Ontario is reporting just over 1,000 new cases of COVID-19 today, one of the lowest daily case counts logged in the province in more than two months.
Ontario health officials are reporting 1,022 new cases of the disease caused by the novel coronavirus and 17 more virus-related deaths.
With the exception of the 745 cases confirmed one week ago, an artificially low tally due to a reporting issue with Toronto Public Health, today’s total is the lowest logged by the province since Nov. 24, when 1,009 new infections were reported.
Week-over-week, the seven-day average of new infections dropped from 1,746 to 1,367. Just two weeks ago on Jan. 26, the rolling seven-day average was 2,346.
Ontario labs processed just 30,798 tests over the past 24 hours, well below provincial capacity but on par with the 28,552 tests processed last Tuesday.The provincewide test positivity rate released by the Ministry of Health today is 3.3 per cent, down from 4.6 per cent last week.
According to the latest data from the province, there are 909 COVID-19 patients at Ontario hospitals, a notable decline from 1,192 last Tuesday. Intensive care admissions remain high although the province says that number is also dropping. Provincial officials say there are currently 318 COVID-19 patients in intensive care, down from 341 last week.
It should be noted that hospitalization totals reported by local public health units indicate that the number of people with COVID-19 who are receiving treatment at Ontario hospitals is actually 1,202.
Of the new cases confirmed today, 343 are in Toronto, 250 are in Peel Region and 128 are in York Region, the three regions of the province that will have to wait for at least another two weeks before any public health restrictions are eased by the provincial government.
Businesses opening in some regions this week
On Tuesday, Premier Doug Ford announced that some COVID-19 restrictions would be lifted in three regions in eastern Ontario this week as all areas of the province gradually transition back into the provincial government’s colour-coded reopening framework.
Hastings Prince Edward Public Health; Kingston, Frontenac, and Lennox & Addington Public Health; and Renfrew County Public Health will be moved to the green or “prevent” zone of the province’s framework starting Wednesday, meaning all retail shops, hair salons, restaurants, bars, gyms, and movie theatres can reopen for business.
With the exception of Toronto, Peel Region, and York Region, the Ford government’s stay-at-home order will be lifted for the remaining 28 public health units on Feb.16, at which point those regions will return to the reopening framework. For the province’s three COVID-19 hot spots, restrictions will not be eased until at least Feb. 22.
Under the updated framework, all types of retailers, including ones deemed to be non-essential, will now be permitted to open in regions in the grey or “lockdown” zone. Pharmacies, convenience stores and stores that primarily sell groceries can operate in grey zones with 50 per cent of regular indoor capacity while all other retailers, including big box stores, can operate at 25 per cent capacity.
Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infectious diseases specialist and member of Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccine task force, said it is encouraging to see community transmission of the novel coronavirus continue to trend downward.
“We are watching Ontario’s case numbers drop day after day after day. We are watching the health care system slowly, but not completely, get decompressed. ICU is still a bit of an issue in many parts of the province,” he told CP24 on Tuesday morning.
“The trend is certainly headed in the right direction and it is coming up to three or past three weeks of this trend… Having said that, we are still having around 1,200 to 1,500 new cases per day.”
Ontario must take ‘urgent action’ if cases rise
He noted that transmission of the virus does appear to be “very regional” and that taking a regional approach to reopening is safe as long as it is done carefully.
“On the one hand, some regions have very little cases. On the other hand, people travel and people move around and we’ve seen this infection quite frankly get out of control in many, many parts of the province,” he said.
“I think at the end of the day, whatever we choose to do as long as we can continue to drive cases lower, as we are seeing now, as long as we can continue along that trend, I’m fine with it…. but if cases start to plateau or if cases start to rise in various regions, I think you have to take urgent action because this is the type of infection that can get out of hand very, very quickly.”
The province said Monday that there is an “emergency brake system” in place that will allow the chief medical officer of health to take “immediate action” if there is a rapid acceleration of COVID-19 transmission in a given region.
Public health experts have expressed concerns about the impact new more transmissible COVID-19 variants could have on community transmission in Ontario as regions begin to open up.
To date, 227 cases of the B.1.1.7 variant, first discovered in the United Kingdom, have been confirmed in Ontario along with three B.1.351 variant cases, first found in South Africa. Officials also say one case of the P.1 variant, also known as the Brazilian variant of concern, has been discovered in Ontario.
In a statement released Tuesday, Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath slammed the province’s plan to reopen the economy, accusing Ford of repeating the same mistakes over and over again.
“People deserve hope that this time, when we open, we’re opening for good,” Horwath said in a news release. “We’ve been stuck in a cycle of one step forward and two steps back. We’re paying the price because Doug Ford keeps making the same mistakes again and again.”
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.
