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HPE region sees 32 new COVID-19 cases in single day

Posted: April 8, 2021

(April 01, 2021)

By: Derek Baldwin, Belleville Intelligencer (Print Edition)

A third wave of COVID-19 is rising steeply in Ontario, raising concerns for essential workers in workplaces, schools and childcare facilities, says a new report by the Ontario Health Coalition.

The organization said it is tracking the spread of the virus and variants of concern and has found rates of infection are growing higher than earlier waves.

The report, released Tuesday, said for example that on March 28, Ontario reported 2,448 new cases of COVID-19, increasing the seven-day average to 2,038 per day as compared to March 1 when the seven-day average case count was half of what we are seeing now at 1,098 per day.

“These rates are higher than at any point in the first wave which peaked at 571 cases on April 24, 2020, and the rise of the third wave to date is significantly steeper than the second wave,” the organization said in a press release.

Tracked cases also revealed that “hospitalization rates have also increased since February” across the province.

The health coalition said March 1 there were 659 Ontarians hospitalized with COVID-19 and on March 13 that number increased to 689 and by March 29 the “number has significantly increased to 985, a high we have not seen since February 10.”

Last Sunday, the organization said, Dr. Michael Warner, a Toronto ICU doctor, reported that all of his ICU patients have tested positive for a variant of concern, their average age is 53, and the majority of them are essential workers.

“The rise of cases in the third wave to date is much steeper than the second wave. Without stronger health measures, there are grave risks for Ontarians, especially those required to work outside their homes, and the real possibility of hospitals being overrun,” said Natalie Mehra, executive director of the Ontario Health Coalition.

“Essential workers’neighbourhoods are showing almost three times the rate of variants of concern. Our tracking shows alarming numbers of COVID-19 cases in education, shelters, correctional facilities, warehouses and distribution centres.”

In the first two weeks of March there were 1,489 new cases in Ontario elementary and secondary schools, a 17 per cent increase. Cases in childcare continued to steadily rise throughout the lockdown and into March, increasing 12 per cent in the first two weeks of March.

The health coalition also pointed to Canada Post which had an outbreak with 300 cases associated at the end of February and Amazon’s distribution centre in Brampton was forced to close in March after more than 600 people contracted COVID-19, three hundred of which contracted the virus in recent weeks alone.

Ontario, meanwhile, reported 2,333 new cases Monday for the sixth day in a row over 2,000.

The province also recorded 15 deaths bringing the total number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 to 7,352.

Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health tweeted Toronto reported 785 news cases, Peel Region 433 and York Region 222.

Ontario reported a total of 349,903 cases, of which, 322,382 were reported as resolved.

There were 1,111 hospitalizations in Ontario while 396 patients were in intensive care units and 252 people were on a ventilator.

Hastings and Prince Edward health officials reported 32 new cases of COVID-19 and 39 active cases Monday.

The spike in new cases is one of the highest daily increases locally on record.

There were 437 people listed as recovered.

The health unit said a total of 514 cases of the virus have been recorded in the community since the pandemic began.

There were 20 cases involving variants of concern identified in the region.

No persons were listed in hospital, nor in the intensive care unit or on a ventilator.

There are no outbreaks listed in the region.

The local death toll from the virus stands at six.

Hastings Prince Edward Public Health said 26,795 vaccines have been administered in the region and 1,920 people have now been fully vaccinated with a second jab.

The region remains in the green zone, or level of fewest restrictions, of Ontario’s COVID-19 framework.

In Canada, a total of 976,598 cases have been recorded of which 907,277 are listed as recovered.

Nationally, there were 46,395 cases listed as active and 22,926 deaths.

Globally, total cases of COVID-19 stood at 128.4 million cases with 2.8 million deaths reported, according to Johns Hopkins University of Medicine Coronavirus Resource Centre.

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