Have we reached the plateau?
Provincial health minister Christine Elliott says Ontario’s COVID-19 infections have plateaued but at a very high level.
Daily rates of new cases have been averaging about 17-hundred and 50 for a week now and Elliott says the recent lockdowns in coronavirus hotspots should start showing signs of working in the next week or so.
However, she says the province’s chief medical officer of health, Doctor David Williams, is now talking with medical officers in regions now experiencing a spike in cases, to see whether they should be moved into stricter zones under the province’s five-level restriction plan.
The minister admits that some hospitals are starting to show the strain in this second wave but she adds they’re not in crisis.
Ford says closure policy has to continue
Premier Doug Ford says, if he put his business hat on, he’d open all retail outlets immediately.
But, because of COVID-19, he can’t.
Ford was responding to a call from a coalition of businesses, large and small, to allow all stores to reopen with those in coronavirus hotspots being limited to 25 per cent capacity.
The Premier admits it’s not fair that big-box stores have an advantage being a one-stop shop for most items people need.
But he adds that prevents people from making multiple stops as they do their shopping.
Vaccine priority list
Canada’s chief medical officer of health says the priority list for COVID-19 inoculations will have to be revised further, because there won’t be enough doses in the initial batches to arrive early next year.
Doctor Theresa Tam says the list gives first preference to those most at risk of serious illness or death, and those most at risk of being exposed.
But she says the initial shipments of six-million doses expected to arrive between January and March, won’t be enough to cover them all.
Tam is also concerned about the rising level of anti-vaccine attitudes.
She’s asking medical professionals to convince skeptics that the vaccines won’t be approved unless they’re safe.
What’s happening across the border
South of the border, the United States set two new dubious COVID-19 records yesterday.
There were at least 27-hundred and 60 deaths reported across the country and the number of people being treated in hospital surpassed the 100-thousand mark for the first time.
The Director of the Centres for Disease Control is warning that this winter could be the most difficult time in the history of public health in the U-S.
Doctor Robert Redfield says the death toll from the coronavirus could reach 450-thousand Americans by the end of January.