Ontario is reporting more than 3,000 new COVID-19 cases and a slight decrease in hospitalizations on Saturday.
The province logged 3,056 new infections and 51 additional deaths.
Twenty-five of the latest fatalities were among long-term care home residents, according to the Ministry of Health’s latest epidemiological summary.
To date, 3,162 long-term care residents have died from the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, representing 59 per cent of all virus-related deaths in the province. A total of 5,340 people have died from the virus in Ontario.
Provincial health officials said 3,212 more people have recovered from the virus on Saturday, bringing the number of active cases to 28,618.
Ontario recorded 2,998 new cases on Friday, 3,326 on Thursday and 2,961 on Wednesday.
A record 3,945 new cases were recorded on Jan. 10.
The seven-day rolling average now stands at 3,218, compared to 3,341 a week ago. Last week’s average does not include the approximately 450 additional cases that were reported by Toronto Public Health on Jan. 8 due to a data backlog.
In the past 24 hours, the province processed more than 73,800 tests, down from the record 76,472 tests conducted a day ago.
The testing positivity rate now stands at 4.9 per cent, up from 4.6 per cent a day ago, according to the Ministry of Health. The positivity rate was 5.3 per cent a week ago.
Most of the cases continue to be throughout the Greater Toronto Area.
“Locally, there are 903 new cases in Toronto, 639 in Peel, 283 in York Region, 162 in Durham and 152 in Ottawa,” Health Minister Christine Elliott tweeted.
Toronto, Peel Region and York Region saw a decrease in new cases compared to a day ago, while Durham and Ottawa saw an increase.
Halton Region logged 61 new infections, down 20 from Friday, and Hamilton reported 53 new cases, a notable decrease from 138 cases logged a day ago.
Only three of Ontario’s 34 public health units reported zero new cases on Saturday, and 16 logged 10 or less new infections.
Patients hospitalized with the virus decreased slightly on Saturday as the province’s health care system remains overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases.
According to the government, 1,632 were hospitalized with the virus in the past 24 hours, down from 1,647 a day ago. On Tuesday, 1,701 people were in hospitals across the province with the virus but hospitalizations have been decreasing slightly ever since.
Of the latest hospitalizations, 397 are in intensive care units, up from 387 on Friday, and 281 are breathing with the help of a ventilator.
There have been more than 234,300 cases of the novel coronavirus in the province since the virus emerged almost a year ago. More than 200,400 people have recovered from COVID-19.
More than 19,000 completed vaccinations
As of 8 p.m. on Saturday, the government has administered more than 189,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines across the province.
In the past 24 hours, more than 14,400 doses were administered to Ontarians.
Since Dec. 14, more than 19,300 vaccinations have been completed across the province, as two doses of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are required for full immunization.
Ontario reports 1,631 new coronavirus cases; 10 more deaths – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News
Ontario reported another 1,631 cases of COVID-19 on Monday along with 10 deaths the highest daily tally of cases in more than a month.
It’s the highest count of cases reported in Ontario since Feb. 5, when there were 1,670 cases reported.
During that time, most schools were still closed and the entire province was under a stay-at-home order that formally expired in Toronto, Peel and North Bay at midnight last night.
The province reported 1,299 new cases on Sunday, 990 more cases on Saturday and 1,250 new cases on Friday.
Across the GTA, Toronto reported 568 cases, the highest daily total that city has seen since Feb. 5, while Peel Region reported 322 new cases, the highest daily total the region has disclosed since Feb. 2.
York Region reported 119 new cases on Monday, while Durham Region reported 68 new cases, Halton reported 51 and Hamilton reported 22.
Provincial labs processed 38,063 tests in the past 24 hours, generating a positivity rate of at least 3.4 per cent.
None of the ten deaths reported on Monday occurred in the long-term care system.
There are now 11,016 active cases of novel coronavirus infection across the province, up from 10,570 one week ago.
A total of 7,077 people are known to have died from COVID-19, while 291,800 people have made a full recovery from illness.
The seven-day rolling average of daily cases rose to 1,155 on Monday, up from 1,069 on Sunday.
Meanwhile, hospitalizations stayed relatively flat when compared to Sunday.
The Ministry of Health says there were 626 people in hospital on Monday, up 20 from Sunday.
Of those, 282 were in intensive care and 184 were breathing with the help of a ventilator.
Public Health Ontario confirmed an additional 63 cases of coronavirus variants of concern in the past 24 hours, bringing the total confirmed through whole genomic sequencing in the province to 935.
