A look at the local numbers …
Public Health Sudbury & Districts is reporting 19 new cases of COVID-19, 18 in Greater Sudbury and one in the Sudbury District.
Considering resolved cases, there are 262 active cases in the agency’s jurisdiction.
Health Sciences North is reporting the hospital has 31 admitted patients with 16 confirmed cases and 15 waiting for test results.
Of the 31, eight people are in intensive care.
Algoma Public Health is reporting 1 new case of COVID-19, from Sault Ste. Marie and area.
There are now 26 active cases in the district with one person hospitalized.
Only emergency surgeries allowed in the south
The sharply-increasing number of COVID-19 cases is striking hard at Ontario’s hospitals.
The provincial government has ordered a halt to all but emergency and life-saving surgeries, effective Monday, at all hospitals, except those in the north.
The C-E-O of Ontario Health, Matthew Anderson, says we’re facing extreme pressure on our critical care capacity.
Anderson says hospitals may also be asked to send staff to help in the hardest-hit areas.
There were 525 people in Ontario intensive care units as of yesterday, that’s 100 more than we saw during the peak of the second wave.
Current models show that number could jump to 800 by the end of this month.
Anthony Dale, the president of the Ontario Hospital Association, says it’s an “extraordinarily serious” situation, calling it an “historic crisis.”
Safety blitz for business this weekend
The government is launching a workplace safety blitz this weekend, to ensure businesses that are still open are following all provincial safety regulations and there will be zero tolerance for infractions.
The first round of inspections will cover big-box stores, warehouses, and manufacturers in Halton and Peel regions.
Labour Minister Monte McNaughton says his inspectors are still seeing workplaces that aren’t following masking protocols, have no safety plan in place, and aren’t properly screening staff and customers.
He says they won’t hesitate to fine those operations that are violating the rules.
Appointment-based services should be open?
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business says the Ford government must do more to help those businesses that have had to close due to the latest stay-at-home order.
The federation says small businesses should be allowed to conduct appointment-based sales and service.
It argues that appointments, with strict protocols in place, could be conducted safely in many sectors, including retail stores and personal services.
Response to vaccination roll-out
The head of the federal vaccine rollout program is defending premiers who have come under attack for the perceived slow response of their inoculation programs.
Canada has received 10.5 million doses of vaccine so far but only 7.2-million have been administered.
Major-General Deny Fortin says the provinces aren’t dragging their heels.
Fortin says the vaccine delivery systems are complicated and it can take several days before a new vaccine shipment is ready for distribution.
He adds Canada is expecting another 5.3-million vaccine doses by the end of this month.