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Ontario logs more than 1700 new cases of COVID-19 as positivity rate inches higher – CTV Toronto

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TORONTO —
Ontario is reporting more than 1,700 new COVID-19 infections Monday morning as the province’s positivity rate inches closer to five per cent.

Health officials added 1,746 cases, which is up slightly from the 1,708 infections added a day earlier.

With 39,406 tests completed in the last 24 hours the province’s COVID-19 positivity rate stands at 4.6 per cent, the highest it’s been since last Wednesday. The number of tests processed is down considerably from the province’s daily testing goal of 50,000 which it exceeded for three straight days prior. 

Monday’s report brings the total number of COVID-19 infections in Ontario to 116,492, including deaths and recoveries.

Eight more deaths were recorded in the previous day pushing the province’s COVID-19 death toll to 3,656.

As well, 1,320 cases are now considered to be resolved by the ministry of health. At least 98,639 people who contracted COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic have since recovered.

Most of the cases added Monday were found in people between the ages of 20 and 39. Those 645 lab-confirmed infections push the case total for that age group to 42,460, the most in the province.

Another 526 cases were reported in people between the ages of 40 and 59 while 234 cases were logged in people 19 years of age and younger.

At least 233 cases were documented in people between the ages of 60 and 79 and 106 cases were found in those 80 years of age and older.  

Toronto reports record number of cases, Windsor-Essex moves to ‘red zone’

A record 622 cases were reported in Toronto , one of two areas currently observing the lockdown measures of the province’s COVID-19 framework.

Peel Region is also under lockdown and reported 390 new cases.

York and Durham regions both reported new case numbers in the triple digits and are currently in the province’s “red zone,” which places a cap on indoor gatherings and non-essential activities.

The City of Hamilton, Halton and Waterloo are also observing the same restrictions and all reported new case numbers in the double digits.

Windsor-Essex reporter 38 new cases and moved into the “red zone” earlier this morning.

There are currently 618 patients in Ontario hospitals with COVID-19. Of those, 168 are being treated in an intensive care unit and 108 are on a ventilator.

Some 39,000 COVID-19 tests remain under investigation.

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B.C.’s COVID-19 mass vaccinations expected to start in April – Cowichan Valley Citizen

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B.C.’s health ministry expects to start registering four million people for COVID-19 vaccine in March, beginning with the oldest and reaching everyone 18 and older who wants to be immunized by the end of September.

The largest immunization program in the province’s history will set up clinics in 172 B.C. communities, using school gymnasiums, arenas, community halls, church halls and convention centres, as well as mobile clinics for rural areas. Mobile teams will also be dispatched to people who aren’t able to leave their homes, using transit buses and other self-contained vehicles.

Health Minister Adrian Dix says the current phase one of vaccinations has reached most long-term care staff and residents as well as front-line acute care staff with a first dose. Decisions on increasing access and mobility in long-term care homes can be considered in March, he said.

Phase two in February and March continues to target the highest-risk populations, seniors aged 80 and up in communities, hospital staff, community physicians and staff in home support and nursing for seniors.

The mass vaccination starts with phase three from April to June, with people registered for vaccination in five-year increments, starting with the group aged 75 to 79. Phase four, from July to September, moves to people younger than 60, moving down to age 18. Approximately 900,000 of B.C.’s population of more than five million are under 18, and won’t be eligible for vaccine under the current plan.

RELATED: Messenger RNA vaccines changing landscape of health care

RELATED: Antibody drug shows results in protecting nursing homes

With the delay in delivery of Pfizer’s vaccine while it expands its production facility in Belgium, deliveries to Canada are interrupted until February. Despite that, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said seniors aged under 80 in communities are likely to be registered and start receiving vaccine by the end of March.

Dr. Penny Ballem, the former deputy health minister appointed to lead the B.C. vaccine rollout, said the program is designed to be flexible, diverting vaccination to emerging situations like infection clusters in communities, work camps, and other group situations that may need earlier protection.

Details of the registration are still to come. Ballem said a phone call centre will be available to assist seniors who don’t have online access to get registered. For those who miss an appointment, they don’t lose their place in line and will receive priority for rescheduling.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

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Coronavirus Update: British Columbia announces plans for mass vaccination – The Globe and Mail

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Good evening, here are the coronavirus updates you need to know tonight.

Top headlines:

  1. British Columbia announces plans for mass vaccination
  2. Another six residents at a long-term care facility in Barrie have died after being infected with an unidentified COVID-19 variant
  3. COVID-19 variant spreading across South Africa can evade immunity, research suggests

In the last 7 days, 41,701 cases were reported, down 19% from the previous 7 days. There were 1,099 deaths announced, up 8% over the same period. At least 4,260 people are being treated in hospitals and 652,829 others are considered recovered.

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About 84% of the 928,500 doses of vaccine distributed to provinces have been administered. That’s 2.0 doses for every 100 people in Canada.

Sources: Canada data is compiled from government websites, Johns Hopkins and COVID-19 Canada Open Data Working Group; international data is from Johns Hopkins University.