There are also several thousand additional positive specimens that screened positive for a variant of concern but were awaiting full confirmation, local public health units said.
Public Health Ontario said that between 35 and 40 per cent of all positive samples were screening positive for a variant of concern late last week.
The province said it administered another 21,000 doses of approved coronavirus vaccines on Sunday, bringing the total number of shots administered to 912,486.
More than 273,000 people have now completed the full two-dose inoculation.
The numbers used in this story are found in the Ontario Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Daily Epidemiologic Summary. The number of cases for any city or region may differ slightly from what is reported by the province, because local units report figures at different times.
How the pandemic could create the flexible workplaces parents need – CBC.ca
For Tendai Dongo, the stress and anxiety was just too much at times. A project manager at a digital education company based in Calgary, she has spent much of the pandemic balancing her job with the needs of her young daughters.
With her husband’s insurance job requiring him to be out of the house frequently, the majority of the child-care responsibilities fell to her.
Everything came to a head in December.
“I felt that I had to quit,” said Tendai Dongo, who works at Xpan Interactive Ltd. “I had to choose … a full-time career or my mental health.”
The mother of two girls aged five and eight years old told her employer that working full-time from home while parenting was causing her a lot of stress and anxiety.
“I was just going to throw in the towel. I did not have any other opportunity out there waiting for me,” said Dongo.
But the chaos of watching employees juggle school closures, virtual learning, quarantines and their jobs could lead to more empathetic workplaces. Some companies, including Dongo’s, are thinking creatively about how to build more flexible work arrangements for their employees.
A year into the pandemic, parents are feeling the effects of being tugged in all directions — particularly women.
An online survey of 1,001 working Canadians conducted between Feb. 9 and 15 by ADP Canada and Leger found half of working mothers (50 per cent) reported experiencing high stress levels due to balancing child-care obligations and work, compared to 40 per cent of working fathers.
Data released by Statistics Canada also shows pandemic job losses are disproportionately affecting women. In January, for example, the employment decline for woman was more than double that of men, with 73,000 fewer women working that month compared to 33,500 fewer men.
The numbers also showed the decline in employment was pronounced among mothers whose youngest child was between the ages of six and 12. Their employment rate fell 2.9 percentage points, compared to a drop of 0.9 percentage points for all working adults.
‘It’s really, really impossibly hard’
For Danielle Ellenor, working a full-time job as an account associate for a printing company that offered little flexibility while she was home with her young children was too overwhelming.
“It takes a huge toll on your mental health, on your kid’s mental health,” said Ellenor, an Ottawa mother of two girls aged six and seven. “It’s really, really impossibly hard.”
Her partner has been working from home too, but his management job in software sales has him in virtual meetings most of the day.
In December, knowing that more school closures were coming, Ellenor left the company she had been with for almost 10 years to focus on her kids and transition to a more flexible career in real estate.
“It’s a gamble that I decided to make,” said Ellenor.
There’s concern that many other women may drop out of the workforce permanently.
‘We could lose an entire class of future leaders’
McKinsey & Company conducted an online survey of more than 40,000 workers across Canada and the United States between June and August 2020.
The survey found that one in four women were contemplating downshifting their careers or leaving the workforce.
“We would lose an entire class of future leaders and in some cases existing leaders, because it spans all the way to the highest levels of organizations,” said Alexis Krivkovich, a senior partner at the global consulting firm.
But amidst the crisis comes opportunity, she said. Some companies are finding creative ways to retain their employees, such as flexible time-off schedules, re-imagining performance management and thinking differently about working hours.
“We need more of that creative thinking now to make sure that the one in four women who are saying, ‘I’m not sure I can make it through this moment’ come out the other side,” Krivkovich said.
Letting employees chart their own paths
Vancouver-based software company Bananatag has embraced flexibility during the pandemic by coming up with a “choose your own adventure” schedule for its 130 employees.
“We are quite flexible on location, preferred work style, preferred hours,” said Agata Zasada, vice-president of people and culture at Bananatag.
With about 50 per cent of their workforce made up of women and many parents on staff, the company wanted to remove a level of uncertainty for all of its employees.
“We haven’t lost anyone through the pandemic due to not being able to be flexible enough,” said Zasada.
Post-pandemic Bananatag will continue to let employees choose their own schedules. The company also plans to become even more flexible by entertaining the idea of job sharing and becoming more project-based.
Carly Holm, founder and CEO of Holm & Company, a human resources company, is hopeful that some good will come out of this challenging year.
“We’ve proven that we can be flexible and still be successful and be productive and that nine-to-five is irrelevant,” said Holm. “It is completely arbitrary and doesn’t work for a lot of people.”
