk populations is 11.5 per cent (up 0.1 from Wednesday). Public Health Ontario says the cumulative case total for the region as of Thursday is 13,502.
  • 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 Thursday is 6,630. 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 31,588,850 (+29,826, last update Feb. 24); EOHU 457,821 (last update Feb. 24, +411 from previous update Feb. 23); 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).
  • The Upper Canada District School board is lifting its mask mandate for those students in kindergarten. Masking will be optional for that grade and the new directive took effect yesterday (Thursday). The Ontario government has mandatory masking for Grades 1 to 12.
  • Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore says masking rules are going to stay in place for now. Moore says when they are lifted they will also be lifted in schools at the same time. As for high-risk settings, the doctor says they will stay in place for places like public transit even when they are no longer needed in other public places.
  • South of the border, the Biden administration is expected to loosen federal mask restrictions. Most Americans will be advised they no longer need to wear them indoors, according to The Associated Press. That’s because many of the places where they live no longer have indoor masking rules.
  • A security perimeter around downtown Ottawa will remain in place through the weekend. With the Emergencies Act now withdrawn, police have to maintain peace and order through their own means.

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