Ontario reports 2,923 new COVID-19 cases, 19 deaths

Ontario reports 2,923 new COVID-19 cases, 19 deaths

Public Health Ontario reported 194 new cases of COVID-19 in the capital, while OPH said there were 63 new laboratory-confirmed cases.

Health officials are also reporting 62 more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus.

British Columbia's provincial health officer says people need to hold the line on measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 to make sure the coming year is brighter than 2020.

Phase 2 of the vaccine distribution will begin in late March when more vaccines become available to Ontario and vaccinations will continue for health care workers, long-term care homes, retirement homes, home care patients with chronic conditions, and additional First Nation communities and Indigenous populations, including Métis and Inuit individuals.

The head of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution task force in Ontario, Ret. Gen. Rick Hillier, said the pause came after it was made a decision to give frontline workers a break, especially in long-term care homes, where there were fewer staff over Christmas.

Toronto Mayor John Tory said the first Moderna vaccines had been administered at a city-owned long-term care home, one of many seniors residences across Ontario that received doses.

He says immunizations are slated to start there within days of the delivery.

The province is also confirming another 56 virus related deaths, matching the highest daily death toll from the first wave of the pandemic. That led to sharp criticism of Premier Doug Ford's government.

Dr. Dirk Huyer of the Ontario COVID task force.

Rod Phillips says in a statement that he and his wife left the country after the end of the provincial legislative session on December 8.

Yves-Francois Blanchet also says the federal government should make sure that thousands of Canadians are reimbursed for travel plans that have been interrupted or cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions.

"We started in parallel a project with a small task force to go into northern Ontario and look after initially those isolated communities, primarily along James Bay to start with who are at risk themselves and to vaccinate the people there", Hillier said.

The schools are now closed for the holiday break and will be cleaned again before staff return on Monday.

A total of 6,000 doses arrived today, with 3,000 landing in Iqaluit and 3,000 in Rankin Inlet.

As of Wednesday, more than 82.2 million cases of COVID-19 had been recorded worldwide, with more than 46.5 million cases considered recovered or resolved, according to Johns Hopkins. "There's talk about COVID fatigue and it's definitely real", he said.

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