Health Care

Ford government plan to stop spread of COVID-19 variants

Ford government plan to stop spread of COVID-19 variants”

Public Health Ontario has confirmed 266,363 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, and reported 240,494 recoveries and 6,145 deaths, of which 3,574 were individuals living in long-term care homes.

Ford said Friday that Ontario has confirmed 51 positive cases of the new variant of COVID-19 and, among them, five were identified through the government's pilot testing program at Pearson airport.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is also expected to announce new travel restrictions on Friday, which include measures to prevent people from travelling as well as ones to discourage it. Options on the table include increasing the number of people dedicated to enforcing the 14-day quarantine, to requiring all returning non-essential travellers to quarantine at a government-designated hotel at their own expense.

Prince Edward Island is reporting one new case of COVID-19.

Another 2,623 people have recovered from COVID-19 on Saturday and there are 19,724 active cases of the virus across the province.

Only 59,594 tests were processed in the last 24 hour period, nearly 10,000 fewer than the previous day.

There are 31,463 test specimens still under investigation. Health officials reported 713 cases in Toronto, 379 in Peel Region and 178 in York Region. That will continue, OPH said in a statement, with priority given to: schools with outbreaks or a high number of high-risk close contacts who need testing; areas where there are neighbourhood clusters of the virus or where COVID-19 rates are higher than average; and disadvantaged areas where families might have difficulty getting to a regular testing centre.

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Elsewhere in the GTA, Halton Region logged 55 new infections and Durham Region recorded 89 new cases.

Those hospitalized due to COVID-19 infection continue to trend downwards across the province.

According to the province, there are at least 1,273 patients infected with the novel coronavirus in Ontario hospitals as of Saturday. A genomics database will be implemented to track these variants.

The three primary variants of concern that are being monitored globally are the UK, South African and Brazil variants.

To date, there have been 266,363 lab-confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus and almost 240,500 recoveries across the province since the virus first emerged a year ago.

The council representing Ontario medical officers of health said Friday that COVID-19 testing should be employed where it will have the most benefit.

The province has administered more than 336,800 doses of the vaccines to Ontarians since mid-December. The vaccine requires two doses.

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