Newswatch COVID-19 Digest: Friday April 1, 2022

Here are the latest local, regional and national coronavirus headlines (COVID-19) for Friday, April 1, 2022:

  • Public Health Ontario reported five deaths Thursday to bring the total to 12,433. The day to day change was six as one old case was added through data clean-up. There are 807 people in hospital (all hospitals reporting), 166 in ICU (up one from the previous day) and 93 on a ventilator (down one from the previous day). Although PHO reported 3,139 new cases Thursday, the statistic is likely lower than the number of infections given the limited testing in Ontario. The total case count is 1,162,609.
  • Canada’s coronavirus case total (as of 9 a.m. March 31) is 3,472,041. The country has 37,571 deaths from the virus – 24 in the Yukon, 21 in the Northwest Territories, six in Nunavut, 2,996 in British Columbia, 4,074 in Alberta, 1,209 in Saskatchewan, 1,739 in Manitoba, 12,427 in Ontario, 14,353 in Quebec, 349 in New Brunswick, 18 in PEI, 110 in Newfoundland & Labrador and 245 in Nova Scotia.
  • The Eastern Ontario Health Unit area had eight people in hospital Thursday (no change from Wednesday) with zero in the ICU (no change from Wednesday). The number of deaths to date is 215 (no change from Wednesday). There are two institutional outbreaks (two fewer than Wednesday). Test positivity from limited testing in high-risk populations is 11.8 per cent (up 1.6 from Wednesday) based on 185,678 tests (49 more than Wednesday). Public Health Ontario says the cumulative case total for the region as of Thursday is 14,251.
  • In its Wednesday report, the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit has 17 people in hospital (no change from Monday), five in the ICU (one more than Monday) and two on a ventilator (no change from Monday). The number of deaths to date is 91 (no change from Monday). There were 55 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 Thursday is 7,356. There are three lab-confirmed outbreaks in congregate care, communal living and other facilities (no change from Monday). A partial list of active institutional outbreaks.
  • Vaccines: Ontario 32,064,229 (+9,457, last update March 31); EOHU 462,922 (last update March 31, +328 from previous update March 30); LGL 162,302 individuals living in LGL with first doses, 157,693 with second doses, 106,325 with third doses, 2,567 with fourth doses. (last update March 27, +26 first doses, +158 second doses, +333 third doses, +103 fourth doses since previous update March 20).
  • The Ontario NDP, Liberals and Greens want to know what the Ford government is going to go about the rising COVID-19 cases. They criticize the government for being silent and acting like the pandemic is over. Since the masking and proof of vaccination rule were lifted, the COVID metrics have worsened across Ontario.
  • Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy has tested positive for COVID-19. The minister found out after having mild symptoms and taking a rapid test, which confirmed the infection. Bethlenfalvy will be working from home for the next while.
  • The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) is expected to release guidance soon on fourth doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. They may be needed as some experts and Quebec government officials both say we are at the beginning of a sixth wave of the virus.
  • No more swab up the nose when coming into Canada from the United States starting today. The federal government announced a couple of weeks ago that the requirement for COVID-19 testing would be lifted as of April 1.
  • All public health measures are being lifted in the Northwest Territories as of today. There’s no isolation needed after returning from a trip or testing positive for the virus. Businesses can still have a masking policy even though the territory has lifted the requirement.
  • The U.S. Senate is close to strike a $10 billion COVID-19 relief funding. Republican Sen. Roy Blunt told reporters half the money would be used for therapeutics while the rest would be used at the discretion of the Department of Health and Human Services, according to ABC News.

Thank you for reading the latest edition of the Newswatch COVID-19 Digest, published Monday to Friday at 6 a.m.