New COVID-19 restrictions are now in effect in Ontario. Cinemas, gyms, theatres and restaurants must close for indoor activities while retail stores and personal care services are limited to 50 per cent capacity. Social gatherings are limited to five people indoors and 10 people outdoors.
We need to blunt the latest surge of #COVID19 cases. That’s the goal of these public health measures. They will ease pressure on our hospitals and allow more time for vaccines.
— Doug Ford (@fordnation) January 4, 2022
Non Urgent Surgeries Put On Hold:
Hospitals are pausing all non-urgent surgeries starting today to free up staff as the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients continues to rise. There were 1,290 people in hospital with COVID-19 as of Tuesday, and 266 patients in intensive care. Pressure on hospitals is coming from the sheer number of patients requiring care. There’s also staff absences due to COVID-19 infections and exposures, and burnout and turnover nearly two years into the pandemic.
With the rapid increase in transmission of Omicron, approx. 1 in 100 cases will end up in the hospital.
— Christine Elliott (@celliottability) January 4, 2022
Calls To Resume Testing In Childcare:
Parents and opposition leaders are calling on the provincial government to give daycares access to COVID-19 testing immediately. Sarah Kennell of Ottawa has a one-year-old daughter and says she is feeling “panic and fear” because the province is no longer providing PCR testing for staff and children or tracking positive cases in child care settings. Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca says the province’s decision to halt the reporting of daycare cases amounts to a “coverup” that’s causing parents more anxiety. He says Premier Doug Ford needs to get tests into daycares and stop hiding the number of COVID cases in child care settings.
Trudeau to Speak Today:
Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam will join Prime Minister Justin Trudeau this morning for the first federal COVID-19 update of the new year. The surge in cases brought on by the virus’s highly transmissible Omicron variant has forced multiple provinces to postpone non-urgent surgeries, reduce access to COVID tests, and delay the return to in-person learning for students. Trudeau yesterday repeated his call for Canadians to get vaccinated against the virus as he received his own booster shot at an Ottawa pharmacy. Saskatchewan announced yesterday it will open up fourth doses to people who are immunocompromised.
With new COVID-related restrictions taking effect in Ontario, a reminder the federal government has support available for workers, small businesses, and other affected organizations. Learn more here: https://t.co/DZ4ONfaAfL
— Chrystia Freeland (@cafreeland) January 3, 2022
CDC May Change The Rules Again:
The CDC is expected to further change its recommendations for Americans diagnosed with COVID-19, potentially requiring a negative test to leave isolation before ten days. Last week, the agency shortened its recommended isolation period from 10 days to five days for people who have minimal Covid symptoms. But the CDC is now considering adding a negative test to the guidance.
The UK Not Eyeing Any New Restrictions:
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says he hopes to ride out the pandemic without further restrictions. But he warns the country faces difficult days ahead. He says people should not take his words to mean they should not be vigilant. The highly transmissible Omicron variant is driving COVID-19 infections to record levels.
U of W Extends Distance Learning:
The University of Waterloo is extending its remote learning plan for several days after the Ontario government announced new COVID-19 restrictions this week. The school is now planning to restart in-person classes on January 27th instead of resuming on-campus teaching on the 24th. Most Ontario post-secondary schools announced before Christmas that they were delaying the start of in-person classes in the winter term until the last week of January. Yesterday Wilfred Laurier announced they would stop reporting COVID infections.
WINTER TERM UPDATE:
▹ Classes will begin online on Jan 5
▹ To align with government direction, in-person classes will resume on Jan 27 or as public health allows
▹ On-campus recreation facilities are closed and food services are take out only
— University of Waterloo (@UWaterloo) January 4, 2022
New COVID Research:
Kids who catch COVID typically experience mild symptoms — if any at all. One British child, however, experienced a rare side effect now being called “COVID eye.” Nine-year-old Zac Morey spent Christmas in the hospital and almost went blind after doctors say he suffered an allergic reaction to the virus. Studies have shown that COVID can cause more than 200 long-hauler symptoms. One rare side effect from the virus seen in children called Multisystem Inflammatory Condition in Children (MIS-C) is known to cause damage to their hearts, which one study reported could have life-long effects. Additional research, however, shows that most heart issues caused by MIS-C eventually disappear over time.
The World’s First Flurona COVID Double Infection Reported:
The world’s first documented case of “flurona,” or simultaneous infections of COVID-19 and influenza viruses, has been recorded in Israel. The first known case of the double infection was identified in a woman who was giving birth last week at Rabin Medical Center in Petah Tikva, Israel. Hospital officials said the young mother, who was not vaccinated against either illness, didn’t suffer any permanent consequences and was released from the hospital on Thursday. Doctors said her case was relatively mild. Despite the woman’s mild symptoms, Israel’s health ministry is studying her case to determine if the “flurona” combination can lead to more severe illness than either of the two viruses alone.
Yesterday Ontario confirmed 1,290 people are in hospital with COVID-19. The province says 266 people are in intensive care, up from 248 Monday. There were also 10 more deaths from the virus. Ontario also logged more than 11,300 new infections, but the province says those numbers don’t show the full situation due to newly imposed restrictions on testing.
1,290 people are hospitalized with #COVID19 and 266 people are in ICU with COVID-19.
The seven-day rolling average of COVID-19 related patients in ICU is 221.
There are 11,352 new cases of #COVID19.
Today’s numbers will be available at 10:30 a.m. at https://t.co/ypmgZbVRvn.
— Christine Elliott (@celliottability) January 4, 2022
Waterloo Region / Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Numbers:
Yesterday Waterloo Region Public Health posted 487 new cases and 2 new deaths. Active cases have dropped to 3,864. 51 people are hospitalized. Only 7 are in the ICU.
Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health reported 1,481 new cases yesterday, from the long weekend. There are 2,593 active cases now. 13 people are hospitalized. 4 are in the ICU.
To cancel a #COVID19 #vaccine appointment, use the 'Appointment Details' link in your confirmation email. Or if you do not have this option, please submit this form: https://t.co/WJJhVg58zH. pic.twitter.com/kuugyqryuO
— WDG Public Health (@WDGPublicHealth) January 4, 2022
Contains files from The Canadian Press
Photo Credit: CPAC via YouTube screenshot