Here are the latest local, regional and national headlines on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for Tuesday, January 12, 2021:
- There have been 219,120 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Ontario, an increase of 3,338 (or 1.5 per cent) from the previous day. There are 183,476 people recovered from the virus while 5,012 people have died. The number of Ontario people tested is 8,548,014 of which 28,774 have pending results.
- Canada’s coronavirus case total is 668,181. The country has 17,086 deaths from the virus – one in the Yukon, one in Nunavut, 1,010 in British Columbia, 1,307 in Alberta, 199 in Saskatchewan, 741 in Manitoba, 5,012 in Ontario, 8,737 in Quebec, nine in New Brunswick, four in Newfoundland & Labrador and 65 in Nova Scotia.
- The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit added seven cases Monday to bring the regional total to 743 confirmed cases. There are 31 active (down 17) and 659 recovered (up 24). There have been 53 deaths to date. One person is in hospital. There is one institutional outbreak. The community case breakdown is: Lanark County East 118 cases (five active), Lanark County West 127 cases (five active), Leeds-Grenville Central 77 cases (10 active), Leeds-Grenville East 111 cases (eight active) and Leeds-Grenville West 110 cases (three active).
- The Brockville General Hospital says its working to increase bed space in anticipation of a surge of serious COVID-19 cases coming from other areas of the province. “Sadly, we are not immune to this crisis,” the hospital said in a statement Monday about the growing caseload. The hospital is “finalizing details” to add two ICU beds, bringing the total to 12 beds.
- The Eastern Ontario Health Unit added 166 cases between Friday and Monday, to bring the regional total to 1,971 cases. There were 35 in Prescott-Russell, 39 in SD&G, 71 in Cornwall and 21 in Akwesasne. There are 895 active (130 more than Friday) and 1,237 resolved (34 more than Friday). There have been two more deaths, bringing the total to 38. The number of people in hospital is 18 (up 3) with five in ICU (up 2). There are 14 active institutional outbreaks, one fewer than Friday. Testing increased by 708 to 95,414.
- A North Dundas resident has launched an online petition against further lockdown restrictions in Eastern Ontario. Patrick Owen Brown believes the lockdowns are not justified. “For a population of 200,000 people living in an area 5,000 square kilometers in size, these (public health) figures don’t paint a picture of a local health system at risk of being overwhelmed.” Brown’s petition refers to Jan. 6 data of zero ICU cases and six people in hospital. Less than a week later, there are now 18 hospitalized, five in ICU and Cornwall’s COVID-19 regional ICU site is running at surge capacity.
- Toronto Mayor John Tory says the province should move urgently to impose a full lockdown similar to the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Tory told Toronto television station CP24 that it could help prevent the health care system from being overwhelmed. Tory believes more businesses, including big box stores, should be closed. Premier Doug Ford is expected to announce new measures later today (Tuesday) but government sources says a curfew like Quebec is off the table.
- The federal government is funding an emergency isolation shelter in Waterloo, Ont. Health Minister Patty Hajdu announced $4.1 million over 15 months for the voluntary isolation site for people who live in close quarters and need to isolate after a positive test result.
- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is holding a virtual cabinet retreat over the next two weeks. The Prime Minister’s Office says managing the pandemic and vaccine rollout will be on the agenda.
- Pandemic-related cuts mean airports in Sydney, N.S. and Saint John, N.B. now don’t have any commercial flights. Air Canada has cut flights due to the pandemic following WestJet’s flight suspensions in October.
- Two communities in Nunavut – Arviat and Whale Cove – are able to reopen after no new COVID-19 cases in the last two weeks. Schools, businesses and government offices will open today (Tuesday).
- With coronavirus counts and deaths still soaring, health officials are concerned about how much the health care system can handle. Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam notes that 4,300 people were being treated in Canadian hospitals every day last week.
Have a story or news release related to COVID-19? Send it along for possible inclusion in a future digest on Brockville Newswatch. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please put “COVID-19 Digest” in the subject line.