Toronto to remain locked down into March over COVID-19 fears

A man walks past a COVID-19 retail supplies sign during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto Friday Feb. 5 2021

Good news for independent seniors anxious about COVID-19.

Also detailed was the February 9 Health Canada announcement updating the number of doses per vial for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to six full doses per vial, rather than five, obtained using a specialized "low-dead volume, or low-space volume" needle to extract the additional dose, so while the number of "trays" that hold the vials will remain the same, the number of doses per vial is increased, and therefore, so is the number of people who can be vaccinated.

Currently, there are 689 COVID-19 patients being treated in hospital, down 69 people from yesterday.

"It is critically important that residents continue to stay at home as much as possible and only go out for essential trips", Scarpitti said in a statement.

The province is ramping up vaccine capacity in preparation for Phase two.

Kenney says that's nearly 1.8 million people.

This was around the same time a Sun report revealed only 0.1% of all COVID-19 cases in the province could be traced to retail.

Three residents aged 50 and older have also died from the virus.

There are now 689 people hospitalized, down from 758 on Thursday.

"When they ask for more premier I will listen", Ford said.

Health officials also say they have found three more cases of the variant first found in the United Kingdom, and all three are related to global travel and have recovered.

The lockdown is also being extended in Peel and North Bay-Parry Sound regions.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says it was a hard but necessary decision to keep the areas under tight public health measures.

Doris Grinspun said her organization is pleased that Ford listened to health officials in Toronto, Peel and North Bay, but the shutdown should have been extended in York too.

York Region will see its stay-at-home order lifted and move to red on the COVID-19 framework.

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The government has been moving ahead with its economic reopening despite warnings it could set off a third wave of infections.

"We don't want people travelling between regions at this point", Elliott said.

The health unit said 392 cases of the coronavirus have been recorded in the community since the pandemic began.

There are now 217,000 people in the province who are fully vaccinated, the Ministry of Health's vaccine distribution task force told reporters listening in on a briefing Friday.

The city said this week that all nine of its clinics are on schedule to open on or before April 1, the provincial deadline. Health officials consider the spread under control if the R (t) is below one.

Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting 60 new cases of COVID-19 and nine presumptive cases.

Nationally, there were 32,587 cases listed as active and 21,498 deaths.

The local death toll from the virus remains at five.

The Ontario government made the announcement on Friday afternoon saying that the decision was made based on key public health trends in the four regions.

New federal forecasts project that variants could drive a surge of 20,000 new cases per day by mid-March if public health restrictions are relaxed further.

To support the safe return of in-person learning, Ontario has introduced new measures to continue to protect students and staff against COVID-19 in the classroom.

Ontario has added 1,150 new cases of COVID-19 to its tally today.

Toronto, Peel and North Bay-Parry Sound are the only regions of the province still under a stay-at-home order, although Niagara Region is in a grey-lockdown zone. There have been 385 confirmed cases of the United Kingdom variant of the virus and nine cases of the South African variant, according to government data as of February 18.

Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's Chief Public Health Officer, said there are now fewer than 33,000 active cases in Canada, a 60% drop compared to a month ago.

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