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COVID-19 cases hit new records as Tam urges perseverance, promises vaccine on the way

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Canada’s top doctor urged cautious optimism — and a healthy dose of patience — on Saturday, even as the second wave of COVID-19 continued its unsettling rise.






© Provided by The Canadian Press

 

There is still a “long road ahead” in the battle to contain the virus, Dr. Theresa Tam said in her daily update, but she added that an initial vaccine supply is expected to hit Canada early next year.

“There is some good news on the horizon,” she said. “An initial supply of vaccines is expected to become available in early 2021 and although supply will be limited at the outset, Canada is well-positioned to provide access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines for all Canadians.”

Tam’s comments came as some provinces reported new single-day highs of new COVID-19 cases and related deaths.

Quebec saw its daily report in total new cases climb above 2,000 for the first time since the start of the pandemic, though the figure was inflated by some diagnoses that weren’t captured in Friday’s tally.

The province recorded 2,031 cases and 48 deaths.

Quebec Health Minister Christian Dube urged people to adhere to local COVID-19 measures to prevent further spread of the virus.

“Now is not the time to relax our efforts over the past few months, it is with everyone’s collaboration that we will be able to curb the spread of the virus,” he wrote on Twitter.

Ontario also broke its record with 1,859 new COVID-19 cases, coming above the 1,855 case-high reached last month, as well as 20 new deaths.

Alberta broke its own record for the third time this week, logging 1,879 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday. It also counted six new deaths.

Manitoba set a single-day peak for virus-related deaths in the province, reporting 19 alongside 354 new COVID-19 infections.

Saskatchewan did not report any new virus-related deaths, but saw 202 new cases.

Nunavut, meanwhile, tallied eight new cases of the virus, all of which are in Arviat.

The remote community has served as the virus’s epicentre in Nunavut, accounting for 172 of the territory’s 214 cases.

Figures were lower in Atlantic Canada, but all of the country’s eastern-most provinces continued to see their regional infection rates creep upward.

New Brunswick reported two new cases, bringing the provincial total of active diagnoses to 98.

Prince Edward Island logged three new cases, saying the new patients are all women working in Charlottetown restaurants, while officials in Newfoundland and Labrador reported four new infections.

In Nova Scotia, six new cases were reported, while Premier Stephen McNeil reminded people now isn’t the time to cave to the temptations of the holiday season.

“Weekends are usually filled with friends, family & shopping, but this year must be different,” he wrote on Twitter.

“We need to limit our social contacts & non-essential travel, and follow all the public health protocols to protect each other & slow the spread.”

The prospect of an imminent vaccine should be encouraging, added Tam, but she noted that recent troubling numbers reinforce the need for ongoing adherence to public health protocols meant to stem the spread of the virus.

“We don’t have a COVID-19 vaccine just yet and we must be prepared to address a range of logistical and operational challenges,” she said.

“Canada must continue with the collective effort of individuals and public health authorities to sustain the response, while balancing the health, social and economic consequences.”

How soon a vaccine will arrive in Canada is still uncertain.

Procurement Minister Anita Anand said that information will be shared with Canadians once it’s certain, but that dates will depend on when Health Canada approves the vaccine and other factors such as shipment and storage necessities.

“That is what’s happening now,” she said in a recent interview with The Canadian Press.

“We are going to have vaccines in this country, as expeditiously as possible.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 5, 2020.

David Friend, The Canadian Press

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Ontario reports 2,578 new COVID cases today – SooToday

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Public Health Ontario has reported 2,578 new cases of COVID-19 today. 

The province is also reporting 24 deaths today, including 14 people who were residents at long-term care homes.

The deaths reported today include one person between 40 and 59 years old, 11 people between 60 and 79 years old, and 12 people over the age of 80. 

Ontario reports 86 new COVID-related hospitalizations and 12 new admissions to intensive care. 

