Health Care

Essex schools will remain closed into February under new order

Essex schools will remain closed into February under new order”

Ontario, meanwhile, reported 2,903 daily cases Tuesday with 41 more deaths in the province.

The province will also be providing up to 300,000 COVID-19 tests per week to key sectors including manufacturing, warehouses, long-term care homes and schools in order to quickly identify and isolate positive cases.

The latest modelling by the Ontario science advisory table predicts the daily mortality rate due to COVID-19 will double from around 50 deaths a day to around 100.

Brown said the choices will affect all patients needing intensive care, whether they've had a heart attack, have been in an automobile crash, or have COVID-19 or any other serious disease.

More than 70 per cent of the Canadians who have died from COVID-19 to date were residents in long-term care homes.

That model assumes case rates continue to climb between three to five per cent a day, which is the current rate. Hallways will be used to house makeshift intensive care beds, field hospitals will hold patients throughout the winter.

The modellers also predict that the province will see more virus-related deaths during the second wave of the pandemic than the first.

Ontario health officials reported a jump in the number of people in hospital due to COVID-19 with 1,701 people now receiving care.

If however, the new strain - SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.1.7 - spreads in the community, doubling time for cases could drop to 10 days in March.

Front-line health workers and long-term care residents are the first priorities for vaccines, and Canada's chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam said Tuesday we should start to see the impact of those groups being vaccinated within a month or two.

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One of the main calls from the opposition and various advocates has been introducing paid sick leave so they can have more protections, especially if they work in essential workplaces and congregate care settings, including from the Toronto Board of Health.

Forty per cent of Ontario's long-term care homes are experiencing outbreaks right now and one in 10 of the new cases reported in the province Tuesday occurred in long-term care.

The science table warned that variant B.1.1.7, commonly referred to as the United Kingdom variant, could "drive much higher case counts, ICU occupancy and mortality as community transmission occurs".

There will also be further measures taken at schools which include masking required for Grades 1 to 3 and requirements to wear masks outdoors, enhanced screening and an increase in testing.

How is this different from a curfew, which the province said it wouldn't impose?

With one-third of Ontario's population ignoring normal COVID-19 pandemic precautions and with more people getting sick and dying, Ontario Premier Doug Ford has issued a stay-at-home order in the hopes that the "bad actors" out there will heed the advice.

"We aren't telling people they can't get out and walk their dog", the Premier said.

Schools in Toronto, Peel, York, Hamilton and Windsor-Essex will not go back to in-class learning until at least February 10.

"All we're asking is cooperation from the people to stay home".

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