Holm’s firm offers HR services for small to medium-sized businesses. She says results of her client’s employee engagement surveys show that employees are happier when given flexibility, and that companies offering it are performing better.
“The companies that encourage that and have kind of that flexible, remote work, they’re going to be the ones that are going to retain the people, retain women,” said Holm.
COVID … has catapulted institutional mindsets around flexible work into the future– Jennifer Hargreaves, founder of Tellent
When Dongo, the project manager in Calgary, told her boss she couldn’t mentally handle being a full-time employee and a mother right now, her workplace took action.
Instead of letting her quit, Xpan Interactive came up with a solution that she says is working well.
The company dropped her workload from eight clients to one and reduced her to part-time flexible hours. She now works when she wants and when she can.
Dongo’s salary has also been reduced. She admits she and her husband have had to start dipping into their savings, but she appreciates that her company came up with a solution that allows her to stay in the workforce.
“I still have that sense of purpose that I am still continuing in my career,” said Dongo.
Creating your own flexibility
Since 2016, Jennifer Hargreaves has been an advocate for more flexibility and has successfully placed women in flexible higher paying jobs through her virtual networking platform.
“One of the benefits … of COVID is that it has catapulted institutional mindsets around flexible work into the future,” said Hargreaves, founder of Tellent, a network that provides women with access to flexible job opportunities.
Among her 10,000 members, she says the need for flexible work has skyrocketed.
The first step in finding that flexible job, according to Hargreaves, starts with your current employer. She encourages women to approach their companies, as Dongo did, to see if they can draw up new arrangements.
“There’s no better time like right now to negotiate what you want because everything’s up in the air,” Hargreaves said. “Employers are starting from scratch and they’re trying to figure out what this looks like as well.”
Canada set to receive more than 910000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines this week – CTV News
Canada is set to receive 910,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses this week as pharmaceutical companies ramp up deliveries to make good on their contractual obligations by the end of the month.
The Public Health Agency of Canada says the country will receive nearly 445,000 shots from Pfizer-BioNTech for the second week running as the companies settle into a rhythm following a lengthy lull in January and much of February.
The remaining 465,000 shots are expected from Moderna, as the pharmaceutical firm steps up its delivery schedule from once every three weeks to once every two.
The influx of new shots comes as the federal government looks for vaccine-makers to finalize delivery of a total of eight million doses by March 31.
That includes 5.5 million from Pfizer-BioNTech — up from the four million originally expected — and two million from Moderna. Canada received 500,000 doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine last week.
The federal government is not expecting any new deliveries from AstraZeneca-Oxford, nor does it anticipate receiving shipments of the newly approved vaccine from Johnson & Johnson until next month.
At that point, however, both manufacturers are on tap to deliver millions of shots per month.
That includes more than a million doses per week from Pfizer-BioNTech starting in the last week of March and into the following month.
“In April, we are anticipating a steep increase in vaccine availability,” Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, the military officer overseeing Canada’s inoculation distribution effort, said last week.
“This includes 23 million doses of both Pfizer and Moderna between April and June, and at least 1.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca Serum Institute of India vaccine arriving by mid-May.”
Johnson & Johnson, whose single-dose vaccine received Health Canada approval on Friday, is the fourth inoculation to receive the green light from the regulator.
It uses a modified common-cold virus to carry a piece of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 to convince the body to mount an immune response to prevent future infections.
Clinical trials found it to be 66 per cent effective against moderate COVID-19-related illness, 85 per cent effective against severe illness, and 100 per cent effective against death.
“We can be really increasingly optimistic in our outlook and that is really great,” Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, said on Friday.
Procurement Minister Anita Anand said the government has now confirmed total deliveries of 36.5 million vaccine doses by Canada Day which would be more than enough to get a single dose to each adult Canadian by then.
That doesn’t include any of the 10 million doses purchased from Johnson & Johnson, and includes none of the 20 million doses coming directly from AstraZeneca.
Every vaccine except Johnson & Johnson’s is given in two doses, but provinces are moving to implement new guidance from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization stating those shots should be spaced out up to four months apart rather than three or four weeks.
Provinces are making the move to get more people vaccinated with a first dose, after real-world evidence showed strong data that one dose is highly effective on its own.
Nearly 1.7 million Canadians have now received at least one dose, and the pace of vaccinations has accelerated in the last two weeks. In the past seven days alone, more than 457,000 people were vaccinated, 2 1/2 times as many as in a similar period two weeks before.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 8, 2021.
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