The Jan. 18 update provided by the province’s public health agency also reported the following data:

  • 2,826 new recoveries
  • 1,571 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in Ontario, up from 1,571 reported yesterday. Public Health Ontario notes more than 10% of hospitals do not submit data to the daily census on weekends. As a result, the number of hospitalized patients may increase when reporting compliance increases.
  • There are 394 COVID patients in intensive care units (down from 395 yesterday) and 303 COVID patients on ventilators (up from 293 yesterday).
  • The province reported 40,301 tests were processed yesterday resulting in a 6.6 per cent postivity rate. 
  • There is a backlog of 18,481 tests. To date, 8,965,747 tests have been completed.
  • Of the 2,578 cases reported today, 815 are from Toronto, 507 are from Peel, 151 are from York Region, and 65 are from Simcoe Muskoka.
  • There are 252 ongoing, active outbreaks at long-term care homes, 171 outbreaks at retirement homes and 88 outbreaks at hospitals in the province.
  • The province’s report shows the cases reported today included: 226 people under 19 years old, 972 people between 20 and 39 years old, 743 people between 40 and 59 years old, 349 people between 60 and 79 years old, and 174 people over the age of 80. 
  • There were 9,691 doses of vaccines against COVID-19 administered on Jan. 17, down from11,007 on Jan. 16.
  • As of 8 p.m. on Jan. 17, the province reports 209,788 doses of vaccine against COVID-19 have been administered.
  • There are 21,752 total vaccinations completed (both doses). The vaccines approved for use require two doses a few weeks apart.

Public Health Ontario has confirmed 240,364 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, and reported 206,310 recoveries and 5,433 deaths, of which 3,212 were individuals living in long-term care homes. There were two new outbreaks reported at long-term care homes in Ontario over the past 24 hours.

The cumulative average incidence rate in the province is 1,617 cases per 100,000 people in Ontario. The weekly incidence rate in Ontario is 150.4 cases per 100,000 people from Jan. 8 to Jan. 14, which is a decrease of 8.3 per cent compared to Jan. 2 to Jan. 8 when the average weekly incidence rate was 164 cases per 100,000 people.

In Northern Ontario, the breakdown of Public Health Ontario data is:

  • Algoma Public Health: 142 cases, rate of 124 per 100,000 people. There are 37 known active cases, including one person who is a non-Algoma resident temporarily in the region.
  • North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit: 181 cases, rate of  139.5 per 100,000 people. The health unit has reported 184 cases. There are 13 known active cases.
  • Porcupine Health Unit: 170 cases, rate of 203.7 per 100,000 people. There are 18 known active cases. 
  • Public Health Sudbury and Districts: 396 cases, rate of 199 per 100,000 people. The health unit has reported 390 cases. There are 62 known active cases. 
  • Timiskaming Health Unit: 85 cases, rate of 260 per 100,000 people. The health unit has reported 86 cases. There is one known active case.
  • Northwestern Health Unit: 235 cases, rate of 268 per 100,000 people. There are 28 known active cases. 
  • Thunder Bay District Health Unit: 726 cases, rate of 484.1 per 100,000 people. The health unit has reported 732 cases. There are 75 known active cases.

The Ontario government has declared a state of emergency, the second since the start of the pandemic, and a stay at-home order is in effect until at least Feb. 11, 2021. There are additional measures in place for the shutdown, all of which can be found in this provincial breakdown.

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Ontario to expand big-box-retail blitz – Sault Star

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Article content continued

Those who have already received an initial dose will receive their booster, it said.

A spokeswoman for the Minister of Health did not say how many regions received a similar directive or why first doses of the Moderna vaccine were also being paused.

And as the vaccine rollout continues at a slightly slower pace, McNaughton said he was hopeful the weekend enforcement blitz would help reign in numbers of new infections.

The inspectors visited 110 retailers on Saturday alone and found 31 violations of COVID-19 protocols, he said, noting that amounts to a compliance rate of just over 70 per cent.

They issued 11 formal warnings and 11 tickets, he added.

McNaughton said he’d hoped the compliance rate would be much higher.

“Every business, every supervisor and every worker out there has to do more today than at any point during this pandemic to keep people safe and to be vigilant,” he said.

The blitz, which continued Sunday, is part of an array of measures the province unveiled in recent days to toughen its approach to COVID-19.

Ontario recently ordered people to only leave their homes for groceries, medical appointments, exercise and work that can’t be completed remotely.

