Here are the latest local, regional and national headlines on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for Friday, May 21, 2021:
- There have been 517,090 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Ontario, an increase of 2,400 cases from the previous day. There have been 485,512 people recovered from the virus while 8,552 have died. The number of Ontario people tested is 14,901,787 of which 20,642 have pending results.
- Canada’s coronavirus case total is 1,347,445. The country has 25,111 deaths from the virus – two in the Yukon, four in Nunavut, 1,661 in British Columbia, 2,162 in Alberta, 522 in Saskatchewan, 1,019 in Manitoba, 8,552 in Ontario, 11,066 in Quebec, 43 in New Brunswick, six in Newfoundland & Labrador and 74 in Nova Scotia.
- The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit area added two cases Thursday to bring the regional total to 1,714 confirmed cases, of which 23 are active (two more than Wednesday) and 1,631 are recovered (no change from Wednesday). There are 60 deaths to date. One person is in hospital. There are no active institutional outbreaks. The community case breakdown is: Lanark County East 377 cases (five active), Lanark County West 390 cases (four active), Leeds-Grenville Central 201 cases (nine active), Leeds-Grenville East 331 cases (three active) and Leeds-Grenville West 194 cases (two active).
- The Eastern Ontario Health Unit area added six cases Thursday – four in Prescott-Russell and one each in SD&G and Cornwall – to bring the regional total to 4,727 confirmed cases. Of those, 177 are active (two fewer than Wednesday) and 4,447 are resolved (eight more than Wednesday). The number of deaths is at 103. There are nine people in hospital (one fewer than Wednesday) with three in the ICU (no change). There are two active institutional outbreaks (no change). Testing increased 177 to 138,434.
- Vaccines: Ontario 7,576,624 (+144,986, last update May 20); EOHU 91,773 (last update May 20, +1,189 from previous update May 19); LGL 57,836 individuals with at least 1 shot (last update May 17, +5,901 from previous update May 10).
- Premier Doug Ford has announced a three-step reopening plan after the third wave of COVID-19. It will include an advanced loosening of restrictions on outdoor recreation Saturday. Read that story by clicking here.
- With the provincial announcement, the South Nation Conservation Authority says its public boat launches and some conservation areas are reopening. Locations with municipal boat launching in Winchester (Cass Bridge), Crysler, Berwick, Chesterville, Winchester Springs and Spencerville opened today (May 21). The Camp Sheldrick Conservation Area in Winchester remains closed.
- The Eastern Ontario Health Unit will add 28,000 appointments between now and June 26 at its mass vaccination sites for adults 18 and older. In a media briefing Thursday, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis says the rate of vaccinations is “moving very well.”
- The co-chair of the COVID-19 Science Advisory Table says public health measures have been “taxing and frustrating, but have helped stop the spread.” Dr. Adalsteinn Brown says the direction of public health figures has turned but hospitalizations are still high – just below the peak of the second wave. Vaccinations and continuing health measures into the middle of June will ensure we have “a good summer.” Modelling shows the province could achieve fewer than 1,000 cases a day by the end of next month if between 100,000 and 150,000 shots in arms are done daily. The biggest risk for a possible fourth wave mixing of the population or a new variant of concern (VOC).
- The Canada-U.S. border will remain closed to non-essential traffic until at least June 21. It’s been that way since March 2020.
- The vaccine rollout across the country has ramped up considerably. The country was ranked 42nd in the world in March – it’s now in the top 15. As to whether provinces and territories can mix and match vaccines, deputy chief public health officer Dr. Howard Njoo says that will be known in early June.
- Quebec has four more blood clotting cases related to the AstraZeneca vaccine. Three are in hospital but are expected to be okay. The fourth is at home. The province has had eight cases to date.
- A bunch of people – roughly 1,500 – had to be kicked off Oka beach, west of Montreal, Wednesday and the beach was closed because public health orders weren’t being followed. A provincial park official says some people weren’t physically distancing and were being verbally abusive to staff.
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