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Coronavirus Canada Updates: COVID-19 could be available to Canadians in early 2021 – lintelligencer



Coronavirus Canada Updates: COVID-19 could be available to Canadians in early 2021

Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, spoke about the possible roll out of a viable COVID-19 vaccine, stating that she is “cautiously optimistic” that one will be available “in the first quarter of 2021.”

“When vaccines become available, there will be a limited supply at first,” she explained. “While that supply will continue to increase over time, it does mean that federal, provincial and territorial governments will have to make important decisions on how to use the initial vaccine supply.”

On Tuesday, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) provided guidance on populations that should be prioritized for early COVID-19 immunizations, including people at high risk of severe outcomes or those at high risk of spreading to them, essential workers and people whose living or working conditions put them at elevated risk of infection, including Indigenous communities.

“While this preliminary guidance is helpful for planning, there is still a long road ahead,” Dr. Tam said. “Clinical trials need to continue, Health Canada still needs to approve the vaccines, if they are deemed safe and effective, and we will be receiving additional advice on prioritization, based on the characteristics of each vaccine, once approved.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also indicated that obtaining COVID-19 vaccines for Canadian is a “top priority” for the federal government. He added that distribution decisions will be “based on the recommendations of experts.”

“The decision on how to roll out vaccines will be discussed by the vaccine committee of experts but also, it will be a conversation with the provinces,” Trudeau said. “We know that some of the first vaccines to come out have extremely high degrees of logistical support necessary, things like freezers that can keep the vaccines down at -80 C, for example, which doesn’t lend itself to mass distribution in pharmacies across the country, for example.”

“But later vaccines that will be arriving will be able to do that. We have to have a very sophisticated plan to be able to roll out vaccines the right way, the right vaccines, in the right place, to the right people. There are many, may conversations to be had.”

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Ontario reports more than 1800 new coronavirus cases, 14 more deaths – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News



Ontario is reporting more than 1,800 new COVID-19 cases and 14 more deaths but Thursday’s case count reflects an overestimate due to a processing error.

Provincial health officials logged 1,824 new infections in the last 24 hours, up from the 1,723 new cases recorded on Wednesday.

According to the Ministry of Health, today’s total case count includes an overestimate of new cases from the Middlesex-London Health Unit.

“Due to a data processing error, the number of new cases for Middlesex-London Health Unit in today’s report (127 cases) represents cases reported over the previous three days,” a spokesperson said in an email to CP24.

Middlesex-London recorded zero new cases on Wednesday, a reduction of 10 on Tuesday and 14 on Monday. Many of the more recent cases from that region may involve a major COVID-19 outbreak at the London Health Sciences Centre.

Most of the province’s new cases continue to be from the GTA, particularly in the hot spots of Toronto and Peel and Region.

“Locally, there are 592 new cases in Peel, 396 in Toronto and 187 in York Region,” Health Minister Christine Elliott tweeted on Thursday.

Elsewhere in the GTA, Durham Region logged 57 new infections, down from 124 a day ago and Halton recorded 68 new cases, up from 45 on Wednesday.

Five of Ontario’s 34 public health units are recording zero new cases of the virus.

The seven-day rolling average now stands at 1,768 up from 1,427 a week ago.

Provincial health officials processed nearly 52,900 tests in the past 24 hours, up from more than 44,200 tests a day ago. More than 58,300 tests are currently under investigation.

The rise in testing helped drop the province’s positivity rate to at least 4.4 per cent, compared to 4.7 per cent a day ago, according to provincial health officials.

The province logged 1,707 new cases on Tuesday and 1,746 on Monday.

There are 1,541 more recoveries from the virus across the province bringing the total number of active cases to 14,795. A total of 3,712 Ontarians have now died from the virus.

Of today’s fatalities, 11 were long-term care home residents.

There are currently 116 long-term care homes with an active outbreak of the novel coronavirus in Ontario.

To date, there have been more than 121,700 cases of the virus in Ontario since January and 103,239 recoveries.

Ontario hits 200-bed threshold for COVID-19 patients in ICU

The number of patients hospitalized with the virus continue to climb across the province amid a second wave of the disease.

There are currently 666 patients hospitalized with the virus in the province, up from 656 on Wednesday.

Of those hospitalized patients, 195 are in an intensive care unit (ICU) and 107 are breathing with the help of a ventilator, according to provincial health officials.

However, Dr. Michael Warner, the medical director of critical care at Michael Garron Hospital, told CP24 that the province reached the 200-bed threshold for COVID-19 patients in ICUs on Thursday, roughly five days earlier than provincial modelling data predicted.

The Ford government released its latest modelling on Nov. 12 and said that in all of their scenarios within roughly six weeks the 200-bed threshold would be reached, and that the 450-bed threshold would be reached under the worst case scenario.