Stores selling non-essential goods have been forced to temporarily close and operate solely through e-commerce and curbside pickups.

The most common violations inspectors found big box stores contravening were linked to screening of customers and staff, masking protocols and physical distancing problems, McNaughton said.

The Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development says it has conducted more than 34,000 COVID-19 related workplace inspections and halted unsafe work 55 times throughout the pandemic.

It is in the process of hiring an additional 100 health and safety inspectors and doubling the number of phone lines at the provincial Health and Safety Contact Centre, where violations can be reported.

Individuals found violating the Occupational Health and Safety Act can be fined up to $100,000 and imprisoned for as long as a year, while corporations can be fined up to $1.5 million per charge.

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COVID-19 in Ottawa: Ontario reports another triple-digit case count – CTV Edmonton

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OTTAWA —
Ottawa Public Health is reporting 123 more people in the city have tested positive for COVID-19 and one more resident has died.

However, the health unit is also reporting the number of active cases in Ottawa down slightly from its record high on Saturday.

There are also fewer people in the hospital with COVID-19.

Across the province, 3,422 new cases of COVID-19 were reported, along with 69 new deaths. Ontario health officials added 144 new cases of COVID-19 to the city’s total on Sunday.

New case counts from OPH and from the province often differ due to different data collection times.

Ottawa’s weekly rate of new cases per 100,000 residents has also declined from 88.9 on Saturday to 85.6 on Sunday. Other weekly metrics, such as the estimated reproduction number and the positivity rate are holding steady.

According to Ottawa Public Health’s COVID-19 dashboard, there have been 12,286 total laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa since the pandemic began and 403 residents have died.

OTTAWA’S COVID-19 KEY STATISTICS

A province-wide lockdown went into effect on Dec. 26, 2020. Ottawa Public Health moved Ottawa into its red zone in early January.

A provincial stay-at-home order has been in effect since Jan. 14, 2021.

Ottawa Public Health data:

  • COVID-19 cases per 100,000 (previous seven days): 85.6 cases
  • Positivity rate in Ottawa: 4.1 per cent (Jan. 8 – Jan. 14)
  • Reproduction number: 1.03 (seven day average)

Reproduction values greater than 1 indicate the virus is spreading and each case infects more than one contact. If it is less than 1, it means spread is slowing. 

VACCINES

Ontario health officials say 11,007 doses of COVID-19 vaccines were administered in the province on Saturday for a total of 200,097 since vaccinations began.

21,714 people have completed their vaccinations by receiving both required doses.

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson told CTV News at Six on Saturday that the City had administered 19,980 doses of vaccine. The Ottawa Hospital said the city had received 22,245 total doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to date last week.

Health Canada says Ontario has so far received 277,050 doses of COVID-19 vaccines as of Jan. 14, 224,250 of which are the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and 52,800 of which are the Moderna vaccine.

ACTIVE CASES OF COVID-19 IN OTTAWA

The number of people in Ottawa with known active cases of COVID-19 has dropped slightly after reaching a record high of 1,286 on Saturday.

OPH says there are 1,274 people now dealing with active cased of COVID-19 in Ottawa. 

The number of people whose cases have resolved rose by 134 on Sunday to a citywide total of 10,609 since the start of the pandemic.

The number of active cases is the number of total laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 minus the numbers of resolved cases and deaths. A case is considered resolved 14 days after known symptom onset or positive test result.

HOSPITALIZATIONS IN OTTAWA

The number of people in Ottawa hospitals with COVID-19 symptoms and in intensive care units fell by two on Sunday.

There are now 38 people in hospital with COVID-19, eight of whom are in the ICU.

Of the people in hospital, one is between the ages of 10 and 19 (this person is in the ICU), one is in their 30s (this person is in the ICU), one is in their 40s, three are in their 50s, eight are in their 60s (three are in the ICU), eight are in their 70s (three are in the ICU), nine are in their 80s and seven are 90 or older.

TESTING

Ontario health officials say 60,183 COVID-19 tests were performed provincewide on Saturday and 30,103 tests remain under investigation.

