Newswatch COVID-19 Digest: Friday September 17, 2021

Here are the latest local, regional and national headlines on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for Friday, September 17, 2021:

  • There have been 577,253 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Ontario, an increase of 864 cases from the previous day (533 unvaccinated, 56 partially, 209 fully vaccinated, 66 unknown). There have been 561,492 people recovered from the virus while 9,632 have died. The number of Ontario people tested is 17,634,733 of which 16,278 have pending results.
  • Canada’s coronavirus case total is 1,564,090. The country has 27,325 deaths from the virus – nine in the Yukon, one in the Northwest Territories, four in Nunavut, 1,877 in British Columbia, 2,505 in Alberta, 630 in Saskatchewan, 1,203 in Manitoba, 9,632 in Ontario, 11,315 in Quebec, 48 in New Brunswick, seven in Newfoundland & Labrador and 94 in Nova Scotia.
  • The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit added four cases Thursday to bring the regional total to 1,860 confirmed cases, of which 33 are active (two more than Wednesday) and 1,767 are recovered (two more than Wednesday). There are 60 deaths to date. There is one person in hospital on a ventilator. There are no active institutional outbreaks. The community case breakdown is: Lanark County East 403 cases (five active), Lanark County West 420 cases (four active), Leeds-Grenville Central 217 cases (two active), Leeds-Grenville East 382 cases (18 active), Leeds-Grenville West 209 cases (three active) and Unknown/Out of Region 21 cases (one active).
  • The Eastern Ontario Health Unit area added 18 cases Thursday – four in Prescott-Russell, one in SD&G and 13 in Cornwall – to bring the regional total to 5,035 confirmed cases, of which 75 are active (five more than Wednesday) and 4,848 are resolved (13 more than Wednesday). The number of deaths is 112. There are two people in hospital (one fewer than Wednesday) and one in the ICU (no change from Wednesday). There are three institutional outbreaks (new). Testing was unchanged at 153,774. The breakdown of cases is: Prescott-Russell 2,091 cases (20 active), SD&G 1,206 cases (18 active), Cornwall 1,368 cases (34 active) and Akwesasne (ON/QC) 370 cases (three active)(Akwesasne health department: 385 total cases, 13 active).
  • Vaccines: Ontario 21,283,180 (+35,463, last update Sept. 16); EOHU 303,043 (last update Sept. 16, +886 from previous update Sept. 15); LGL 143,743 individuals living in LGL with first doses, 135,158 with second doses (last update Sept. 14, +1,078 first doses, +1,242 second doses since previous update Sept. 7).
  • Over the past two days, the Upper Canada District School Board has announced confirmed COVID-19 cases in the following schools: St. Lawrence Secondary School (Cornwall)(Wednesday and Thursday), Viscount Alexander Public School (Cornwall)(Wednesday and Thursday), Tagwi Secondary School (Avonmore)(Wednesday), Vankleek Hill Collegiate Institute (Vankleek Hill)(Wednesday). In all cases the schools remain open. The health unit has declared an outbreak at St. Lawrence Secondary School, which means some cases are linked to transmission at the school.
  • Health Canada has given full approval for use of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for those 12 and older. They will also have new names. Pfizer will be Comirnaty and Moderna will be known as SpikeVax.
  • Saskatchewan will be bringing in a proof-of-vaccination program in order to convince more people to be vaccinated. Premier Scott Moe announced the plan on social media Thursday. The new policy would come into effect Oct. 1. It’s primarily aimed at the unvaccinated who Moe says are driving the fourth wave of the pandemic.
  • As Alberta struggles with a COVID-19 surge, both Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador have offered help. The head of Alberta Health Services say the ICU system is operating at 155 per cent over normal capacity.
  • Canada’s chief public health officer is urging provinces to get the young vaccinated before winter to avoid a public health catastrophe. Dr. Theresa Tam says it’s too late for Alberta to ramp up vaccinations to quell the skyrocketing case numbers. Tam says infection rates in Canada are exploding with unvaccinated Canadians among the vast majority of new cases in hospital.
  • A new study ties the pandemic to an alarming rate in childhood obesity in American teens and young children. While childhood obesity has been increasing, the new study suggests an acceleration in cases in the past year, which is seen as substantial and alarming by one of the study authors.

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