Williams Says He Wants The Schools Open – Full COVID-19 Update

Williams Says He Wants The Schools Open – Full COVID-19 Update

Ontario’s top doctor says he’d like to see schools resume in-person learning before the province enters the first step of its reopening plan in mid-June. Dr. David Williams says most public health units have said they’re in favour of schools reopening soon. High schools and elementary schools across the province have been shut to in-person learning since mid-April. Williams says he has heard from many public health agencies, including those in the hard-hit Toronto area, who want to see schools reopen.

Here is yesterday’s news conference:

Ontario’s First Death Linked To AstraZeneca:

Ontario health officials say a man in his 40’s has died after receiving the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine at the end of April. Associate medical officer of health Dr. Barbara Yaffe says the investigation is still ongoing. But she says it’s been confirmed that the man had vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia, also known as VITT. It’s the first death in Ontario associated with the rare blood clotting disorder linked to the vaccine. The province has halted use of the AstraZeneca vaccine for first doses due to the risk of the clots.

More Moderna Delays:

Procurement Minister Anita Anand has been burning up the phone lines trying to get American drugmaker Moderna to commit to a COVID-19 vaccine delivery schedule. She says the company assures her it will deliver millions of doses next month — but hasn’t stated a date or exact number. Moderna was supposed to ship 12.3-million doses between April and June but has only shipped 3.7-million since the first of last month.

Ontario $5 Million To Train People On How To Get Government Funding:

The Ontario government says it’s providing more than $5 million dollars to train and mentor health science professionals on how to get funding for medical innovations and bring them to market. The province says the money will go to up 150 people and help support the creation of pharmaceuticals, vaccines and other medical tools. Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development Monte McNaughton says there is currently growing demand for new health products, and the funding will help companies stay competitive.

Nova Scotia Lowers The Vaccination Age:

Nova Scotia’s government says residents who are 20 or older can now book an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine. Chief medical officer Dr. Robert Strang says the province’s vaccine rollout is moving forward quickly, and soon Nova Scotians who are even younger will get the chance to get the shot. He says that’s been moved ahead by weeks. The province says about 48.2 per cent of the population has received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine so far.

Manitoba is Now a Hotspot:

Manitoba reported 259 new cases of COVID-19 and two new deaths yesterday as the province becomes a North American hot spot. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Ottawa is preparing to send health workers, military members and the Canadian Red Cross. Winnipeg MP Jim Carr, the Trudeau cabinet’s special representative for the Prairies, says the COVID situation in his province is serious. The percentage of people testing positive — averaged over five days — now stands at 13.8 per cent provincially and 15.9 per cent in Winnipeg.

Quebec is Quickly Loosening Restrictions:

Premier Francois Legault believes all of Quebec will be out of the province’s highest pandemic-alert level by June 7th. He says five of the 10 regions at the red level will move to the orange alert level next Monday. Gyms and in-person dining can reopen in orange zones. Health Minister Christian Dube says the government will announce a plan to accelerate second COVID-19 vaccine doses on Thursday.

Alberta Quickly Flattening The Curve:

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health says the decline in new and active COVID-19 cases is the result of people following health guidelines. Doctor Deena Hinshaw spoke today as the province announced it would soon start to lift restrictions. Tomorrow morning. the premier and a handful of ministers will be on hand for the unveiling of plans to slowly ease COVID-19 health measures.

A Very Expensive COVID Party in BC:

Vancouver police say they issued more than $11,000-dollars in fines on Sunday following a party that violated public health orders that ban social gatherings. Police say they received calls of a loud party in downtown Vancouver around 1am. Officers knocked on the door of a home several times and spoke with the resident on the phone, but police say those inside refused to open the door. Police say they entered the suite after getting a search warrant and issued a $2,300-dollar ticket to the host. They say they also handed out $575-dollar tickets to each to the 16 attendees of the party.

$3 Million for The Movie Makers:

Ontario says it’s providing $3-million in financial support to help the Canadian Film Centre through the COVID-19 pandemic. Culture Minister Lisa MacLeod says the one-time funding is part of the province’s efforts to support the film, television and new media industries through the public health crisis. The Canadian Film Centre says the money will be used to support training programs and COVID-19 adaptation plans. Those plans include the development of new initiatives like virtual production training.

Another Report Into LTC:

Ontario’s fiscal watchdog is set to release a report today examining government spending on long-term care. The Financial Accountability Office says the new report is based on the province’s 2021-22 expenditure estimates. The FAO says the overview of the ministry will identify key financial issues including the government’s promise to add and redevelop 30,000 long-term care beds. The report will also examine a pledge by the Progressive Conservative government to increase the amount of average daily direct care per resident.

Ontario Numbers:

There were 1,039 new cases of COVID-19 in Ontario yesterday, and 1,446 new cases previously unreported from Victoria Day. Nearly 20,200 tests were completed on Sunday and about 16,900 tests were completed Monday. Health Minister Christine Elliott said 325 of yesterday’s new cases were in Toronto, 231 were in Peel Region and 77 were in York Region. Across Ontario, hospitalizations are down to 1,025 with 692 in intensive care. Ontario remains under a stay-at-home order.

Waterloo Region / WDG Numbers:

Waterloo Region Public Health announced 66 new COVID-19 cases yesterday. That was a two-day total, including the Victoria Day numbers. There were no new deaths. The number of active cases was down by thirty-one to 430. Hospitalizations dropped by twenty-three, to a total of just 31 patients.

Public Health of Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph reported an entire long weekend’s worth of numbers yesterday. They had 107 new cases over the 3-days. Active cases are down to 250. There are just 6 people hospitalized.

Contains files from The Canadian Press

Photo Credit: CPAC via YouTube screenshot

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