What’s the latest?
Ottawa’s health officials reported 45 new cases of COVID-19, but no new deaths on Valentine’s Day.
Twenty-five newly confirmed cases were recorded in western Quebec.
Starting Tuesday, businesses like restaurants, gyms and salons will be allowed to welcome customers — with some restrictions — and the City of Ottawa will begin gradually reopening services to the public.
Canadian pharmacies are ready to help with the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines to the public once enough doses become public, according to the head of an association that represents the retailers.
How many cases are there?
As of Sunday, 13,948 Ottawa residents have tested positive for COVID-19. There are currently 426 known active cases and 13,090 resolved cases. Public health officials have attributed 432 deaths to COVID-19.
Public health officials have reported more than 24,800 COVID-19 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, including more than 23,300 resolved cases.
Elsewhere in eastern Ontario, 125 people have died of COVID-19, and 157 people have died in western Quebec.
What can I do?
The Ontario stay-at-home order remains in place until Tuesday for the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU), Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit and Ottawa.
Travel between regions and provinces is not recommended.
Private indoor gatherings are not allowed, while outdoor gatherings are capped at five people. It’s strongly recommended people stick to their own households and socializing is not considered essential.
People who live alone are allowed close contact with one other household.
Students across eastern Ontario can return to the classroom.
Communities in the Belleville, Kingston and Renfrew County areas have already returned to green, the lowest level on the province’s colour-coded pandemic scale.
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Western Quebec residents are also being asked to stay home unless it’s essential to leave and not see anyone they don’t live with. An exception for people living alone allows them to exclusively visit one other home.
Non-essential businesses, hair salons and museums are now allowed to open across Quebec. Locally, gyms and restaurants will stay closed.
Like in Ontario, travel from one region of Quebec to another is discouraged.
Quebec’s 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew remains in place.
Distancing and isolating
This means it is important to take precautions now and in the months to come like staying home while symptomatic, keeping hands and frequently touched surfaces clean and maintaining distance from anyone you don’t live with — even with a mask on.
Masks, preferably ones that fit snugly and have three layers, are mandatory in indoor public settings in Ontario and Quebec. OPH says residents should also wear masks outside their homes whenever possible.
The federal government is in the midst of tightening international travel rules and asks people not to vacation abroad.
As of Monday, people will have to show proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test to enter Canada by land without a fine.
Health Canada recommends older adults and people with underlying medical conditions and/or weakened immune systems stay home as much as possible and get friends and family to help with errands.
Symptoms and vaccines
COVID-19 can range from a cold-like illness to a severe lung infection, with common symptoms including fever, a cough, vomiting and loss of taste or smell. Children can develop a rash.
If you have severe symptoms, call 911.
COVID-19 vaccines have been given to local health-care workers and long-term care residents.
About 52,400 doses have been given out, including about 34,700 doses in Ottawa and 8,800 in western Quebec.
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Ontario’s first doses are going to care home residents. It says a first dose has been offered at every long-term care home.
Ottawa has given a second dose to most long-term care residents, is giving second doses to some health-care workers and has given a first dose to high-risk retirement home residents.
That province’s campaign is still expected to expand to priority groups such as older adults and essential workers in March or April, with vaccines widely available in August.
Quebec is also giving a single dose to as many people as possible, starting with people in care homes and health-care workers, then remote communities, then older adults and essential workers and finally the general public.
Quebecers should get their second dose within 90 days.
When the campaign expands, western Quebec’s health authority plans two vaccine clinics in Gatineau and four outside the city that can vaccinate between 3,000 to 6,000 people a day.
Where to get tested
In eastern Ontario:
Anyone seeking a test should book an appointment.
People without symptoms but who are part of the province’s targeted testing strategy can make an appointment at select pharmacies. Travellers who need a test have very few local options to pay for one.
ATTN! Testing centers have updated hours for Family Day (Monday Feb 15th)! Find out where and when you can get a <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/COVID?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#COVID</a> test here: <a href=”https://t.co/2xHvqYS2c0″>https://t.co/2xHvqYS2c0</a> <a href=”https://t.co/ECNiZovL9T”>pic.twitter.com/ECNiZovL9T</a>
People can arrange a test in Picton over the phone or in Bancroft, Belleville and Trenton, where online booking is preferred.
Renfrew County test clinic locations are posted weekly. Residents can also call their family doctor or 1-844-727-6404 with health questions.
The Eastern Ontario Health Unit has sites in Alexandria, Casselman, Cornwall, Hawkesbury, Rockland and Winchester.
In western Quebec:
Tests are strongly recommended for people with symptoms and their contacts.
There are recurring clinics by appointment in communities such as Maniwaki, Fort-Coulonge and Petite-Nation.
Call 1-877-644-4545 with questions, including if walk-in testing is available nearby.
First Nations, Inuit and Métis:
Akwesasne has had more than 170 residents test positive on the Canadian side of the border and six deaths. More than 330 people have tested positive across the community and eight have died.
The COVID-19 outbreak has ended at its Iakhihsohtha Lodge long-term care home.
Its curfew from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. is back and it has a COVID-19 test site by appointment only.
Anyone returning to the community on the Canadian side of the international border who’s been farther than 160 kilometres away — or visited Montreal — for non-essential reasons is asked to self-isolate for 14 days.
It has released its vaccine plans.
Inuit in Ottawa can call the Akausivik Inuit Family Health Team at 613-740-0999 for service, including testing, in Inuktitut or English on weekdays.
For more information
First AstraZeneca doses on their way, will be part of nearly 945K doses delivered this week: Anand – CTV News
The first tranche of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines is on its way to Canada and is scheduled to arrive tomorrow, as part of the 944,600 vaccine doses arriving this week, Procurement Minister Anita Anand said Tuesday.
