A personal support worker at a Toronto long-term care home has become the first person in Ontario to get a COVID19 vaccination. Anita Quidangen was among a group of five workers from the Rekai Centre nursing home getting immunized yesterday at the University Health Network in Toronto. The province says Quidangen has worked throughout a COVID19 outbreak at the home. Ontario received 6,000 doses of the new Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on Sunday and says they will be used to give 2,500 health care workers the required two doses. Ontario will administer more COVID19 vaccinations today. Long-term care workers from an Ottawa care home are set to get their shots. Premier Doug Ford called it a massive step forward in the fight against the virus.
Today, @UHN gave the first @Pfizer @BioNTech_Group #CovidVaccine in Canada to Anita Quidangen, a personal support worker from the Rekai Centres, a LTC home partnered with UHN. We are proud to be part of this landmark day. pic.twitter.com/O2jdH9Z3OV
— University Health Network (@UHN) December 14, 2020
Here is Premier Ford commenting on the first vaccinations:
The Province announced 1,940 new cases of COVID19 yesterday. There were also 23 more deaths and 44 more people admitted to the hospital. 544 of the new cases were in Toronto, 390 were in Peel, 191 were in York Region, 134 were in Hamilton and 114 were in Windsor-Essex County. Nearly 57,100 tests were completed in the 24-hour period. 1,535 more cases were baked as resolved.
Ontario is reporting 1,940 cases of #COVID19 and nearly 57,100 tests completed. Locally, there are 544 new cases in Toronto, 390 in Peel, 191 in York Region, 134 in Hamilton and 114 in Windsor-Essex County. There are 1,535 more resolved cases.
— Christine Elliott (@celliottability) December 14, 2020
Court Delays Are Mounting:
New Ontario Supreme Court jury trials have been put on hold for at least another month in most of the province. Jury selection for new trials was suspended last month until January 4th — but that has now been extended to February 1st at the earliest. Chief Justice Geoffrey Morawetz says the extension applies to all areas of Ontario except those in green zones. Jury trials currently in progress can proceed at the discretion of the trial judge but Morawetz says he strongly encourages the use of virtual proceedings wherever possible.
Province Stops Funding COVID Tests for International Travel:
International travellers needing a COVID19 test for travel clearance are no longer eligible to get one free through the publicly-funded system. The provincial government says it changed its testing guidelines for outbound international travellers as of last Friday. It says it took the step to preserve capacity in the provincially-funded testing network and to ensure taxpayer dollars are being used on key priorities. The province says there are still several options available for international travellers needing a COVID19 test, including private testing facilities such as a travel clinic.
Nine Toronto Schools Close Due to COVID:
Nine Toronto schools will now be closed until after the winter break. The Toronto District School Board says the schools are all dealing with COVID19 outbreaks. They will reopen on Jan. 4.
Here is yesterday’s Toronto update:
Lots of Tickets Handed Out Over the Weekend in Mississauga:
The City of Mississauga says it issued 33 tickets to individuals at four different private gatherings this weekend. It says it also gave four tickets to non-essential businesses, which are prohibited to open except for curbside pickup or delivery. The city, under Peel Region, is currently under Grey lockdown restrictions. The city says failure to comply with restriction orders may result in a fine of $750.
Theatres Could Be Back Up and Running in 2021:
Mirvish Productions says it’s hoping to welcome subscribers back by fall of next year. Founder David Mirvish says the company is aiming to launch its new main subscription season in September 2021 after the pandemic shut down the stage last spring. He says the planned restart date is based on guidance from medical experts about when it will be safe to resume performances as Canada rolls out COVID19 vaccines this week He says Mirvish Productions is still working to pin down its playbill, including previously announced shows and at least a couple of blockbuster surprises. Last May, Mirvish Productions sent an email to subscribers saying the company expects “Hamilton” to return to Toronto after the much-hyped musical’s run was cut short by the COVID19 lockdown.
David Mirvish will begin the new main subscription season in September 2021.
