COVID-19: Ontario reports 4,401 new cases, Ottawa records 348 cases as surge continues

NEW CORONAVIRUS CASES IN ONTARIO AND OTTAWA

The number of people with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in Ottawa continued to reach above the 300 mark on Monday with 348 new cases of the disease reported.

One person died, Ottawa Public Health reported.

The city broke pandemic case-count records for two days in a row on the weekend with the number of new cases hitting 325 on Saturday and 370 on Sunday.

The surge in cases prompted Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches to issue a tweet pleading with people to stay home.

“If you must go out for essential purposes wear a mask and keep a 2M distance.”

The case count across the province on Monday also reflected the third wave pandemic surge that is being fuelled by more contagious variants of the virus.

Ontario reported 4,401 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, the second day in a row that numbers have topped 4,000.

That includes 1,282 new lab-confirmed cases in Toronto, 772 in Peel, and 564 in York.

On Sunday Ontario reported 4,456 new cases, the highest number of new cases since the pandemic began, surpassing the previous mark set in January during the second wave.

Sunday’s count was pushed up by 450 cases not included in previous reports.

The number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care, a key warning indicator of the health-care system’s ability to cope, continues to climb. It stood at 619 people on Monday, up from 605 on Sunday. Currently, 408 patients with COVID-19 are on ventilators, an increase of 26 from the Sunday report.

Ontario hospitals have begun ramping down elective surgeries and non-urgent procedures to ensure they have the capacity to treat more COVID-19 patients.

Hospitals in northern Ontario are exempt from cancelling non-urgent procedures but a memo from Ontario Health last week said they should prepare to ramp down quickly in the near future.

The memo also asked hospitals to identify staff who may be redeployed to other sites if necessary.

Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott said Monday that cancelling non-emergency surgeries is “sadly necessary” in order to make room for COVID-19 patients. Younger people are coming in to intensive care, Elliott said during Question Period in the legislature. One hospital CEO told her Friday of a 22-year-old in intensive care, she said.

In Toronto, the chief medical officer of health warned that at the current rate of transmission, the city could see 2,500 new COVID-19 cases a day by the end of April.

Dr. Eileen de Villa said Monday the surging rates are being driven by more transmissible variants of concern.

De Villa says the current record for daily cases in Toronto is 1,642, which was set during the second wave of the pandemic.

The province is under a state of emergency and a stay-at-home order was invoked on April 8. Ontario residents are supposed to leave their homes only for essential purposes, which include going to work, buying groceries and outdoor exercise.

It’s spring break this week for Ontario elementary and secondary students . While the province has not ordered schools closed, last week medical officers of health in the COVID-19 hot spots of Toronto, Peel and the Guelph area closed schools.

Etches has said she will probably issue a similar order closing Ottawa schools to in-person learning next week, but will make that announcement by April 14.diagram:  On Monday, OPH reported 348 new cases and one additional death. Data released on April 12, 2021.© OPH On Monday, OPH reported 348 new cases and one additional death. Data released on April 12, 2021.

MORE COVID-19 NEWS FROM ACROSS ONTARIO

The province has expanded its pharmacy vaccination program , with another 700 outlets to be added this week — including 78 in Ottawa — where people 55 and older can receive the AstraZeneca vaccine. The move means 1,400 Ontario pharmacies will be able to administer the COVID-19 vaccine and the province says it plans to have 1,500 outlets by the end of the month.

The pharmacy program began in Toronto, Windsor and Kingston in March and expanded to Ottawa as of April 1.

The list of participating pharmacies can be found at covid-19.ontario.ca/vaccine-locations .

Appointments can be booked at this link: ontario.ca/pharmacycovidvaccine

VACCINE UPDATES

Elliott was under fire in the legislature on Monday for the government’s selection of 114 “hot spot” regions for priority access to vaccines. Adults in those postal code regions can be vaccinated immediately.

Ottawa South MPP John Fraser cited a CBC report that said five of the hot spot postal codes have been less affected by the pandemic than other areas using the government’s own criteria. “For example, a postal code region in Kanata, a riding of a government minister, is deemed a hot spot despite lower rates of hospitalization and death than some 300 other neighbourhoods in Ontario,” Fraser said.