A total of 500,000 AstraZeneca shots are in transit to Canada from the Serum Institute of India and Verity Pharmaceuticals, as part of a deal for two million doses. As well, the weekly delivery of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine contains 444,600 doses.
“This week, we are on track to see approximately 945,000 doses of vaccines arriving in Canada,” said Anand. “Thus, almost a million doses will be delivered into this country this week alone, and next week we are set to receive more than 900,000 doses of vaccines,” she said.
With the addition of the AstraZeneca vaccine to Canada’s list of authorized vaccines, the federal government has said that shipment sizes are set to continue to increase. This aligns with the plans to begin immunizing more people, and could lead to an acceleration of the timeline of having at least 14.5 million Canadians fully vaccinated by the end of June.
“As our government ramps up the delivery of vaccines to provinces this week, we know that more Canadians will be offered the opportunity to receive their vaccine, and we encourage everyone who’s offered this opportunity to accept,” said Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc, adding that all who are vaccinated will need to continue to follow their local public health guidance.
NEW DETAILS ON COMING SHIPMENTS
Next week’s shipments will come from Pfizer and Moderna, as those firms work to meet their commitment to ship a combined total of six million doses by the end of March.
“We anticipate receiving over two million doses spread over the five weeks of March, with equal amounts each week,” said Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin on Tuesday.
The balance of 1.5 million AstraZeneca doses coming to Canada through the Serum Institute will come over April and May, likely overlapping with the beginning of deliveries of the 20 million AstraZeneca doses Canada has secured through an agreement with AstraZeneca for shots developed in partnership with Oxford University and coming from the U.S. Health Canada’s approval authorized shots to come from both manufacturers.
While Pfizer’s shipments will continue to come to Canada weekly, Moderna will be moving from delivering doses every three weeks to sending new shipments every two weeks.
Fortin said that in the first two weeks of April, Pfizer is expected to send around 769,000 doses per week.
In light of the latest figures being confirmed, the federal government is in talks with the provinces and territories about the per capita allocations of these shipments.
“We will continue to lead the planning effort to ensure that the processes for delivering, storage, handling, and immunization clinics and the provinces and territories can keep pace with increasing shipment sizes of the authorized COVID-19 vaccines,” Fortin said.
Alberta seniors won't receive AstraZeneca vaccine following new recommendations – CTV Toronto
Albertans aged 65 or older will not receive the newly approved AstraZeneca vaccine following new advice from a national advisory committee on who should and shouldn’t get the shot.
The National Advisory Committee on Immunizations (NACI) in Canada is not recommending the use of the vaccine in people 65 or older due to “the insufficiency of evidence of efficacy in this age group at this time.”
Health Canada approved the two-dose vaccine for anyone 18 years or older last Friday and stresses there is no safety concerns for seniors. However, it’s ultimately up to the provinces and territories to determine which vaccine is given and to whom.
Health Minister Tyler Shandro says Alberta will follow the advice from NACI, along with the government’s own vaccine advisory committee and Dr. Deena Hinshaw.
“Now how that’s going to change the administration of those who are in phase two is still to be determined. We will be making those decisions and announcing them fairly soon,” said Shandro.
Alberta is currently in phase one of its vaccine rollout and started immunizing all seniors in their 75th year or older last week.
The second phase is set to run from April to September and includes four different groups. Group A is everyone 65 to 74 years old no matter where they live, Indigenous people 50 years and older, and staff and residents of licensed supportive living that weren’t included in phase one.
Each phase is dependent on the vaccine supply and it’s yet to be seen if there will be changes to Alberta’s second phase as a result of the new advice on the AstraZeneca vaccine.
B.C. says all eligible adults should get first dose of COVID-19 vaccine by end of July – Global News
Health officials are hoping to fast-track how quickly all eligible British Columbians will receive their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
The province is expecting all adults in the province will have the option to receive their first dose before the end of July.
Officials aim to administer first dose of COVID-19 vaccine to all British Columbians by July
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced Monday that the gap between the first and second doses of the vaccine will be extended to 112 days.
Pfizer, one of the manufacturers, has recommended a 21-day gap between doses and the province previously was spacing them out by 42 days.
The province is also expecting to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine as soon as next week, which will allow some essential workers to get the shot ahead of their age group.
“The extension of dose two will make a big difference in our ability to vaccinate our mass population,” Dr. Penny Ballem, who is leading the province’s vaccination plan, said Monday.
“It will likely result in mid-to-late July we will be able to give a first dose to everyone in our population, which is a significant shift in our original plan. We will come back with more details on this.”
B.C. health officials roll out phase two of province’s vaccination plan
There is still no approved COVID-19 vaccine for children and teenagers in British Columbia.
Dr. Danuta Skowronski, epidemiology lead for influenza and emerging respiratory pathogens at the B.C. Centre for Disease Control, has convinced provincial health officials that spreading out doses will not jeopardize the vaccine’s effectiveness.
In a letter to the editor published in the New England Journal of Medicine, co-authored with Dr. Gaston De Serres of the Institut National de Sante Publique du Quebec, Skowronski argues the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine — initially said to be just 52.4 per cent effective with one dose — could provide more than 90 per cent protection with a single shot.
According to Skowronski and De Serres, Pfizer’s own research started measuring the vaccine’s efficacy immediately after a dose was administered, not after a two-week grace period, which is typical in vaccinology.
Using documents submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the doctors say they determined Pfizer’s vaccine is actually up to 92.6 per cent effective with a single dose.
“These are decisions that have gone through our immunization committee, our public health team,” Henry said.
“We have such good protection from these vaccines after the first dose. We will be focusing on second doses in the summer.”
The province originally estimated all eligible British Columbians would receive at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by September.
–with files from Aaron McArthur, Simon Little and The Canadian Press
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
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