Coronavirus explainers: Coronavirus in maps and charts Lockdown rules and reopeningCanada’s vaccine distribution planDeveloping/approved vaccinesPfizer’s vaccine, explained Essential resources


Photo of the day

Police officers wearing personal protective equipment stand guard on a street after locking down part of the Jordan district on January 23, 2021 in Hong Kong, China. The Hong Kong government locked down tens of thousand of residents to contain a worsening outbreak of the coronavirus.

Anthony Kwan/Getty Images


Coronavirus in Canada

  • Experts in Ontario are pointing to workplace transmission as a major source of COVID-19 infection, and say better testing, paid sick leave, and stronger enforcement is needed to slow the spread in the province. Meanwhile, another six residents of the long-term care home Roberta Place in Barrie have died after being infected with an unidentified variant of COVID-19. And, a Whitby couple have been charged with misleading health officials after contracting the U.K. variant of COVID-19.
  • British Columbia announced plans for a mass vaccination campaign starting in April, with an aim to immunize 4.3 million residents aged 18 and over by the end of September. Meanwhile, school districts in the province spent just $5-million of the $35-million federal pandemic fund to upgrade ventilation at schools. Instead, school districts spent almost triple that ($14.8-million) on hiring more cleaning staff and buying more supplies to enhance the cleaning at schools.
  • Yesterday, Alberta said that thousands of residents in privately funded congregate care facilities haven’t received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and are not, as a group, given priority in the government’s inoculation plan. Earlier this week, the province said it had vaccinated residents and staff in facilities subsidized by taxpayers – however, this excludes facilities that may offer care for seniors in similar settings but are funded privately.

In Ottawa, the federal government is looking at options that would make it harder for people to return from foreign trips, including hotel quarantines for returning travellers.

  • However, Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said the tools already in place must also be fully utilized, including more police enforcement of two-week quarantine rules for arriving travellers.
  • Public Health Agency of Canada figures show 153 flights have arrived from outside Canada over the last two weeks on which at least one passenger later tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Health Minister Patty Hajdu said 50,000 tickets for international travel have been cancelled since the rule requiring a negative COVID-19 test before boarding a plane to Canada was announced.

Also today: In a call with President Joe Biden, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he wants to collaborate with the United States on ending the pandemic. Trudeau said the two leaders are in alignment on several issues and is “looking to be co-ordinated and aggressive” in increasing measures against COVID-19.


Coronavirus around the world

  • The mutations in the new COVID-19 variant detected in South Africa may evade the immunity that is normally provided by previous infection, researchers are discovering. The variant, thought to be about 50 per cent more transmissible, has become the dominant form of coronavirus in the country, fueling a dramatic surge of cases in the last two months.
  • The Prime Minister of Britain, Boris Johnson, said the new U.K. COVID-19 variant “may be associated with a higher degree of mortality,” though both vaccines currently used in the country are effective treatments against it. However, the U.K. variant is more transmissible, and is putting the country’s health service under “intense pressure,” the Prime Minister added.
  • Air passengers bound for the United States will need to show proof of negative COVID-19 test or proof of recovery from coronavirus starting Jan. 26. The new rules are part of a series of sweeping executive orders signed by President Biden yesterday.

Coronavirus and business

Pfizer committed today to supplying up to 40-million COVID-19 vaccine doses to developing countries, as part of COVAX, the World Health Organization-backed effort to get affordable shots to poor and middle-income countries.

Also today: Corporate Canada is still a boys’ club, data analysis shows – and the COVID-19 pandemic could make it more so.

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Sources: Canada data are compiled from government websites, Johns Hopkins University and COVID-19 Canada Open Data Working Group; international data are from Johns Hopkins.

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IH won't say how many care home residents have been vaccinated – Kelowna News – Castanet.net

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Interior Health continues to keep quiet on its progress vaccinating residents and staff in Interior long-term care homes.

Friday morning, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the province is on track to immunize all long-term care home residents and staff “within the next few days.”

But after Interior Health told Castanet last week that it planned to have “all of the priority one population” – which includes long-term care residents – immunized by the end of February, Interior Health could not provide an update Friday.

“The vaccination rollout is continuing. We don’t have the percentages for all areas to share,” an unnamed IH spokesperson said in an email late Friday afternoon, adding they will try and get more details on their progress by Monday.

IH had a similar response back on Jan 13, when a spokesperson said they “do not have reporting numbers quite ready to go for IH.”

On Friday, Dr. Henry, Premier John Horgan, Health Minister Adrian Dix and Dr. Penny Ballem outlined the province’s COVID-19 vaccination plan over the next few months, with long-term care home residents and staff at the top of the priority list.

“We’re focusing particularly on residents and staff in long-term care homes, as we know that is where the highest risk for both sickness and death is in the province right now,” Dr. Henry said.

Last week, Dr. Henry said it can take longer to immunize those in care homes in the Northern and Interior health regions, due to more spaced out geography. But other than an announcement about vaccinations beginning at the first Interior care home in Oliver on Jan. 8, Interior Health has provided no information about their progress.

To date, 41 of the 59 people who’ve died from COVID-19 in the Interior were care home residents.

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