Premier Ford is expected to make an announcement today about COVID-19 booster doses. The province’s top doctor says he will recommend Ford’s government take province-wide measures to combat the rapidly spreading Omicron COVID-19 variant. Dr. Kieran Moore says the regional approach to public health restrictions was designed with the Delta variant in mind and Omicron poses a different threat. The federal government is also expected to make an announcement today, regarding new travel restrictions.
While the #COVID19 vaccine is highly effective, a booster dose provides an extra layer of protection against variants and waning immunity over time.
— Christine Elliott (@celliottability) December 14, 2021
Even Fully Vaccinated People Must Self Isolate For Omicron Exposures:
The Omicron variant of COVID-19 is on track to become the dominant strain in Ontario very quickly. The province’s top doctor says all new cases should be treated as Omicron going forward, meaning all their contacts must isolate for 10 days even if they are vaccinated. Dr. Kieran Moore says Omicron makes up 30 per cent of new daily infections, with cases doubling every three days.
Trudeau Planning Border Restrictions:
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has consulted the premiers on additional border and travel measures that could help slow the community spread of COVID-19. In a call late yesterday, the first ministers discussed the Omicron variant of concern, which is rapidly spreading around the world. In a readout of the call, the Prime Minister’s Office says the leaders noted the potential for a rapid and strong resurgence of COVID cases in Canada that could put a strain on health-care systems. Trudeau and the premiers agreed the key to moving beyond the pandemic is to ensure as many Canadians as possible get vaccinated and have access to booster shots. There were no details on whether the government plans to change any travel restrictions at this time.
We’re committed to doing whatever it takes to save lives, protect Canadians, and limit the spread of COVID-19 and the Omicron variant as much as possible. On the phone this evening, @DLeBlancNB and I spoke about that with the premiers. More here: https://t.co/aHBzowL3uX
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) December 15, 2021
The First Round Of Omicron Restrictions Has Been Announced:
The province has announced a new COVID-19 vaccine mandate for all visitors to long-term care homes due to rising cases and the threat posed by the Omicron variant. Long-Term Care Minister Rod Phillips says the province is also bringing back surveillance testing for the homes for both staff and visitors. The changes were announced just ahead of a briefing by chief medical officer Dr. Kieran Moore, who said it would be prudent and reasonable to assume every new case of COVID-19 in Ontario involves the Omicron variant. Moore says the new, highly transmissible variant is expected to make up 100 per cent of the province’s case count by the end of the month.
Parliament to Get Smaller:
The lightning spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has prompted Government House leader Mark Holland to announce the Liberals will greatly reduce the number of their M-Ps sitting in the House of Commons. The Liberals also intend to hold entirely virtual caucus meetings. Holland says the party is following the advice of public health officials who warn Canadians that now is not the time for mass gatherings. Omicron has already made its way into most provinces and is possibly eight times more contagious than the Delta variant. The NDP says it will hold its weekly caucus meeting today in a virtual form, but the Bloc Quebecois and the Conservatives say their caucuses will meet in person.
Personal Information Compromised For Those Tested For COVID:
Newfoundland and Labrador officials say personal information belonging to anyone who had a COVID-19 test in the province was among the data stolen in a cyberattack launched on its health-care system on October 30th. The head of the province’s largest health authority says social insurance numbers belonging to just over 2,500 patients were also stolen, though less than half of those people are still alive. Justice Minister John Hogan says it’s still too early to determine the full extent of the breach.
A New Milestone for America:
Yesterday, the U.S. surpassed 800,000 total COVID deaths since the start of the pandemic. A total of 800,343 people have died in the country since the start of the pandemic, while 50,233,338 infections have been reported, according to data gathered by Johns Hopkins University.
The NFL is Mandating Boosters For Some:
With 37 new cases of COVID-19 reported among NFL players on Monday, the league will now require all coaches as well as front office and team personnel to receive a booster shot by December 27. The 37 new cases of COVID-19 are the most infections the NFL has recorded in a single day since the start of the pandemic.
There were 1,429 new cases of COVID-19 in Ontario yesterday — 526 of them in people who aren’t fully vaccinated. Health Minister Christine Elliott said another 94 of the new cases are in people whose vaccination status isn’t known. The province also reported five new deaths from the virus yesterday. There are 95 confirmed cases of the Omicron variant in Ontario, but public health officials have said they expect the number is much higher, and the strain will soon become dominant.
In Ontario, 24,584,089 vaccine doses have been administered. 90.3% of Ontarians 12+ have one dose and 87.6% have two doses.
385 people are hospitalized with #COVID19. 300 are not fully vaccinated or have an unknown vaccination status and 85 are fully vaccinated.
— Christine Elliott (@celliottability) December 14, 2021
Waterloo Region / Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Numbers:
Yesterday Waterloo Region Public Health logged 30 new cases and 1 new death. Active cases dropped to 430. Hospitalizations increased to 14.
Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health announced just 12 new cases yesterday. There are now 218 active cases with 5 people in hospital.
This week, the Region of Waterloo is offering a pop-up clinic for third doses only. If you are eligible to receive a third dose, book an appointment.
— Region of Waterloo Public Health (@ROWPublicHealth) December 14, 2021
Contains files from The Canadian Press
Photo Credit: CPAC via YouTube screenshot