Ontario reports 1,631 new COVID cases Monday – SooToday
Public Health Ontario has reported 1,631 new cases of COVID-19 today (March 8).
Today’s report includes 994 recoveries and 10 new deaths, none were long-term care residents.
The deaths reported today include five people between 60 and 79 years old, and five people aged 80 or older.
The province has reported 51 new hospitalizations since yesterday, and seven new admissions of COVID-19 patients to intensive care units.
The March 8 update provided by the province’s public health agency also reported the following data:
- 11,016 active cases, which is up from 10,389 yesterday
- 626 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in Ontario, up from 606 reported yesterday.
- There are 282 COVID patients in intensive care units (up from 273) and 184 COVID patients on ventilators (up from 179 reported yesterday)
- 38,063 tests were processed yesterday resulting in a 3.4 per cent positivity rate.
- Another 13,891 tests are still under investigation and/or being processed. To date, 11.4 million tests have been completed.
- Of the 1,631 new cases reported today, 568 are from Toronto, 322 cases are from Peel, 119 are from York Region, and 48 are from Simcoe-Muskoka
- There are 79 active outbreaks at long-term care homes, 59 at retirement homes, and 20 at hospitals.
- The new cases reported today include 321 individuals aged 19 and under, 596 people between 20 and 39 years old, 447 people between 40 and 59 years old, 224 people between 60 and 79 years old, and 47 people aged 80 and over.
Variants of concern reported by Public Health Ontario
- 879 lab-confirmed cases of the UK variant strain of COVID-19 (B.1.1.7).
- 39 cases of B.1.351 (also known as the South African variant).
- 17 cases of P.1, which is the variant strain that originated in Brazil.
- According to Public Health Ontario, there are delays between specimen collection and the testing required to confirm a variant of concern. As such, the reports can change and can differ from past case counts publicly reported.
- There were 21,882 doses of vaccines against COVID-19 administered on March 7, which is down from 30,192 administered on Mar. 6.
- As of 8 p.m. on March 7, the province reported 912,486 doses of vaccine against COVID-19 have been administered.
- In total, 273,676 people have been fully vaccinated.
Public Health Ontario has confirmed 309,927 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, and reported 290,840 recoveries and 7,077 deaths, of which 3,876 were individuals living in long-term care homes.
The cumulative average incidence rate in the province is 2,085 cases per 100,000 people in Ontario.
The weekly incidence rate in Ontario is 50.7 cases per 100,000 people, which is a decrease of 1.6 per cent from last week (Feb. 20-26).
In Northern Ontario, the breakdown of Public Health Ontario data is:
- Algoma Public Health: 200 cases, rate of 174.8 per 100,000 people. There are five known active cases. The region is in the yellow – protect zone.
- North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit: 266 cases, rate of 205 per 100,000 people. The health unit has reported 269 cases. There are six known active cases. There are two confirmed cases of the United Kingdom (B.1.1.7) variant, and 16 confirmed cases of the South African (B.1.351) variant of concern. The region is in the red – control zone.
- Porcupine Health Unit: 342 cases, rate of 409.9 per 100,000 people. There are seven known active cases. The region is in the orange – restrict zone.
- Public Health Sudbury and Districts: 791 cases, rate of 397.4per 100,000 people. The health unit has reported 784 cases. There are 181 known active cases. There are three confirmed variants of concern (VOC) cases, both are the UK (B.1.1.7) strain. The region is in the red zone.
- Timiskaming Health Unit: 104 cases, rate of 318.1 per 100,000 people. The health unit has reported 106 cases. There are 12 known active cases. There is one confirmed case of the South African (B.1.351) variant of concern. The region is in the orange – restrict zone.
- Northwestern Health Unit: 514 cases, rate of 586.3 per 100,000 people. The health unit has reported 500 confirmed cases. There are 44 known active cases. There is one confirmed case of the UK (B.1.1.7) variant. The region is in the yellow – protect zone.
- Thunder Bay District Health Unit: 2,002 cases, rate of 1,335 per 100,000 people. The health unit has reported 1,994 cases, There are 470 known active cases. The region is in the grey – lockdown level.
72 new COVID-19 cases reported on Vancouver Island – CHEK
British Columbia health officials have reported 1,462 new cases – including 72 in Island Health – and 11 deaths from COVID-19.
From Friday to Saturday there were 545 cases, from Saturday to Sunday there were 532 new cases, and in the past 24 hours, there were 385 cases identified.
The number of confirmed cases in B.C. climbs to 84,569 while the province’s death toll now stands at 1,391.
Of the new cases, 407 were recorded in Vancouver Coastal Health, 802 were in Fraser Health, 72 in Island Health, 79 in Interior Health, and 102 in Northern Health.
