Ontario Pharmacists Are Ready to Roll Starting Today – Full COVID-19 Update

Ontario Pharmacists Are Ready to Roll Starting Today – Full COVID-19 Update

The Ontario Pharmacists Association says some pharmacies are already providing the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to those aged 60 to 65. The association says a pilot project in Toronto, Kingston and Windsor-Essex has had a rolling start’ before launching broadly today. CEO Justin Bates says pharmacies are on track to administer all 165,000 doses of the vaccine that they’ve been sent before they expire in a few weeks.

The Science Table Says We Need To Stay The Course To Save Summer:

Ontario’s science advisers say the actions of residents in all regions over the new few weeks will determine the quality of summer in the province. The Science Advisory Table says people must stick to masking and physical distancing to control more transmissible variants of concern despite the ramp-up in vaccinations. It says declines in community cases and test positivity rates have levelled off as the province emerges from lockdown and mobility rates increase. The group warns that controlling the spread of COVID-19 variants over the next few weeks will determine if there is a third wave of infection.

Here is yesterday’s news conference:

Investigating the AstraZeneca Vaccine:

Health Canada is keeping tabs on European investigations into the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine after overseas reports of blood clots following inoculations. For now, the government agency is assuring Canadians that the ”benefits of the vaccine continue to outweigh its risks.” It says it authorized the vaccine for Canadian use based on a thorough review. At least nine European countries and today, Thailand, have temporarily suspended their use of AstraZeneca’s doses pending investigation of blood clots, though none suggest there is a link between the two.

An Ontario Budget Is Coming:

Ontario’s finance minister is promising his spring budget will have no painful tax hikes or spending cuts as he focuses on fighting the pandemic. Peter Bethlenfalvy says he will deliver a budget on March 24th that will feature funding measures to defeat COVID-19 and ensure all residents are vaccinated. Ontario’s delayed budget for fiscal 2020-21 that was delivered in November had record spending of $187-billion dollars and a record deficit of $38.5-billion. Bethlenfalvy was coy about whether or not his new budget will include a path to balance, but stressed the government may need to continue spending to address COVID-19.

Here is yesterday’s announcement:

Sudbury is Going Back Into Lockdown Today:

Sudbury has moved back into lockdown after a large spike in COVID-19 cases. The province says it’s placing the region in the strictest category of Ontario’s pandemic restrictions framework to curb the spread of more contagious COVID-19 variants. Sudbury has been in the second-strictest red category of the framework and the province is using its emergency brake mechanism to impose the lockdown. The government says the Sudbury region’s case rates increased by 54 per cent between March 3rd and March 9th, to 75.9 cases per hundred-thousand people.

COVID’s Impact on the Mental Health of Children:

Doctors say the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the mental health of children is alarming and plain to see. France’s busiest pediatric hospital has seen a doubling in the number of children and young teenagers requiring treatment after attempted suicides. Doctors elsewhere report similar surges, with children — some as young as eight — deliberately running into traffic, overdosing on pills and otherwise self-harming. In Japan, child and adolescent suicides hit record levels in 2020. Pediatric psychiatrists say they’re also seeing children with coronavirus-related phobias, tics and eating disorders. Some are obsessing about infection, scrubbing their hands raw and covering their bodies with disinfectant gel.

Now Peel Mayors Want to be Moved to the Red Zone:

Mayors in Peel Region are asking the province to further loosen restrictions in their communities days after a stay-at-home order was lifted. Peel, made up of Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon, was moved into the strictest grey lockdown category of the province’s pandemic framework on Monday, allowing retailers to reopen with capacity limits, but keeping gyms, personal care services closed. The mayors of Mississauga and Brampton say they want to move to the less restrictive red zone. The region’s top doctor — who recommended the move to the grey zone last week — says it’s important to move forward cautiously to avoid a third wave.

Ontario Numbers:

Yesterday Ontario reported 1,092 new COVID-19 cases, based on over 60,600 tests. Of the new cases, 293 were in Toronto and 199 were in Peel Region. There were 10 new deaths. And 2 more people were admitted to hospital. 6 more were placed on a ventilator.  1,110 more cases were marked as resolved.

Waterloo Region / WDG Numbers:

There were 32 new COVID-19 cases confirmed yesterday by Waterloo Region Public Health. For a third straight day, no new deaths were reported. Hospitalizations dropped by three to 34. There are 8 people in the ICU. Active cases increased to 324. That is an increase of two. In Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph, public health confirmed 14 new COVID-19 cases yesterday. 10 of the new cases were in Guelph. Thanks to 28 newly resolved cases, the number active decreased to 134 throughout the public health unit. Hospitalizations dropped from eight to 5. There are still 2 people in Intensive care.

Contains files from The Canadian Press

Photo Credit: CPAC via YouTube screenshot

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