Travellers Flagging Issues With The Quarantine Hotel Program – Full COVID-19 Update

Travellers Flagging Issues With The Quarantine Hotel Program – Full COVID-19 Update

Photo Credit: Joe Warmington via Twitter

Travellers returning to Canada to new COVID-19 health restrictions are complaining of disconnected calls and hours or even days of waiting to make a reservation at federally approved hotels for the mandatory three-day quarantine. Some air passengers say they were forced to delay or cancel their flights after spending hours on hold trying to book a room without success. The hotel stays — which must be paid for by the travellers — are just one of a series of measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 and highly contagious variants.

Traveller Fined $3000 For Not Going to the Quarantine Hotel:

Police say a resident of Sudbury is facing a $3,000 dollar fine for breaching the Quarantine Act. Investigators say the suspect had a COVID-19 test before re-entering Canada but that didn’t meet current federal requirements. Authorities say the Sudbury resident was told to check-in to a designated hotel quarantine facility in Toronto but went home instead.

The Vaccine Rollout Will Be Very Localized:

A patchwork of different delivery models could be in effect across the province when COVID-19 vaccinations ramp up over the coming weeks. Solicitor General Sylvia Jones says each of the province’s 34 health units has submitted a unique vaccine distribution plan for provincial approval. Jones says the health units must adhere to the provincial plan for priority populations but they can determine the best way to serve the needs of their communities. Jones says that may mean some have mass vaccination clinics, while others do active outreach to vulnerable seniors to arrange the shots.

Claims That a Lack of Federal Funding is What Stalled a Canadian Vaccine:

Two vaccine developers here in Canada are blaming a lack of federal money for thwarting the development of homegrown COVID-19 vaccines. Dr. Gary Kobinger, a Laval University microbiologist, was part of Canadian teams that helped develop vaccines for Ebola and Zika. He says his non-profit had a shot with excellent early lab results last February, but it stalled because it couldn’t find funding. John Lewis, the CEO of Entos Pharmaceuticals in Alberta, says his company is one of six that received about $5-million dollars to move their COVID-19 vaccine along. Other countries invested as much as $300 million.

Ontario Investing More Into PSW’s:

The Ontario government is investing $4.1 million to help train 373 new Personal Support Workers (PSWs) and provide them with additional health and safety resources. They say this funding will ensure Ontario has more PSWs to provide the best care for seniors and residents in long-term care homes. Here is yesterday’s announcement:

Principals Are Stressed:

A survey has found that more than half of principals of virtual schools in Ontario don’t feel that they can manage the stress of running schools during a pandemic. The annual survey by People for Education says only 27 per cent of virtual school principals agree that their levels of stress were manageable. The organization says principals have become responsible for acting as liaisons with local public health units and implementing new COVID-19 policies. It says that in many cases, principals are the contact tracers, screeners and translators of rapidly changing government policies.

Provincial Inspectors Can’t Inspect Canada Post Because It’s a Federal Facility:

A provincial inspection blitz of warehouses and distribution centres in Peel Region won’t include the Canada Post facility where more than 300 workers have contracted COVID-19. One person has also died since the start of the year during the COVID-19 outbreak at the Gateway facility in Mississauga. But the site falls outside the jurisdiction of provincial inspectors because it’s federally regulated.

Here is the Q&A portion of yesterday’s news conference with Premier Ford:

Research Shows Vaccinations are Lowering Hospitalizations in the UK:

Two new UK studies showed that COVID-19 vaccination programs are contributing to a sharp drop in hospitalizations. This is increasing hopes that the shots will work as well in the real world as they have in carefully controlled studies. Preliminary results from a study in Scotland found that the Pfizer vaccine reduced hospital admissions by up to 85 per cent four weeks after the first dose. The AstraZeneca shot cut admissions by up to 94 per cent.

 Ontario Numbers:

Yesterday Ontario announced 1,058 new COVID-19 cases, based on 31,200 tests completed. There were also 11 new deaths reported. Hospitalizations dropped by 14 but ICU patients increased by 3.  1,083 more cases were marked as resolved.

Here is yesterday’s Provincial update:

Waterloo Region / WDG Numbers:

Region of Waterloo Public Health announced 28 new COVID-19 yesterday. Active cases rose by 3 to 313. The death toll remained at 222. There are currently 18 people hospitalized in the Region with 8 in the ICU. Yesterday public health confirmed there are now 32 total cases of COVID-19 variants in the Region. Four of those are the UK variant and the rest are still being tested.

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health reported their full weekend numbers yesterday. There were 42 new cases. Half of those were in Guelph, 9 were in Wellington and 10 were in Dufferin. Hospitalizations are down to 6 and there are 115 active cases in the region.

Contains files from The Canadian Press


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