Restaurants and bars across Ontario are required to halt indoor dining while shopping malls and personal care services must reduce their capacity to 50 per cent starting at midnight. The province announced the new COVID-19 restrictions in a bid to curtail the province’s soaring COVID-19 cases. The new measures are expected to remain in place until at least January 26th. The province reported 13,578 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, though experts have said the restricted eligibility for PCR testing Ontario announced last week means that number is likely much higher.
Starting January 5, indoor social gatherings must be limited to five people. Outdoor social gathering limits will be reduced to 10 people.
— Ontario Ministry of Health (@ONThealth) January 3, 2022
Schools Going Back to Online Learning:
Ontario schools are moving to remote learning tomorrow in another stint of virtual education that will last until at least January 17th. Premier Ford announced the shift to remote learning less than a week after his government insisted in-person classes would resume after only a two-day delay. Ford says the two-week pause on in-person classes would provide more time for vaccines and public health measures to blunt soaring daily COVID-19 case counts.
With cases rising rapidly, students will transition to live teacher-led virtual learning starting Jan. 5.
Special-ed students are permitted to learn in-person & child care remains open.
We are working to provide emergency child care for front line workers during this period.
— Stephen Lecce (@Sflecce) January 3, 2022
Quebec Clarifies Curfew Exemptions:
Quebec has updated its list of curfew exemptions to allow dog walking during hours when residents are otherwise expected to remain indoors. The province says Quebecers can take their dogs out within a radius of no more than one kilometre from home during curfew hours. The curfew between the hours of 10pm and 5am is to contain the spread of COVID-19. It began New Year’s Eve.
BC Is Putting Trials on Hold:
British Columbia’s Supreme and provincial courts are postponing in-person trials this week because of COVID-19 safety policies. The courts say in a written statement that all in-person civil and family matters scheduled between January 4th and 7th will be postponed due to “the rapid and concerning recent increase in COVID-19 in the province”. But all virtual proceedings will continue as planned.
Alberta Shortens The Isolation Period:
Effective immediately, people in Alberta with at least two doses of vaccine who test positive for COVID-19 will only need to isolate for five days instead of 10. Health Minister Jason Copping announced the change last week in the face of the rapidly spreading Omicron variant, saying it was based on evidence that fully immunized people have shorter infectious periods. Symptoms must be fully resolved by the end of the five-day period, otherwise people must continue to isolate.
New Restrictions on the East Coast:
Newfoundland and Labrador has announced new restrictions further limiting capacity for a couple of weeks at the province’s restaurants and gyms. Newfoundland reported a record 519 new cases Monday and active cases have increased from 30 to nearly three-thousand in the last two weeks. The province’s chief medical officer of health says “most people” will contract the virus and new measures in effect this morning are aimed at ensuring they don’t all get it at once. Nova Scotia reported one-thousand-and-20 new infections Monday while expanding booster eligibility for those over age 30. New Brunswick logged over 25-hundred cases over a three-day period, and PEI reported 161 new daily infections.
Quebec reported 15,293 new COVID-19 cases yesterday. The virus has claimed 15 more lives in the province. Members of the Canadian Armed Forces are being mobilized to speed up vaccination efforts. The news came a day before Quebec was set to start expanding eligibility for a booster vaccine to the entire adult population. Getting booster shots into Quebecers’ arms has become a priority as the province confronts the highly contagious Omicron variant, with hospitalizations and positive case counts rising over the holidays.
Yesterday the province reported 13,578 new COVID-19 cases. Hospitalizations increased by 115 to a total of 1,232 COVID patients receiving in-patient care. 24 more were admitted to the ICU, for a total of 248 COVID patients province-wide.
1,232 people are hospitalized with #COVID19. Please note that not all hospitals report on weekends.
There are 248 people are in ICU with COVID-19. The seven-day rolling average of COVID-19 related patients in ICU is 210.
There are 13,578 new cases of #COVID19.
— Christine Elliott (@celliottability) January 3, 2022
Waterloo Region / Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Numbers:
Yesterday Waterloo Region Public Health posted 1,728 new COVID-19 cases from the weekend, but no new deaths. There are now 48 people hospitalized in the Region but only 7 of them are in the ICU. There are 4,319 active cases.
Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health confirmed 219 new cases yesterday. There are now 1,874 active cases with an unknown number in hospital. The health unit says they will update that number today.
A reminder that due to supply levels, our vaccination clinics will be administering Pfizer-BioNTech to those who are 5-29 years of age and will be primarily administering Moderna to those 30 years of age or older. pic.twitter.com/YYra5zORSQ
— Region of Waterloo Public Health (@ROWPublicHealth) December 31, 2021
Contains files from The Canadian Press
Photo Credit: CPAC via YouTube