Here are the latest local, regional and national headlines on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for Thursday, March 18, 2021:
- There have been 321,956 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Ontario, an increase of 1,508 (or 0.5 per cent) from the previous day. There are 302,257 people recovered from the virus while 7,187 people have died. The number of Ontario people tested is 11,866,738 of which 35,201 have pending results.
- Canada’s coronavirus case total is 919,239. The country has 22,554 deaths from the virus – one in the Yukon, one in Nunavut, 1,411 in British Columbia, 1,956 in Alberta, 410 in Saskatchewan, 917 in Manitoba, 7,187 in Ontario, 10,570 in Quebec, 30 in New Brunswick, six in Newfoundland & Labrador and 65 in Nova Scotia.
- After flattening the curve for several weeks, the average daily case counts in Canada are on the rise again. Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam says the highest infection rates are in the 20 to 39 age group.
- The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit added 29 cases on Wednesday to bring the regional total to 1,032 confirmed cases, of which 94 are active (18 more than Tuesday) and 884 are recovered (11 more than Tuesday). There are 54 deaths to date. One person is in hospital. There is one active institutional outbreak (Perth Community Care). The community case breakdown is: Lanark County East 225 cases (26 active), Lanark County West 233 cases (51 active), Leeds-Grenville Central 105 cases (seven active), Leeds-Grenville East 133 cases (four active) and Leeds-Grenville West 130 cases (six active).
- More COVID-19 restrictions may be coming for Leeds, Grenville and Lanark counties. Local Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paula Stewart told radio station CFJR she highly expects the region to move from the yellow-protect to the orange-restrict zone. That announcement by the province could come Friday. Stewart says the health metrics show LGL is solidly in orange-restrict territory.
- The Eastern Ontario Health Unit area added 22 cases Wednesday – four in Prescott-Russell, 10 in SD&G and eight in Cornwall – to bring the regional total of 3,019 cases, of which 181 are active (16 more than Tuesday) and 2,769 are resolved (six more than Tuesday). There are 69 deaths to date. Twenty people are in hospital (two more than Tuesday) and four in the ICU (no change). There are nine active institutional outbreaks (one more than Tuesday). Testing increased by 523 to 116,971.
- Vaccines: Ontario 1,301,334 (+58,202, updated daily); EOHU 16,335 (last update March 17, +184 from previous update March 16); LGL 10,251 individuals with at least 1 shot (last update March 15, +3,526 from previous update March 8).
- The COVID Alert app appears to have had little effect in helping to alert others about potential exposure to the coronavirus. Public health data shows 3.8 per cent of the just over half million Canadians who tested positive since the app was running actually plugged in their test result to alert close contacts. Over six million people have downloaded the app.
- White House press secretary Jen Psaki had no update Wednesday on whether the U.S. has agreed to supplying Canada and Mexico with COVID-19 vaccine doses following requests from both countries.
- Manitoba has lowered the age of eligibility for the vaccine. The age has been lowered by a couple of years – 53 for Indigenous and 73 for others.
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