The Off-Mirvish Season will begin sometime in the fall of 2021. More info here: https://t.co/nQ5ghV5gG2 pic.twitter.com/hnm0PSISsJ
— Mirvish Communications (@Mirvish_PR) December 14, 2020
Quebec Resident Gets Canada’s First Vaccine:
Quebec is believed to be the first province where a Canadian has received the first Pfizer-BioNTech COVID19 vaccine. Late yesterday morning the shots were given to residents of long-term care homes in Montreal and Quebec City. Shortly after a health care worker in Toronto got the vaccine, followed by four other front line workers. Kitra Cahana, whose father Ronnie lives at Montreal’s Maimonides Geriatric Centre, says she is happy and relieved that her dad will be vaccinated. She says she hopes and prays this is the end of loved ones not being able to hug each other. As time goes by, tens of thousands, leading to millions of doses of several vaccines will be available.
La campagne de vaccination est commencée au Québec!
Madame Gisèle Lévesque de Québec est la première à avoir reçu le vaccin.
On va d'abord vacciner les résidents des CHSLD et nos travailleurs de la santé.
On voit la lumière au bout du tunnel. Gardons espoir! pic.twitter.com/E7Xmm32jTx
— François Legault (@francoislegault) December 14, 2020
Vaccines Are Starting to Arrives in Other Parts of Canada:
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney confirmed the arrival of his province’s COVID19 vaccines in a video released late last night. He says that ICU nurses are the first to receive the shots. Kenney says he expects them to be administered within 24 hours. Starting today, the Atlantic provinces are expecting to receive their first doses of the COVID19 vaccine. Nova Scotia is expected to receive its 1,950 doses for an initial test run. New Brunswick is set to begin its immunizations this weekend at the Miramichi Regional Hospital.
The first COVID-19 vaccine is here in Alberta – a sign of real hope after 9 months of adversity.
Thank you for the hard work and collaboration shown by so many that has made this lifesaving vaccine a reality. pic.twitter.com/loHTVVTMq8
— Jason Kenney (@jkenney) December 15, 2020
Americans Have Begun Vaccinating:
The biggest vaccination campaign in American history has begun. Health care workers across the country began getting COVID19 shots yesterday. In New York health workers started getting the vaccine with Governor Mario Cuomo looking on remotely. Nurse Sandra Lindsay was one of the first. US Health and Human Services is assuring Americans the shots are safe and effective. Hundreds more US hospitals are gearing up to vaccinate their workers. About 400 hospitals and other health care facilities will get their first shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine today.
Today, ICU nurse Sandra Lindsay made history as the first American to be vaccinated.
"I felt a huge sense of relief after I took the vaccine… There is hope." pic.twitter.com/45RWerTqdX
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) December 15, 2020
Big Increase in US Hospitalizations:
As the first Pfizer vaccines were administered in the US yesterday, the country hit a new devastating record for hospitalizations with more than 110,000 people being treated for COVID19. The virus continues to grip the country with more than 193,000 new cases and 1,358 deaths recorded yesterday and a new record of 110,549 patients hospitalized with the virus, according to The COVID Tracking Project. Yesterday’s hospitalization number shattered a single-day record set Sunday when 109,331 hospitalizations were reported. The seven-day rolling average of hospitalizations is now 107,856.
Waterloo Region / WDG Numbers:
Yesterday Waterloo Region Public Health added 70 new cases to the dashboard and another death. The local death toll now sits at 135. There are now 27 people hospitalized with COVID19. 12 of them are in intensive care. The Region now has 469 active cases.
The Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health unit announced 117 new cases yesterday from the weekend. 43 were in Guelph, 33 were in Wellington and 23 were in Dufferin County. There are now 16 people hospitalized with 266 active cases.
COVID-19 spreads easily when you have close contact with others. Stay home and only go out for essential purposes. Limit your social interactions to only those within your household. We all have a role to play to reduce the spread of COVID-19. https://t.co/Ge2WXTBY7H pic.twitter.com/kV5RAWGy3t
— Region of Waterloo Public Health (@ROWPublicHealth) December 14, 2020
Contains files from The Canadian Press
Photo Credit: University Health Network via Twitter