Ontario reports 3,443 new COVID-19 cases, 40 deaths, 100,000-plus vaccinated

Ontario reports 3,443 new COVID-19 cases, 40 deaths, 100,000-plus vaccinated

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise at an alarming rate throughout the province, the Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts, is extending certain measures to keep students and education staff safe.

The new infections bring the total number of cases in the Island Health region to 1,080 since the pandemic began, according to Island Health.

As a part of the province wide shutdown that began on December 26, 2020 to fight the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, elementary school students were to return to class in a remote learning capacity only on Monday, Jan. 4.

Today's case data is now available on the province's website. So far, there are six confirmed cases of the United Kingdom variant across Ontario, although she admitted there are likely more cases in the community.

The Ontario government has also announced the the lockdown in northern Ontario will be extended for an additional 14 days, to align with the rest of the province, but elementary and secondary students in the seven northern Ontario public health units will return to in-person learning on January 11.

That includes 81 new cases in the Interior Health region, according to a joint statement issued by provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix today, January 8.

Of the 358 people now in hospital, 75 are in intensive care.

The local health unit has now confirmed 4,089 cases of COVID-19 with 2,832 of those cases recovered and 71 cases ending in death. More than 60 per cent are not in favour being restricted to just one hour a day of outdoor exercise while nearly 80 per cent would reject a measure that would see people banned from leaving home for any reason without special permission. Residents are asked to avoid all non-essential travel during this period as well.

"Why hasn't he picked up the phone and asked the federal government for help in long-term care homes?" asked Schreiner, pointing to one home in Scarborough which has seen 73 resident deaths linked to COVID-19. Despite this, it is important to know your sustained efforts are saving lives.

"We don't want to scare people but on the other hand I think there's too much complacency".

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