Elliott said that every region is being treated fairly and the selection of hot spots was based on historical data. Any suggestion that postal codes were selected for any reason other than they were experiencing high rates of transmission is “is really beneath you,” she told Fraser.

The latest numbers on COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada as of 4 a.m. on Sunday, April 11, 2021:

In Canada, the provinces are reporting 213,041 new vaccinations administered for a total of 7,785,807 doses given. Nationwide, 784,671 people or 2.1 per cent of the population has been fully vaccinated. The provinces have administered doses at a rate of 20,543.418 per 100,000.

There were 71,600 new vaccines delivered to the provinces and territories for a total of 10,618,140 doses delivered so far. The provinces and territories have used 73.33 per cent of their available vaccine supply.

Ontario is reporting 104,783 new vaccinations administered for a total of 3,044,949 doses given. The province has administered doses at a rate of 207.293 per 1,000. In the province, 2.25 per cent (330,982) of the population has been fully vaccinated.a group of people standing outside of a building:  OTTAWA — A new COVID-19 testing centre opened Monday at the Howard Darwin Centennial Arena. People were lined up for the 8:30 a.m. opening.© Provided by Ottawa Citizen OTTAWA — A new COVID-19 testing centre opened Monday at the Howard Darwin Centennial Arena. People were lined up for the 8:30 a.m. opening.

QUEBEC COVID-19 NEWS

Quebec reported 1,599 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday and two more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus, none of which occurred in the past 24 hours.

Health officials say hospitalizations rose by 22, to 630, and 142 people were in intensive care, a rise of three.

The province says it administered 52,705 doses of vaccine in the previous 24 hours, for a total of 1,944,877 doses.

In Montreal, Mayor Valerie Plante said she deplored the violence and vandalism in Old Montreal that occurred Sunday night after an anti-curfew protest turned violent.

Hundreds gathered in the city’s historic district to protest the government’s decision to advance the nighttime curfew to 8 p.m., and some protesters led a destructive trail through the neighbourhood, breaking store windows and lighting garbage on fire.

Plante told reporters Monday that what happened in the city was “not acceptable” and described the vandalism as “ridiculous” and “stupid.”

“People are allowed to protest,” she said. “It is their right, but do it right, don’t attack people that are already suffering, that are dealing with COVID just like they are.”

A police spokesperson said Monday that seven arrests were made, though there was no immediate word on charges, and 107 tickets were issued for public health violations.

The 8 p.m. curfew came into effect Sunday night in Montreal and its northern suburb of Laval.

She says the city’s vaccination program is expanding but says it still won’t be enough to offset the impact of the variants.

Where to get tested for COVID-19 in Ottawa

  • Brewer Ottawa Hospital/CHEO Assessment Centre: Monday to Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Friday to Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • COVID-19 Drive-thru assessment centre 300 Coventry Rd.: Open seven days a week, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m, appointment only.
  • The Moodie Care and Testing Centre: Open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • The Heron Care and Testing Centre: Open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • The Ray Friel Care and Testing Centre: Open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Howard Darwin Centennial Arena on Merivale Road: The site will remain open for at least two weeks, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., for anyone older than four. Those wanting to be tested must make an appointment by calling 1-877-232-8828, a line scheduled to be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Ontario vaccination portal : covid-19.ontario.ca/book-vaccine

Call centre: 1-888-999-6488. The Vaccine Information Line is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and is capable of providing assistance in 300 languages.

Vaccine eligibility in Ottawa : secureforms.ottawapublichealth.ca/vaccines/COVID-19-Vaccine-Screening-Tool

To book a pharmacy vaccine : Eligible adults aged 55 and over (if 60 or older as of the day of vaccination or, if will be 60 or older in 2021) who are interested in booking an appointment, can visit ontario.ca/pharmacycovidvaccine to find a participating pharmacy.

— With files from Reuters and The Canadian Press

ottawacitizen.com

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