Newswatch COVID-19 Digest: Saturday December 5, 2020

Here are the latest local, regional and national headlines on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for Saturday, December 5, 2020:

  • There have been 123,526 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Ontario, an increase of 1,780 (or 1.5 per cent) from the previous day. There are 104,792 people recovered from the virus while 3,737 people have died. The number of Ontario people tested is 6,462,656 of which 62,403 have pending results.
  • Canada’s coronavirus case total is 402,569. The country has 12,496 deaths from the virus – one in the Yukon, 492 in British Columbia, 590 in Alberta, 55 in Saskatchewan, 362 in Manitoba, 3,737 in Ontario, 7,183 in Quebec, seven in New Brunswick, four in Newfoundland & Labrador and 65 in Nova Scotia.
  • Canada reached the bleak milestone of 400,000 cases Friday after Saskatchewan recorded 283 new cases of the virus. It took Canada six months to reach the first 100,000 cases – the last 100,000 happened in less than a month (Nov. 16).
  • The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit area added seven cases Friday to bring the regional total to 507 confirmed cases, of which 22 are active (six more than Thursday) and 432 are recovered (one more than Thursday). One person is still in hospital, in the ICU on a ventilator. The number of deaths to date is 53. There are two active institutional outbreaks (Sherwood Park Manor in Brockville and FoxRun in Gananoque). The community case breakdown is: Leeds-Grenville East (eight active), Leeds-Grenville Central (one active), Leeds-Grenville West (three active), Lanark County West (one active) and Lanark County East (eight active).
  • St. Edward Catholic School in Westport was closed Friday after the school board initially posted on its website Thursday that only one class was affected. One person had tested positive. The CDSBEO closed the school due to a lack of staff. It’s not known how long the school will be closed.
  • The Eastern Ontario Health Unit region jumped 43 cases Friday to bring the regional total to 942 confirmed cases, of which 178 are active (43 more than Thursday) and 734 are resolved (zero more than Thursday). There were 20 new cases in Prescott-Russell, 18 in Cornwall, four in SD&G and one in Akwesasne. The number of deaths to date is 31. Six people are in hospital, one more than Thursday. There are four active outbreaks (includes nursing homes, schools and daycare), one more than Thursday. Testing increased by 510 to 85,201.
  • Health Minister Christine Elliott and Solicitor General Sylvia Jones have announced the immunization task force. The group of nine includes chief coroner Dr. Dirk Huyer, former Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders and CHEO Pharmacy Director Dr. Regis Vaillancourt. The group will focus on vaccine delivery, logistics, clinical guidance and public education and outreach.
  • An outbreak at University Hospital in London, Ont. has killed 12 people so far. There are 48 cases among staff and another 64 patients have the virus. What started as an outbreak in one unit of the hospital has now spread to five other sections.
  • The National Advisory Committee on Immunization has made a slight change on who it thinks should be first in line for the COVID-19 vaccine. Residents and staff of long-term care homes and people 80 or older should be first, followed by younger residents in five-year step downs to age 70, depending on supply.
  • New modelling for Manitoba shows that without proper health guidelines, the province would have had 1,000 cases a day by now. The current case load is about 300 to 400 daily. About one in 48 people who catch the virus are dying. Manitoba actually surpassed Ontario and Quebec numbers on Friday with 1,828 new cases.
  • Prince Edward Island has extended its pullout from the Atlantic bubble. What started as a pullout for two weeks has now been extended until Dec. 21 because the premier is not comfortable with the COVID-19 situation in the rest of Atlantic Canada.

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