Newswatch COVID-19 Digest: Wednesday April 20, 2022

Here are the latest local, regional and national coronavirus headlines (COVID-19) for Wednesday, April 20, 2022:

  • Public Health Ontario reported one death Tuesday to bring the total to 12,633. There are 1,486 people in hospital (~10 per cent of hospitals not reporting weekend bed census), 206 in ICU (up four from the previous day) and 87 on a ventilator (down four from the previous day). Although PHO reported 1,218 new cases Tuesday, the statistic is likely lower than the number of infections given the limited testing in Ontario. The total case count is 1,223,461.
  • Canada’s coronavirus case total (as of 9 a.m. April 19) is 3,637,197. The country has 38,319 deaths from the virus – 24 in the Yukon, 21 in the Northwest Territories, seven in Nunavut, 3,036 in British Columbia, 4,141 in Alberta, 1,273 in Saskatchewan, 1,759 in Manitoba, 12,632 in Ontario, 14,618 in Quebec, 368 in New Brunswick, 21 in PEI, 142 in Newfoundland & Labrador and 277 in Nova Scotia.
  • The Eastern Ontario Health Unit area had 16 people in hospital Tuesday (one fewer than Thursday) with two in the ICU (one more than Thursday). The number of deaths to date is 220 (no change from Thursday). There are 10 institutional outbreaks (six fewer than Thursday). Test positivity from limited testing in high-risk populations is 16.1 per cent (up 0.4 from Thursday) based on 186,572 tests (115 more than Thursday). Public Health Ontario says the cumulative case total for the region as of Tuesday is 15,017.
  • In its Tuesday report, the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit had 10 people in hospital (two more than Thursday), five in the ICU (one more than Thursday) and two on a ventilator (one more than Thursday). The number of deaths to date is 97 (no change from Thursday). There were 208 cases added since Thursday from limited testing. Local case numbers are normally updated Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Public Health Ontario says the cumulative case count for the region as of Tuesday is 8,153. There are six lab-confirmed outbreaks in congregate care, communal living and other facilities (no change from Thursday). A partial list of active institutional outbreaks.
  • Vaccines: Ontario 32,420,377 (+22,568, last update April 19); EOHU 467,733 (last update April 19, +1,309 from previous update April 14); LGL 435,759 (3,782 more than the previous week, last update April 19).
  • The rate of hospitalizations in Canada rose 18 per cent between the weeks of April 4 and April 11, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada. ICU rates have also risen slightly. Some health officials believe the rates will slowly rise for another month.
  • One of the so-called “Freedom Convoy” organizers has hired a new lawyer as he fights to get bail and faces more charges. Pat King heard six new charges read out in an Ottawa court Tuesday – three counts each of perjury and obstruction of justice.
  • A Leger poll of 1,500 Canadians shows three quarters of them claim they never contracted COVID-19. For the 25 per cent who said they did – it’s a higher infection rate than data suggests.
  • Major airlines in the U.S. were quick to drop their mask mandates after a Florida judge ruled on the federal government directive. Some organizations like New York City transit and ride sharing company Lyft, are still keeping the mandate in place.
  • The U.S. Center for Forecasting and Outbreak Analytics opened its $200 million facility Tuesday. The center will serve as an early warning system to respond to future pandemics.
  • With overall use in the United States taking a back seat to Pfizer and Moderna, Johnson & Johnson says it will suspend sales forecasts for its COVID-19 vaccine. The company had recently said the one-dose treatment could bring in up to $3.5 billion this year.

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