Newswatch COVID-19 Digest: Friday January 22, 2021

Here are the latest local, regional and national headlines on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for Friday, January 22, 2021:

  • There have been 247,564 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Ontario, an increase of 2,632 (or 1.1 per cent) from the previous day. Increase includes resolved data issue with Toronto Public Health with 102 cases. There are 215,887 people recovered from the virus while 5,614 people have died. The number of Ontario people tested is 9,124,841 of which 52,871 have pending results.
  • Canada’s coronavirus case total is 731,450. The country has 18,622 deaths from the virus – one in the Yukon, one in Nunavut, 1,119 in British Columbia, 1,500 in Alberta, 239 in Saskatchewan, 793 in Manitoba, 5,614 in Ontario, 9,273 in Quebec, 13 in New Brunswick, four in Newfoundland & Labrador and 65 in Nova Scotia.
  • The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit added three newly confirmed cases on Thursday to bring the regional total to 781. There are 22 active (two more than Wednesday) and 705 recovered (one more than Wednesday). The number of deaths to date is 54. There are two people in hospital, including one in the ICU. There are no active institutional outbreaks. The community case breakdown is: Lanark County East 133 cases (10 active), Lanark County West 136 cases (three active), Leeds-Grenville Central 83 cases (four active), Leeds-Grenville East 116 cases (four active) and Leeds-Grenville West 113 cases (one active).
  • The Eastern Ontario Health Unit added 44 cases on Thursday to bring the regional total to 2,297 confirmed cases. There were 12 in Prescott-Russell, 11 in SD&G, 14 in Cornwall and seven in Akwesasne. Of all cases, 544 are active (16 fewer than Wednesday) and 1,705 are resolved (60 more than Wednesday). The number of deaths remains unchanged at 48. The number of people in hospital dropped by three to 23. Patients in ICU stands at six. Active institutional outbreaks dropped by one to 15. Testing increased by 148 to 99,303.
  • The provincial government is opening isolation centers in Oshawa and Brampton. It’s also expanding two isolation centers in Toronto. They are meant for people who’ve tested positive for COVID-19 and live in crowded conditions to have a short-term place to stay while isolating. They should be open by the end of the month.
  • The Ontario government is training up to 300 personal support workers (PSWs) for jobs with Ottawa area long-term care homes. The government is spending $2.4 million on the pilot scholarship program with Willis College which will be no-charge to applicants.
  • Some more information from the largest regional school board on return to in-class learning. The Upper Canada District School Board says elementary students in Leeds-Grenville and Lanark will be back in class Monday (Jan. 25) but Grade 9-12 students in the region won’t be back until the following week – Monday, Feb. 2 – in order for timetabling to line up with the quadmester system. All UCDSB students in the Eastern Ontario Health Unit area will continue with remote learning until Feb. 10.
  • The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine slowdown is turning out to be more significant than first thought. Not only will the company not be shipping any vaccine next week but there will only be a fifth of the promised allotment for Canada the following week, according to Maj. Gen. Dany Fortin. Pfizer is upgrading its plant in Belgium.
  • Quebec Premier Francois Legault says the COVID-19 numbers are heading in the right direction. He believes the curfew is working because cases have been declining the last week-and-a-half. The province had 1,624 new cases Thursday and 66 more deaths.
  • U.S. infectious diseases expert Dr. Anthony Fauci has been asked by President Joe Biden to give an update on the coronavirus pandemic after being put on the back burner by former president Donald Trump. The number of dead in America is over 409,000.

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