Newswatch COVID-19 Digest: Thursday March 3, 2022

Here are the latest local, regional and national coronavirus headlines (COVID-19) for Thursday, March 3, 2022:

  • Public Health Ontario reported 24 deaths on Wednesday to bring the total to 12,478. Day to day change was 27 as three older cases were added through data clean-up. There are 847 people in hospital (all hospitals reporting), 273 in ICU (down five from the previous day) and 165 on a ventilator (up three from the previous day). Although PHO reported 1,959 new cases Wednesday, the statistic is likely lower than the number of infections given the limited testing in Ontario. The total case count is 1,105,146.
  • Canada’s coronavirus case total (as of 9 a.m. March 2) is 3,296,503. The country has 36,638 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, 12,451 in Ontario, 13,996 in Quebec, 306 in New Brunswick, 16 in PEI, 66 in Newfoundland & Labrador and 202 in Nova Scotia.
  • There were seven people in hospital in the Eastern Ontario Health Unit area Wednesday (no change from Tuesday) with zero in the ICU (no change from Tuesday). One more death was reported, bringing the total to 201. There are four (one fewer than Tuesday). Test positivity from limited testing in high-risk populations is 11.7 per cent (up 0.3 from Tuesday). Public Health Ontario says the cumulative case total for the region as of Wednesday is 13,644.
  • In its Wednesday report, the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit has five people in hospital (two fewer than Monday), two in the ICU (one fewer than Monday) and two on a ventilator (one more than Monday). The number of deaths to date is 83 (no change from Monday). There were 50 cases added since Monday 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 6,759. There are six lab-confirmed outbreaks in congregate care, communal living and other facilities (no change from Monday). A partial list of active .
  • Vaccines: Ontario 31,719,533 (+19,014, last update March 2); EOHU 459,256 (last update March 2, +365 from previous update March 1); 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 62 newly reported cases Wednesday. The active case count went up by 21 to 236. There are 11 people in the hospital, one more than the previous day. There have been 176 deaths to date. Just over 60 per cent of the county population is fully vaccinated. The positivity rate is 5.4 per cent compared to 1.9 per cent across New York State.
  • Mask mandates in Quebec will be lifted in all public places by the middle of next month at the latest. The announcement by the health ministry on Wednesday also included word that the province will give 10 days notice before it ends the mandate. Masks would still be required on public transit in sometime in May. In the Yukon, masks won’t have to be warn in indoor public spaces starting March 18.
  • Those who test positive for COVID-19 in Manitoba will no longer have to self-isolate. It will be a recommendation and not a rule starting March 15.
  • Alberta, crippled with ICU bed shortages during previous waves of the pandemic, will be spending $300 million over three years to add intensive care bed capacity. Health Minister Jason Copping says it will create 50 permanent ICU beds each year.
  • COVID-19 is rocketing through Hong Kong with over 55,000 new infections reported Wednesday. The Associated Press says there have been over 100 deaths. A complete lockdown, preventing people from entering or leaving the city, is not planned, according to officials. But that’s not stopping people from fleeing the city and clearing store shelves of food and medicine. The country plans to test the entire population of roughly seven million.

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