Newswatch COVID-19 Digest: Wednesday December 23, 2020

Here are the latest local, regional and national headlines on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for Wednesday, December 23, 2020:

  • There have been 160,255 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Ontario, an increase of 2,202 (or 1.4 per cent) from the previous day. There are 136,767 people recovered from the virus while 4,188 people have died. The number of Ontario people tested is 7,471,302 of which 47,872 have pending results.
  • Canada’s coronavirus case total is 521,509. The country has 14,425 deaths from the virus – one in the Yukon, 777 in British Columbia, 871 in Alberta, 125 in Saskatchewan, 590 in Manitoba, 4,188 in Ontario, 7,794 in Quebec, eight in New Brunswick, four in Newfoundland & Labrador and 65 in Nova Scotia.
  • The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit added one new case Tuesday to bring the regional total to 640 confirmed cases, of which 28 are active (five fewer than Monday) and 559 are recovered (six more than Monday). The number of deaths to date is 53. There are no institutional outbreaks. The community case breakdown is: Leeds-Grenville East (three active), Leeds-Grenville Central (five active), Leeds-Grenville West (seven active), Lanark County West (10 active) and Lanark County East (three active).
  • The Eastern Ontario Health Unit region added 10 cases on Tuesday to bring the regional total to 1,223 confirmed cases, of which 250 are active (28 fewer than Monday) and 941 are resolved (38 more than Monday). The number of deaths is 32. Five people are in hospital, including two in ICU. There are nine active outbreaks (includes nursing and retirement homes, lodging homes, group homes, schools and daycare), four fewer than Monday. Testing increased by 668 to 91,616.
  • Leeds and Thousand Islands Township has suspended access to municipal facilities, recreation and leisure programs as part of the province-wide shutdown starting Boxing Day. The township will take building and planning documents by email or the drop box at the municipal office.
  • In-passenger road tests in Eastern Ontario are cancelled until Jan. 23 under the province-wide shutdown starting Boxing Day. DriveTest clients will get a credit in the system to book their test once things reopen.
  • Hydro One customers will have their electricity rates locked in at the off-peak rate of 8.5 cents per kilowatt hour, 24 hours a day for all time-of-use and tiered customers starting Jan. 1, 2021 for 28 days.
  • Parents of students aged 13 through Grade 12 will be eligible for a $200 one-time payment to offset education expenses under the province’s Support for Learners program. It will be open to public, private and home schooled students. You will have to apply next month to receive the money.
  • Premier Doug Ford says if the federal government won’t start testing travellers at Ontario points of entry of travellers coming back to Canada, Ontario will. Federal Public Safety Minister Bill Blair defends the border controls and quarantine requirements in place right now saying they are among the strictest in the world.
  • Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam says a more infectious strain of COVID-19 spreading through the United Kingdom has not been detected in this country. Officials are putting steps in place (genome sequencing networks) in order to detect it.

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