The Armed Forces Will Do A Vaccine Delivery Dry-Run Today But Brits Are Actually Getting The Shot – Full COVID19 Update

Shipments of the coronavirus vaccine developed by American drugmaker Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech have been delivered in the UK in super-cold containers. The deliveries arrived yesterday, two days before it goes public in an immunization program that is being closely watched around the world. Tuesday will be the start of Britain’s biggest-ever immunization program. Around 800,000 doses of the vaccine are set to be ready.

Today is the Vaccine “Dry Run”:

With the Canadian approval of a COVID19 vaccine possible within days, officials are making sure everything is ready to get the ball rolling on immunizations as quickly as possible. To that end, Major-General Dany Fortin, who’s leading the military through the vaccine distribution process, is expected to lead a dry run today. He says it’s intended to get everyone involved comfortable with the challenging nature of the most likely vaccine candidate — made by Pfizer-BioNTech — which must be kept below minus 70 Celcius at all times.

Ontario Numbers:

Over the weekend, the Province announced 5,563 new COVID19 cases. That includes a new day record yesterday when there was 1,924. There were also 60 new deaths. Heading into this week, there are 701 people hospitalized with COVID19. That includes 204 people in intensive are and 109 patients on a ventilator.

New Restrictions Begin Today in Parts of Ontario:

Three Ontario regions are getting stricter public health rules today. Middlesex-London and Thunder Bay will move into the “orange” zone of the province’s colour-coded, tiered pandemic response plan. The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit moves to the “yellow” category. The change to orange includes restrictions on visitors to long-term care homes and beefed up testing in the facilities.

12 Patients Have Died And Dozens of Infections at a London Hospital:

Twelve people have died in a COVID19 outbreak at a hospital in London that’s seen dozens of staff and patients sickened. The outbreak at University Hospital began on November 10th and since then 48 staff and 64 patients have been infected. Administrators say the hospital remains open and safe for emergencies, but has been redirecting some admissions to another facility. They add that several safety measures have been enacted to try to control the growing outbreak.

Gathering Charges Laid in Toronto:

Toronto Police say a man is facing criminal charges after officers broke up a large gathering on Friday night. They say police found several gaming machines and 10 people inside a property — contravening the Reopening Ontario Act. The people inside were all charged with a Part 3 summons. The property owner was charged with keeping a common gaming or betting house and possession of proceeds obtained by crime, among other things.

Dementia Patients in Hospitals:

A third of Ontario’s psychiatric beds are now taken up by dementia patients. This according to data from the Canadian Institutes for Health Information. Mental health experts say that’s problematic, because psychiatric wards aren’t well suited to caring for people with dementia. Doctor Allen Power of the University of Waterloo Institute for Aging says dementia patients are often at risk of serious side effects from drugs often used as “chemical restraints” in psych wards. They include falls, stroke and death.

A PEI Partial Lockdown Begins Today:

Prince Edward Island has announced a two-week circuit breaker lockdown in an attempt to gain control of rising COVID19 cases. Beginning this morning, indoor dining at restaurants will be prohibited and there will be no organized or recreational team sports. Gyms, libraries, bingos and casinos will also be closed. Retail stores must limit capacity to 50 per cent. Chief Medical Officer Doctor Heather Morrison says there were four new cases of COVID19 in PEI, bringing the provincial total since the pandemic began to 80.

Quebec Cases:

Quebec reported 1,691 new cases of COVID19 yesterday, as well as 24 additional deaths linked to the virus, 10 of which took place in the 24 hour period. The province has now recorded 151,599 total cases and 7,255 deaths since the start of the pandemic. Hospitalizations went up by 24 yesterday for a total of 778 across Quebec. Of those, 102 people are in intensive care, an increase of six from a day earlier.

Lots of New Cases in Saskatchewan:

Saskatchewan is reporting 415 new COVID19 cases and four additional deaths. The province says that two of the people who died were in their 60s and were from Regina and the Far North zones, while the two others were in their 70s and were from the South zone. Their deaths bring the provincial total to 59 since the start of the pandemic. Saskatchewan reports there are 135 people in hospital with COVID19, with 26 of those receiving intensive care.

