Jukasa News Update – Tuesday, January 26, 2021
The Canadian military is set to help with COVID-19 vaccine distribution in Indigenous communities in northern Ontario.
Federal Public Safety Minister Bill Blair says the Canadian Armed Forces will support vaccine efforts in 32 communities of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation.
The move comes after a request from the province for assistance in getting vaccines to First Nation communities.
The Canadian military has already helped with vaccines in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Ontario is reporting 2,417 new cases of COVID-19 today and 50 more deaths related to the virus.
Health Minister Christine Elliott says there are 785 new cases in Toronto, 404 in Peel Region, 215 in York Region and 121 in Niagara.
Over 48,900 tests have been completed in Ontario over the past 24 hours.
Since the pandemic began, there have been 255,002 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ontario. Of those, 225,046 have recovered and 5,803 people have died.
Schools in seven public health units across southern Ontario reopened for in-person classes on Monday.
Education Minister Stephen Lecce said that means 100,000 students are returning to the classroom for the first time since before the winter break.
The province is implementing more safety measures in areas where schools are reopening, including requiring students in grades 1 through 3 to wear masks indoors and when physical distancing isn’t possible outside as well.
While it’s been more than a month since students in southern Ontario have been in the classroom, classes resumed in the northern part of the province on Jan. 11.
The provincial government has said the chief medical officer of health is keeping a close eye on the COVID-19 situation in public health units where schools remain closed to in-person learning to decide when it’s safe for them to reopen.
Ontario is pausing COVID-19 vaccinations of long-term care staff and essential caregivers so that it can focus on administering the shots to all nursing home residents amid a shortage of doses.
The province is currently dealing with a delay in deliveries of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, with no shots expected to arrive this week.
The government says the shift in the focus of its vaccine plan means all long-term care home residents, high-risk retirement home residents and First Nations elder care residents will get the first dose of the vaccine by Feb. 5.
That’s sooner than a previous goal of Feb. 15, but the earlier plan had included the vaccination of long-term care staff and caregivers as well.
The government says it expects 26,325 Pfizer-BioNTech doses next week, which are far fewer than the amount originally expected.
A total of 286,110 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in the province so far.
Ontario Sen. Lynn Beyak is leaving the upper chamber three years before her mandatory retirement.
Beyak says she stands by the statements on residential schools that got her booted from the Conservative caucus and suspended from the upper chamber.
She says she believes people should recognize “the good, as well as the bad” of the residential school system and that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that investigated its legacy “was not as balanced as it should be.”
Beyak got into trouble for posting derogatory letters about Indigenous people on her website, in response to a 2017 speech she gave arguing that residential schools benefited Indigenous children, although many suffered abuse and thousands died of disease and malnutrition.
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