Newswatch COVID-19 Digest: Wednesday December 30, 2020

Here are the latest local, regional and national headlines on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for Wednesday, December 30, 2020:

  • There have been 175,908 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Ontario, an increase of 2,553 (or 1.5 per cent) from the previous day. There were 1,939 new cases reported Monday. There are 151,562 people recovered from the virus while 4,455 people have died. The number of Ontario people tested is 7,818,990 of which 32,850 have pending results.
  • Canada’s coronavirus case total is 565,506. The country has 15,378 deaths from the virus – one in the Yukon, one in Nunavut, 882 in British Columbia, 1,028 in Alberta, 151 in Saskatchewan, 659 in Manitoba, 4,455 in Ontario, 8,124 in Quebec, eight in New Brunswick, four in Newfoundland & Labrador and 65 in Nova Scotia.
  • The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit added 22 cases since Christmas Eve, to bring the regional total to 662 confirmed cases, of which 18 are active (10 fewer than Dec. 24) and 591 are recovered (32 more than Dec. 24). The number of deaths to date is 53. There are no institutional outbreaks. The community case breakdown is: Leeds-Grenville East (four active), Leeds-Grenville Central (zero active), Leeds-Grenville West (two active), Lanark County West (nine active) and Lanark County East (one active).
  • The Eastern Ontario Health Unit region added 17 cases Tuesday to bring the regional total to 1,343 confirmed cases, of which 239 are active (35 fewer than Monday) and 1,071 are resolved (52 more than Monday). The number of deaths is 33. Five people are in hospital (two fewer than Monday) and non in ICU (down from two on Monday). There are 10 active outbreaks (includes nursing and retirement homes, lodging homes, group homes, schools and daycare), one fewer than Monday. Testing increased by 277 to 92,566.
  • After starting with two hospital sites in Toronto and Ottawa, Ontario COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force lead Rick Hillier says the province has expanded injection sites to 19 hospitals. Hillier says more than 14,000 people have been given the shot. In the coming weeks there will be two more hospital sites and two health units will be administering the shots. Hillier’s goal is to have 1.1 million vaccinations done by the end of March and 8.5 million by the end of July. The Moderna vaccine is expected in the next 24 hours – the first 50,000 doses – Hillier said Tuesday morning and they will be rolled out to four long-term care homes.
  • Quebec has become the fourth province to confirm its first case of the more contagious strain of COVID-19. Health Minister Christian Dube says the person is a family member of someone who returned from the United Kingdom earlier this month. There are three cases in Ontario, one in B.C. and one in Alberta.
  • There have been 185 verbal warnings, 20 written ones and 130 tickets issues for quarantine violations for people who returned home to Canada from abroad. The federal government adds that 98.8 per cent of the roughly 41,000 cases saw people following the rules where law enforcement was involved.
  • Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says Alberta Health Services has been instructed to administer all the doses it has as soon as possible. The province missed its initial vaccination target because AHS was holding back half to ensure people who got the initial Pfizer shot would have a second dose available.
  • Alabama hospitals are in crisis as COVID-19 is out of control in one of America’s most impoverished states. Almost 40 per cent of coronavirus tests coming back are positive, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

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