Newswatch COVID-19 Digest: Wednesday March 16, 2022

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

  • Public Health Ontario reported 16 new deaths Tuesday to bring the total to 12,272. Day to day change was 16 as three older cases were added through data clean-up. There are 688 people in hospital (all hospitals reporting), 220 in ICU (down eight from the previous day) and 112 on a ventilator (up one from the previous day). Although PHO reported 1,076 new cases Tuesday, the statistic is likely lower than the number of infections given the limited testing in Ontario. The total case count is 1,127,532.
  • Canada’s coronavirus case total (as of 9 a.m. March 15) is 3,367,292. The country has 36,944 deaths from the virus – 23 in the Yukon, 20 in the Northwest Territories, five in Nunavut, 2,946 in British Columbia, 4,021 in Alberta, 1,148 in Saskatchewan, 1,716 in Manitoba, 12,256 in Ontario, 14,182 in Quebec, 317 in New Brunswick, 16 in PEI, 76 in Newfoundland & Labrador and 218 in Nova Scotia.
  • There are three people in hospital in the Eastern Ontario Health Unit area as of Tuesday (one more than Monday) with zero in the ICU (no change from Monday). The number of deaths to date is 205 (no change from Monday). There are two institutional outbreaks (no change from Monday). Test positivity from limited testing in high-risk populations is 9.6 per cent (down 0.7 from Monday) based on 184,997 tests (79 more than Friday). Public Health Ontario says the cumulative case total for the region as of Tuesday is 13,874.
  • In its Monday report, the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit has 10 people in hospital (one more than Friday), six in the ICU (one more than Friday) and four on a ventilator (one more than Friday). The number of deaths to date is 84 (no change from Friday). There were 50 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 7,007. There are five lab-confirmed outbreaks in congregate care, communal living and other facilities (one more than Friday). A partial list of active institutional outbreaks.
  • Vaccines: Ontario 31,900,491 (+11,697, last update March 15); EOHU 460,961 (last update March 15, +142 from previous update March 14); LGL 162,211 individuals living in LGL with first doses, 157,312 with second doses, 105,502 with third doses, 2,333 with fourth doses. (last update March 13, +33 first doses, +208 second doses, +397 third doses, +170 fourth doses since previous update March 6).
  • Premier Doug Ford says he’ll keep wearing a mask while in the Ontario legislature for the next while even after the masking mandates are lifted on Monday (March 21). The mask requirement is being rescinded for the legislative chamber.
  • Activists for the disabled say lifting COVID-19 safety measures will be bad news for many high-risk Canadians. Some say it leaves those people with a choice between their health and trying to carry on with a sense of normalcy. Nearly one in four Canadians 15 and older have conditions that put them at higher risk for severe complications from COVID-19.
  • Pfizer is expected to ask the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for authorization to give an additional COVID-19 booster dose for seniors – a fourth dose.
  • After being cancelled in 2020 and 2021, St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are set to return this week. But festival organizers and student unions in Canadian cities are telling people to be careful.

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