Coronavirus Canada Updates: Ontario reports 1,969 new COVID cases Monday, just one locally

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Ontario reports 1,039 new COVID-19 cases and 33 more deaths today
Ontario reports 1,039 new COVID-19 cases and 33 more deaths today

Ontario is reporting 1,969 cases of COVID-19 Monday and 36 deaths after completing just 30,359 tests in the previous day.

The new cases include 886 in Toronto — which may be an overcount due to a data entry issue, the province notes — 330 in Peel and 128 in York Region.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Christine Elliott said the province has now administered 341,900 doses of COVID-19 vaccine.

The province’s latest data shows 1,158 people are hospitalized with the virus, with 354 people in intensive care units. Of those patients, 260 are on ventilators.

Another 2,132 cases of COVID-19 have been marked as resolved.

A provincewide stay-at-home order remains in place.

Currently, 230 long-term care homes remain in outbreak, according the province, with 14,616 resident cases, and 6,020 staff cases. The province says 14 more residents have died after contracting COVID-19, bringing the total number of deaths to 3,543 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.

Roberta Place, the latest long-term care home to be devastated by an outbreak, says 61 people at the home have now died as of Jan. 31. There are a 120 active resident cases and 67 active staff cases, the facility confirmed Monday.

The home is now facing a proposed class-action lawsuit from residents’ families who allege their loved ones were neglected by those charged with keeping them safe.

The unproven statement of claim filed to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice alleges Roberta Place, a long-term care home in Barrie, Ont., failed to take basic precautionary measures to protect against the novel coronavirus 10 months after the pandemic took hold in Canada.

Ontario is expanding targeted COVID-19 testing and will allow boards to tap into student teachers to fill supply roles as more schools reopen amid the second wave of the pandemic.

Minister of Education Stephen Lecce announced the changes at a news conference at Queen’s Park on Monday.

Provincial officials said earlier that the targeted testing will be available in all public health units where students have returned to class. They said they expect that Ontario could be doing up to 25,000 laboratory processed and 25,000 on-site, rapid antigen tests per week.

The testing will be voluntary and an option for both students and staff, officials said.

In his announcement, Lecce also said he is hopeful but not certain that remaining schools will re-open on February 10. He said local medical officers of health will have a say in whether a given region moves ahead with reopening schools.

Testing of international travellers begins today at Pearson

International travellers will have to take a COVID-19 test upon arrival in Ontario starting today in a bid to stop contagious new variants of the virus from further infiltrating the province.

The provincial government announced the plan on Friday, the same day the federal government announced a similar program that’s to take effect in the coming weeks.

Premier Doug Ford praised the prime minister for announcing the new federal testing plan, but said Ontario would conduct its own traveller testing until Ottawa’s program begins.

The testing order comes into effect today at Toronto’s Pearson International airport, and will also eventually apply to the province’s land border crossings to the United States.

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