The grim milestone comes after Elliott said Ontario hospitals are not “in a crisis” situation during a press conference on Wednesday.

“There is no question that many Ontario hospitals are under stress right now, particularly in the lockdown areas,” she said. “To say they are in crisis is not the case. Alberta is in crisis when you have to have double cohorts in a single intensive care room. That’s a crisis. We are not at that stage in Ontario.”

Meanwhile, GTA residents are anxiously waiting to learn if more regions will enter a lockdown, particularly the regions of York and Halton where cases continue to rise.

Toronto and Peel Region entered a 28-day lockdown on Nov. 23 to curb the spread of the virus in the hot spots.

Under the province’s grey “lockdown” level of it’s colour-coded COVID-19 response framework, restaurants can only offer takeout and delivery service and non-essential businesses can only provide curbside pickup. Gyms, movie theatres and casinos must also close their doors.

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Orange here we come? London region adds 43 COVID-19 cases, two deaths – CTV News London



The Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) is reporting 43 new COVID-19 cases Thursday and two new deaths.

The new cases mark the second-highest daily case count the region has since the pandemic began in March, just shy of the record 46 cases set on Wednesday. The previous record was set just the day before that, with 38 cases.

Two new deaths, both men in their 80s, were also reported, at least one is believed to be associated with the outbreak at the London Health Sciences Centre’s (LHSC) University Hospital, bringing the total number of deaths there to 10.

The new totals in the region stand at 1,737 cases, 1,414 resolved and 74 deaths, leaving 249 active cases.

Earlier in the week, MLHU Medical Officer of Health Dr. Chris Mackie said if daily numbers continued as they are, it was likely the region could be moved from yellow-protect to orange-restrict as soon as next week.

A decision on the region’s level under Ontario’s COVID-19 response framework is likely to be made known by the province on Friday afternoon.

The health unit has already advised area residents to skip festive gatherings and find alternative ways to see family this holiday season.

The biggest contributor to the daily totals in recent weeks have been cases associated with ongoing outbreaks at University Hospital.

As of Thursday, hospital officials report 62 patients and 46 staff, for a total of 108, have tested positive for COVID-19 associated with the outbreaks. That total does not include cases among close contacts.

That’s 11 more cases than the health unit reported on Wednesday.

Meanwhile the hospital says that as of Thursday there remain 46 patients and 45 staff still currently positive for COVID-19.

There are also ongoing outbreaks in a unit at the Parkwood Institute, a kindergarten class at St. Marguerite d’Youville Catholic School and two Western University residences.

Here is where the cases stand in the region based on the most recent publicly available data:

  • Elgin-Oxford – seven new, 63 active, 582 total, 512 resolved, seven deaths
  • Haldimand-Norfolk – one new, 40 active, 666 total, 588 resolved, 32 deaths
  • Sarnia-Lambton – four new, 16 active, 417 total, 376 resolved, 25 deaths
  • Grey-Bruce – six new, 35 active, 344 total, 309 resolved, no deaths
  • Huron-Perth – 18 new, 52 active, 362 total, 292 resolved, 18 deaths

Ontario reported 1,824 new cases Thursday, an increase over the past few days, but provincial health officials say the number may be slightly skewed due to a data processing error.

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30 new cases confirmed in Niagara in large single-day increase –



NRPH is reporting 30 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday in one of the highest daily increases since the second wave began.

Thursday’s increase brought the number of active cases up to 210.

16 outbreaks are active across Niagara, of which 7 are in long-term care or retirement facilities.

Ontario update

Public Health Ontario has confirmed 1,824 new cases of COVID-19 today, which is 101 more than yesterday. There were 1,723 cases reported on Tuesday.

Of today’s new cases, most are confined to the Greater Toronto Area. There are 592 new cases confirmed in Peel Region, 396 cases in Toronto, and 187 in York Region. That represents 1,175 — or 64 per cent — of the new lab-confirmed cases reported over the past 24 hours.

Due to a data-processing error, the number of new cases for Middlesex-London Health Unit in today’s report (127 cases) represents cases reported over the previous three days.

The agency also reported 14 more deaths related to the coronavirus over the past 24 hours. Yesterday, 35 deaths were reported.

More than 1,541 cases have been resolved since yesterday. 

Over the past 24 hours, 52,900 tests were completed.

Since the start of the pandemic, public health labs in Ontario have processed more than 6.4 million COVID tests.

Throughout Ontario, there are 666 people currently hospitalized with the coronavirus.

Since Ontario began reporting COVID-19 cases, there have been 121,746 reported cases in Ontario, 103,239 recoveries and 3,712 deaths.

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