Death Toll Grows in Manitoba:

Manitoba announced 383 new cases of COVID19 as well as 14 new related deaths yesterday. Health officials say many of the deaths were linked to outbreaks at care homes and involve patients who ranged in age from their 60s to their 90s. But the province says one was a man in his 20s who lived in the Winnipeg region. The government says 348 people are in hospital with COVID19, and 43 of those are receiving intensive care. So far, there have been 395 COVID19 deaths in Manitoba.

New BC Restrictions Could be Coming Today:

BC is supposed to see its provincewide COVID19 restrictions lifted today. However, there are indications that health officials will extend limits on events, sports and social gatherings. Provincial health officer Doctor Bonnie Henry admitted last week that transmissions did not appear to be going down as hoped. She said the extension of any restrictions isn’t a decision that she makes lightly or alone.

3 New East Coast Cases from People Who Recently Traveled to Alberta:

Health officials in Newfoundland and Labrador reported four new cases of COVID19, three of them men who recently returned to the province from Alberta. The fourth case involves a man from the central region who was a close contact of a previous case. The three travel-related cases include two men in their 40s, one of whom is not from Newfoundland and Labrador, and a third man in his 60s from the central region. The province now has 30 active cases of COVID19, though 317 people have recovered from the virus.

US Cases:

The U.S. recorded one million new coronavirus cases in just five days.  Between Tuesday and Saturday, the US reported 1,000,882 new COVID19 cases, according to Johns Hopkins University data.    To put that in perspective, it took 100 days to reach one million infections after the first cases of the virus were reported on January 20. The US total now sits at more than 14.5 million cases and at least 281,199 deaths from the virus.

Rudy Giuliani Has Tested Positive for COVID19:

US President Donald Trump says his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani has tested positive for COVID19. The former New York mayor has travelled extensively to battleground states in recent weeks in an effort to help Trump subvert his election loss. Trump confirmed Giuliani’s positive test in a tweet and wished him a speedy recovery.

Sean Penn Leading an Effort to Get Americans Vaccinated:

An Academy Award winning actor is taking up the fight against COVID19. Sean Penn’s non-profit organization is funding the testing of tens of thousands of people at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. Soon his group will be ready to help administer vaccines at the site. Penn says he estimates the site will be able to deliver a vaccination every three minutes.

Waterloo Region / WDG Numbers:

Yesterday Waterloo Region Public Health announced 64 new coronavirus cases. There were 66 new cases on Friday and 35 new infections announced on Saturday. Thanks to a lot of recovered cases, the number of active cases has decreased to 513. There was another new death on Saturday which increases the local death toll is 127. Heading into this week, there are 30 patients hospitalized with 11 in the ICU.

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health still does not report weekend numbers. On Friday there were 54 new cases. More than half were in Guelph. There are now 10 people hospitalized with 173 active cases.

Waterloo Region Infections:

  • Two staff members at Cambridge Memorial Hospital have tested positive. Contact tracing is underway.
  • An outbreak has been declared at Franklin Public School in Cambridge. 2 students from the same cohort have now tested positive.
  • A student at Cameron Heights Collegiate Institute in Kitchenerhas tested positive. This is the 4th case at the school.
  • A student at A R Kaufman Public School in Kitchener has tested positive.
  • A staff member at W.T. Townshend Public School in Kitchener has tested positive.
  • One student at St. Benedict Secondary School in Cambridge has tested positive for COVID19.
  • A student at St. Gabriel CES in Cambridge has tested positive.
  • A student at Moffat Creek Public School in Cambridge has tested positive.

Grand River Hospital’s Testing Centre is Closed Today So They Can Move:

Grand River Hospital’s drive-thru COVID19 testing clinic is closed today so they can move to a more winter-friendly facility in downtown Kitchener. The new assessment centre is at the old Charles Street bus terminal. As always, you can book COVID testing appointments online. St. Mary’s Hospital is now offering same-day, online bookings for eligible residents.

Contains files from The Canadian Press

Photo Credit: CPAC via YouTube screenshot


Posted in COVID19, News
Scott Fox and Kat Callaghan