Niagara recorded 138 new COVID-19 cases Thursday, the highest single-day count in a week and a half.
It was a bad day across Ontario — the province reported a single-day record 89 deaths and 3,519 new cases, also a record.
That followed news that a vaccination program will finally start in Niagara next week, targeting front-line health-care workers in long-term care settings as well as some hospital staff.
It also came after Niagara Health announced it has ended its long-standing management agreement with St. Joseph’s Health System in Hamilton.
That ends the tenure – in Niagara, at least – of Dr. Tom Stewart, who acted as chief executive officer for both hospital systems.
Earlier this week it was revealed Stewart spent part of the holidays in the Dominican Republic, defying advice from government and public health officials, as well as Niagara Health, to avoid unnecessary travel during the pandemic.
On Thursday, Niagara Region Public Health also reported there are 44 ongoing COVID outbreaks and 938 active cases across the region.