Newswatch COVID-19 Digest: Wednesday March 2, 2022

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

  • Public Health Ontario reported 16 deaths on Tuesday to bring the total to 12,451. There are 914 people in hospital (all hospitals reporting), 278 in ICU (down one from the previous day) and 162 on a ventilator (down nine from the previous day). Although PHO reported 1,176 new cases Tuesday, the statistic is likely lower than the number of infections given the limited testing in Ontario. The total case count is 1,103,187.
  • Canada’s coronavirus case total (as of 9 a.m. March 1) is 3,292,807. The country has 36,595 deaths from the virus – 21 in the Yukon, 19 in the Northwest Territories, five in Nunavut, 2,873 in British Columbia, 3,912 in Alberta, 1,091 in Saskatchewan, 1,680 in Manitoba, 12,433 in Ontario, 13,982 in Quebec, 304 in New Brunswick, 16 in PEI, 66 in Newfoundland & Labrador and 193 in Nova Scotia.
  • There were seven people in hospital in the Eastern Ontario Health Unit area Tuesday (one more than Monday) with zero in the ICU (one fewer than Monday). Two more deaths were added to bring the total to 200. There are five institutional outbreaks (no change from Monday). Test positivity from limited testing in high-risk populations is 11.4 per cent (no change from Monday). Public Health Ontario says the cumulative case total for the region as of Tuesday is 13,624.
  • In its Monday report, the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit has seven people in hospital (two fewer than Friday), three in the ICU (two more than Friday) and one on a ventilator (no change from Friday). The number of deaths to date is 83 (two more than Friday). There were 81 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 6,738. There are six lab-confirmed outbreaks in congregate care, communal living and other facilities (one more than Friday). A partial list of active institutional outbreaks.
  • Vaccines: Ontario 31,700,519 (+16,438, last update March 1); EOHU 458,891 (last update March 1, +174 from previous update Feb. 28); LGL 162,138 individuals living in LGL with first doses, 156,815 with second doses, 104,645 with third doses, 1,952 with fourth doses. (last update Feb. 27, +113 first doses, +436 second doses, +1,213 third doses, +191 fourth doses since previous update Feb. 20).
  • In St. Lawrence County, New York (which includes Massena, Potsdam and Canton), there were 52 newly reported cases Tuesday. The active case count went up by one to 215. There are 10 people in the hospital – five admitted for COVID while five were admitted and then tested positive. There have been 176 deaths to date. Just over 60 per cent of the county population is fully vaccinated. The positivity rate is 5.5 per cent compared to 1.9 per cent across New York State.
  • British Columbia is not making any changes to COVID-19 restrictions now but health officials are hoping to be in a better place in the next few months. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says the province will only remove restrictions when it’s safe to do so. The move is in contrast to its neighbours – Alberta and Saskatchewan – which have removed all restrictions this week.
  • One of the organizers of the so-called Freedom Convoy in Ottawa is worried he will catch COVID-19 while sitting in jail. Pat King has not been granted bail since his arrest as the demonstration was brought to an end.
  • A number of mayors in southwestern Ontario, and associations for tourism and Canadian hotels are calling on the federal government to drop rapid antigen testing requirements at land border crossings. They say it’s an economic barrier to cross-border commerce. It was only recently the government relaxed rules, no longer requiring an expensive PCR test for travellers entering Canada as of Feb. 28.

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