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‘A stunning success of science.’ Ontario reports fourth straight day with no COVID-19 deaths in long-term care – Toronto Star

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Ontario is reporting zero COVID-19 deaths among residents in long-term care for the fourth day in a row, the longest stretch since Sept. 13.

Dr. Nathan Stall, a geriatrician at Sinai Health Toronto, predicts that for long-term-care homes, the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic is behind us.

“We’re seeing spectacular results when it comes to the impact of the vaccine, it’s literally stopping the virus dead in its tracks,” Stall told the Star.

Stall calls the recent drop-off in COVID-19 related deaths in long-term-care, “a stunning success of science,” adding that the numbers give hope after a brutal second wave killed up to 1,900 LTC residents.

In total, the virus has killed 3,748 long-term-care residents since the pandemic began.

A new study conducted by COVID Science Ontario found that after eight weeks from the start of vaccination, the estimated risk reduction in resident deaths was 96 per cent.

The province’s top vaccination priority was for residents in long-term care. As of March 5, more than 66,000 long-term-care residents across the province received at least one dose of the vaccine, with 55,600 getting both doses, the study said.

“I sleep better at night knowing every (LTC) resident in Ontario has been offered a dose of the vaccine,” Stall said.

There are 56 residents with an active case in the province, and 136 active staff cases.

Ontario also reported one more long-term-care home in outbreak, for a total of 85 or 13.6 per cent of LTC homes in the province. By comparison, on Jan. 22, 39 per cent of LTC homes were in outbreak.

In total, Ontario is reporting 1,185 COVID-19 additional cases and six more deaths, according to it latest report released Tuesday morning.

The seven-day average is at 1,187 cases daily, or 57 weekly per 100,000. Ontario’s seven-day average for deaths is down to 12.4 daily.

The province says 33,264 tests were completed the previous day, and a 3.7 per cent positivity rate.

There are 689 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in the province, including 290 patients in intensive care. There are 184 people on ventilators.

Ontario has administered 31,047 vaccine doses since its last daily update, with 943,533 vaccines given in total as of 8 p.m. the previous night. The province says 276,193 people have completed their vaccinations, which means they’ve had both doses.

Locally, Health Minister Christine Elliott says 343 cases are in Toronto, 235 in Peel Region and 105 in York Region.

This data is self-reported by the long-term care homes to the Ministry of Long-Term Care. Daily case and death figures may not immediately match the numbers posted by the local public health units due to lags in reporting time.

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For the rest of the province, there are 908 confirmed cases in Ontario of the highly contagious variant first detected in the United Kingdom, an increase of 29 from the previous day.

There are 39 confirmed cases in Ontario of the variant first detected in South Africa, the same number as the previous day.

There are 17 cases of the variant first found in Brazil, which remains the same from the day before.

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US will allow Canadians who had mixed doses of COVID-19 vaccines when border crossings resume Nov. 8 – northumberlandnews.com

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Are you planning to get a flu shot this year? – Castanet.net

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Canada’s top doctor warns the country could be heading for its first typical flu season since the pandemic began, even as health systems are still battling the fourth wave of COVID-19.

Last year Canada was spared the brunt of flu season thanks to strict public health measures to protect against COVID-19.

Surveillance data from the Public Health Agency of Canada shows higher rates of infection than expected for some of Canada’s most common seasonal viruses, including respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV.

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam says a heavy flu season could put extra pressure on already fragile health-care systems.

She says this is definitely not the year to have influenza wreak havoc.

That’s why public health says it will be more important than ever that people get flu shots to avoid complications like pneumonia and protect hospitals from becoming overloaded.

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10,000 in Waterloo region eligible to get 2nd COVID-19 shot right now, official says – CBC.ca

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More than 90 per cent of eligible residents in Waterloo region have had their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

People who are 12 and up are eligible to get vaccinated, and able to get the second dose 28 days after the first, the Ontario government’s website says.

“To get second doses to 90 per cent, 20,683 second doses must be given. Out of those 20,000 people, approximately 10,000 are eligible now for their second dose and the remaining people will become eligible over the next month,” Vickie Murray, the region’s vaccine lead, said in a media briefing on Friday.

Murray said regional officials are pleased to see single doses reach the 90 per cent milestone, but they want to see second doses, which are at nearly 86 per cent, get there, too.

“Our goal is to continue to aim for the highest vaccination rates possible to protect our community from the spread of COVID,” she said.

As well, the region has given 5,854 third doses, offered to all people living in long-term care in the region.

Murray also announced Friday that as of Oct. 31, the vaccination at the Boardwalk in Waterloo will move to operating only between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. because those are the busiest times.

Vaccination bus motors on

The vaccination bus continues to be effective, Murray said. On Wednesday, she said 47 per cent of the doses given were first ones.

The bus will maked scheduled stops:

  • Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Cambridge Farmer’s Market.
  • Tuesday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. at 150 Main St. in Cambridge.
  • Wednesday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Kitchener Public Library.
  • Thursday from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Region of Waterloo International Airport in Breslau.
  • Sunday, Oct. 24 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Sunrise Shopping Centre at 1400 Ottawa St. S., Kitchener.

Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang, the region’s medical officer of health, said Friday that case rates have been “stable or slowly decreasing trend in the last few weeks.”

“We need to continue our efforts to increase our community immunity over the coming weeks and months,” she said, adding the highly transmissible delta variant remains a risk in the region and could be easily spread between people, especially the unvaccinated.

Murray encouraged anyone who is eligible to get the second dose to do so as soon as they can.

“That is going to be the best way to ensure that you’re fully vaccinated,” Murray said.

If regional staff find that a lot of people are delaying the second dose, they will reach out to them directly through emails and phone calls — something staff also did over the summer.

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