There are 4,854 currently active cases in the province, 240 people in hospital — 66 of whom are in intensive care — and 8,723 people under active public health monitoring due to possible exposure to an identified case.
A total of 78,237 people in B.C. have recovered from COVID-19 while 333,327 doses of vaccine have been administered province-wide.
During Monday’s update, Dr. Bonnie Henry, the province’s provincial health officer, said there were 144 new cases that are variants of concern identified in the province since the last update on Friday.
“The majority of these cases are in the Fraser Health region, where we are continuing to see the majority of transmission,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry.
A total of 363 cases are associated with the U.K. variant while 31 cases are the B151 variant or South African variant.
B.C. has recorded a total of 394 cases with a variant of concern, with six of those cases being identified in the Island Health region.
“A quarter of these cases, we do not know exactly how they were transmitted, which tells us that the variants are some of the viruses that are being transmitted in our communities,” said Henry on Monday.
There are currently 267 active cases on Vancouver Island, according to the latest information posted on the BCCDC‘s dashboard.
Fourteen people are in hospital, one of whom is in critical care.
A total of 625 tests for COVID-19 were performed in the past 24 hours in the region.
Since the coronavirus pandemic began, there have been 2,587 cases, 143 people hospitalized, 2,281 recoveries and 28 deaths on Vancouver Island.
Meanwhile, Island Health reported 231 active cases on Vancouver Island in its latest dashboard update. Of those active cases, 48 are in the South Island, 130 are in Central Island, and 53 are in the North Island.
Island Health’s data often lags behind the BCCDC’s data due to a “difference in timing of reporting across laboratory and public health data sources.”
‘Modified return’ of certain activities on the horizon
During Monday’s update, Dr. Bonnie Henry, the province’s provincial health officer, offered an optimistic outlook for the weeks ahead, saying that British Columbians can look ahead to a “modified return” of certain activities that are currently prohibited.
“We are not going to rush to get things open, but we will take a thoughtful, careful and phased approach over the next few weeks,” said Henry. “I like to think of it as slowly turning up the dial again, rather than flipping the switch,” said Henry, stressing that British Columbia is not in a place where it can simply return to pre-pandemic life.
Such activities that could resume include in-person faith-based gatherings, small outdoor social gatherings, and children’s camps and sports in certain settings.
“What we are looking at as we head into March break or spring break at the end of this week and into next week, is seeing the return of things like gatherings outside, where it safer, activities outside that we can do in groups with precautions in place,” she said.
Health officials are also looking at allowing more inter-provincial travel in time for spring break.
“We will be looking at how we can travel and explore during March break as a family or a small group together with our household, exploring our own region and making sure that if we are going to different parts overnight within our region or within the province that we do make sure that we are not going to place that are not yet ready to receive visitors,” said Henry.
It is likely the virus that causes COVID-19 will remain for a while longer, but there is hope on the horizon, according to Henry.
“There is much we can look forward to in the coming months ahead,” she said.
More to come
“It is likely we are still going to have to deal with the virus that causes COVID-19, but we will be in a much different place by the time we head to the summer,” – Dr. Bonnie Henry.https://t.co/y1l6qanNr0
— Nicholas M Pescod (@npescod) March 8, 2021
Optomistic briefing from Dr. Henry today:
– Considering allowing small outdoor social gatherings, possible travel and kids camps/sports as early as spring break.
– More relaxed restrictions possible in coming weeks.
– In-person faith activites to resume in coming weeks.
— Rob Shaw (@RobShaw_BC) March 8, 2021
Dr. Henry on potentially lifting some restrictions: “In the weeks ahead we can start to look at this modified return of some of the activities that have been on pause…” @CHEK_News
— Joe Perkins (@JoePerkinsCHEK) March 8, 2021
BC health officials report 1,462 new COVID-19 cases, 11 deaths since Friday | News – Daily Hive
British Columbia health officials announced on Monday there have been 1,462 new test-positive COVID-19 cases since Friday, bringing the total number of recorded cases in the province to 84,569.
During a press conference, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said there were 545 cases reported from Friday to Saturday, 532 from Saturday to Sunday, and 385 from Sunday to Monday.
Broken down by health region, this equates to 407 new cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 802 new cases in the Fraser Health region, 72 in the Island Health region, 79 in the Interior Health region, and 102 in the Northern Health region.
- See also:
There were also 11 new COVID-19-related deaths, for a total of 1,391 deaths in British Columbia.
There are 4,854 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, with 8,723 people under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases. A total of 78,237 people who tested positive have recovered.
Of the active cases, 240 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, 66 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people with COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation.
There are 144 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 variants of concern in the province, for a total of 394 cases. Of these, 87 are active and the remaining cases have recovered.
To date, 333,327 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in BC, 86,295 of which are second doses.
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