Jukasa News Update – Tuesday, January 19, 2021
Ontario’s top doctor says the province must cut its daily COVID-19 case counts to below 1,000 before lockdown measures can be lifted.
Dr. David Williams called the goal “achievable” and said the last time the province saw similar daily case counts was late October.
Williams says he would also like to see the number of COVID-19 patients in hospital intensive care units drop to 150.
The province reported today that 395 people were in hospital intensive care units across Ontario.
Williams says the province’s daily case rates appear to have plateaued and may have begun to drop.
He attributes the change to a provincewide lockdown which came into effect on Boxing Day.
Premier Doug Ford said a new hospital set to open in Vaughan, Ont., will be used to relieve a capacity crunch because of rising COVID-19 rates.
Ford said some patients from overcrowded Greater Toronto Area hospitals will be transferred to Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital when it opens on Feb. 7.
The hospital will add 35 new critical care beds and 150 medical beds to the province’s bed capacity.
Health Minister Christine Elliott said some Toronto hospitals are already transferring patients to Kingston, Ont,. and Niagara Region to help ease crowding.
Ontario reported 2,578 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday and 24 more deaths linked to the virus. There were 815 new cases in Toronto and 507 in Peel Region, as well as 151 more cases in York and Niagara regions.
There were 9,691 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine administered since Ontario’s last daily report.
The province reported that nearly 40,300 tests were completed since the last daily update.
There have been 240,364 cases of the novel coronavirus in Ontario since the pandemic began, and 206,310 cases have been resolved, while 5,433 Ontarians have died from the virus.
Ontario’s Ministry of Health said 209,788 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered.
An enforcement blitz that uncovered numerous violations of COVID-19 prevention protocols across big-box retailers in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton areas will broaden its scope to include the rest of the province in the weeks ahead, the province’s labour minister said Sunday.
Monte McNaughton said the initial wave of inspectors combing retailers for those eschewing masks and ignoring physical distancing guidelines found only 70 per cent of sites they visited were adhering to the public health measures intended to curb the spread of the virus. He called the results disappointing, pledging to expand the enforcement efforts to other parts of the province as well as additional industries at risk from COVID-19 outbreaks.
“We’ll be expanding that in the days and weeks to come across the whole province,” McNaughton said in a telephone interview. “We’re going to continue targeting bad actors and we’ll continue issuing fines and close them down if we have to.”
The initial blitz involved 50 inspectors fanning out across Toronto, Hamilton and surrounding municipalities to observe the scene at multiple big-box retailers, which are among the businesses allowed to keep their doors open under Ontario’s current stay-at-home order.
McNaughton said big-box stores would remain a key target during the provincewide expansion. The ministry issued a document late last week saying inspections would also involve workplaces which reported COVID-19 outbreaks and businesses focused on manufacturing, warehousing, distribution centres and food processing.
Six Nations is mourning the loss of business entrepreneur and philanthropist Ken Hill.
Hill died over the weekend in Florida. Grand River Enterprises released a statement about the loss of his passing, and asking for privacy for his family. He was 62 year old.
- Previous Jukasa News Update – Monday, January 18, 2021
- Next Jukasa News Update – Tuesday, January 26, 2021