The Ottawa COVID-19 Testing Taskforce does not provide local testing updates on weekends. In its most recent report on Friday, the taskforce said 1,491 swabs were taken at assessment centres in Ottawa on Jan. 14 and 7,262 tests were performed.

The next update from the Ottawa COVID-19 Testing Taskforce will be released on Jan. 18.

CASES OF COVID-19 IN OTTAWA BY AGE CATEGORY

Here is a breakdown of all known COVID-19 cases in Ottawa by age category:

  • 0-9 years old: 14 new cases (874 total cases)
  • 10-19 years-old: 10 new cases (1,547 total cases)
  • 20-29 years-old: 29 new cases (2,601 total cases)
  • 30-39 years-old: 23 new cases (1,683 total cases)
  • 40-49 years-old: 18 new cases (1,610 total cases)
  • 50-59 years-old: 18 new cases (1,462 total cases)
  • 60-69-years-old: 5 new cases (891 total cases)
  • 70-79 years-old: 2 new cases (561 total cases)
  • 80-89 years-old: 3 new cases (630 total cases)
  • 90+ years old: 0 new cases (423 total cases)
  • Unknown: 1 new case (4 cases total)

COVID-19 CASES AROUND THE REGION

  • Eastern Ontario Health Unit: 45 new cases
  • Hastings Prince Edward Public Health: 5 new cases
  • Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington Public Health: 2 new cases
  • Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit: 6 new cases
  • Renfrew County and District Health Unit: 1 case removed
  • Outaouais region: 22 new cases

INSTITUTIONAL OUTBREAKS

Ottawa Public Health is reporting COVID-19 outbreaks at 36 institutions in Ottawa, including long-term care homes, retirement homes, daycares, hospitals and schools.

Three more outbreaks were declared at local group homes. Outbreaks at Portobello Retirement Residence and Manoir Marochel have ended.

There are seven active community outbreaks.

Three are linked to health workplaces, one is in a multi-unit dwelling, one is linked to an office workplace, one is linked to a distribution centre, and one is linked to a services workplace.

The schools and childcare spaces currently experiencing outbreaks are:

  1. Andrew Fleck Children’s Services – Licensed home daycare
  2. Greenboro Children’s Centre
  3. Montessori by Brightpath
  4. Ruddy Family Y Child Care
  5. Services à l’enfance Grandir Ensemble – La Maisonée – 28627

The long-term care homes, retirement homes, hospitals, and other spaces currently experiencing outbreaks are:

  1. Alta Vista Manor
  2. Besserer Place
  3. Centre D’Accueil Champlain
  4. Chartwell Duke of Devonshire Retirement Home
  5. Colonel By Retirement Home
  6. Extendicare Laurier Manor
  7. Extendicare Medex
  8. Extendicare New Orchard Lodge
  9. Extendicare West End Villa
  10. Forest Hill
  11. Garry J. Armstrong long-term care home
  12. Grace Manor Long-term Care Home
  13. Granite Ridge long-term care home
  14. Group Home – 28608
  15. Group Home – 28740
  16. Group Home – 28848
  17. Group Home – 29045 (NEW)
  18. Group Home – 29049 (NEW)
  19. Group Home – 29052 (NEW)
  20. Hillel Lodge
  21. Madonna Care Community
  22. Oakpark Retirement Community
  23. Redwoods Retirement Residence
  24. Shelter – 28365
  25. Sisters of Charity Couvent Mont Saint-Joseph
  26. Sisters of Charity Maison Mère
  27. St. Patrick’s Home
  28. Supported Independent Living – 28110
  29. Valley Stream Retirement Residence
  30. Villa Marconi
  31. Villagia in the Glebe Retirement Residence

A single laboratory-confirmed case of COVID-19 in a resident or staff member of a long-term care home, retirement home or shelter triggers an outbreak response, according to Ottawa Public Health. In childcare settings, a single confirmed, symptomatic case in a staff member, home daycare provider, or child triggers an outbreak.

Under provincial guidelines, a COVID-19 outbreak in a school is defined as two or more lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases in students and/or staff in a school with an epidemiological link, within a 14-day period, where at least one case could have reasonably acquired their infection in the school (including transportation and before or after school care).  

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