COVID-19: What you need to know for February 8

The latest coronavirus updates from across the province
By TVO.org staff - Published on Feb 08, 2021

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This article was last updated on Monday at 4:38 p.m.

TVO.org reporters and editors are tracking stories about the coronavirus pandemic in all regions of the province. Here's what Ontarians need to know. 

Provincewide

  • Per today's government report, there are 1,265 new cases in Ontario, for a total of total of 279,472 since the pandemic began; 901 people are in hospital, 335 of them in intensive care, and 226 on ventilators. To date, 6,538 people have died.
  • According to data from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, there are 213 outbreaks in long-term-care facilities, 494 confirmed active cases of positive residents, and 686 confirmed active cases of positive staff. To date, there have been 3,669 confirmed resident deaths and 11 confirmed staff deaths
JMG Graph COVID
Data from the Province of Ontario; visualizations by John Michael McGrath.
JMG COVID Graph
Data from the Province of Ontario; visualizations by John Michael McGrath.
  • As of February 8, in publicly funded schools in Ontario, there are three new school-related student cases (for a total of 5,174), no new school-related staff cases (for a total of 1,105), and no new case in an "individual not identified" (for a total of 1,119); 43 schools have a reported case, and one school is currently closed.

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  • Students in 13 public health units, including Hamilton and Windsor, will return to in-person learning today, reports CP24. Toronto, Peel and York Region schools will remain closed until February 16

  • Per the government's report on Ontario’s vaccination program, 379,184 total doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Ontario.

  • On Sunday, the Ontario government announced that emergency child care will be extended to additional frontline workers in Toronto, York Region and Peel. The statement from the government noted that frontline workers with access to child care will include construction workers working on essential projects that have been permitted to continue during the provincial shutdown, and transit workers who are unable to work remotely.

Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area

  • According to data as of February 7, there are 421 new cases in Toronto, for a total of 90, 595 since the pandemic began; 414 of them are in hospital (22 new). In total, 2,516 people have died (13 new).
  • Toronto Public Health has confirmed Canada’s first known case of the coronavirus variant first detected in Brazil, reports CTV News. Toronto Public Health is currently investigating a total of 27 confirmed variant of concern cases as of Saturday.
  • Villa Leonardo Gambin, a long-term-care home in Vaughan, confirmed that it administered COVID-19 vaccine doses to non-frontline staff and relatives of board members last month, reports CP24.
  • Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital, a new hospital in Vaughan has started accepting COVID-19 patients as part of a plan to ease the burden on hospitals in York Region and Toronto, reports CP24.
  • Students in Hamilton and Niagara return to in-person classes today. Meanwhile, Hamilton issued a cold weather alert Sunday as temperatures were forecast to hit below - 15 C or -20 C with the wind chill. As CBC Hamilton reports, some recreation centres and libraries will be opened as warming centres for people in need.
  • Officials declared the second largest COVID-19 outbreak in Hamilton over this weekend. The Hamilton Spectator reports the Shalom Village nursing home saw 218 cases in its outbreak since December 9, and 20 people died. The paper has also created a timeline of events at the Grace Villa long-term care home, the site of the city's biggest and deadliest coronavirus outbreak.
  • Niagara municipalities are preparing to mark the anniversary of the pandemic by planning to lower their flags to half-mast, the St. Catharines Standard reports.

Indigenous

Northern

  • Health Sciences North declared an outbreak on Saturday after a patient and staff member tested positive for COVID at the Ramsey Lake Health Centre. The outbreak occured at the J and K hallways of the sixth floor of the South Tower of the health centre. Admissions and designated care partners to the affected unit are restricted. Patients are in isolation, being monitored and tested for symptoms. The hospital remains open with clinics and procedures continuing as normal.
  • Algoma Public Health confirms seven new COVID-19 cases over the weekend. There are three are in Elliot Lake and area, two in North Algoma, and two in Central and East Algoma. There are 28 active cases in the region, including two hospitalizations.
  • Outbreaks at Elizabeth Centre and Pioneer Manor in Greater Sudbury have been declared by Public Health Sudbury and Districts. The outbreak at the Elizabeth centre was declared after one case was confirmed in a resident. This outbreak is currently limited to the Home Area 4 of the Elizabeth Centre. The outbreak at Pioneer Manor was declared facility-wide following the report a COVID-19 case in a staff member.
  • Public Health Sudbury and Districts has confirmed two cases of the U.K. variant of COVID-19 over the weekend. The firt was confirmed on Saturday, and the second was confirmed Sunday. There are also two possible cases pending confirmation from Public Health Ontario.
  • A seventh resident of Amberwood suites has died during a COVID outbreak at the retirement home, reports the Sudbury Star. There are 34 active cases among residents and six among staff for total of 40 cases.
  • A cluster of non-related COVID cases, including a case of a COVID variant, have been confirmed in an apartment building within the North Bay Parry Sound Health Unit's service area. The North Bay Regional Health Centre’s Assessment Centre, in partnership with the health unit, is offering on-location COVID-19 testing to residents of the building. The Health Unit is also asking that residents of the building self-isolate until they receive a negative COVID-19 test.
  • An outbreak of COVID-19 that has claimed the lives of 23 long term care home residents at Southbridge Roseview in Thunder Bay is now over. The outbreak began in November, and on February 6, the Thunder Bay District Health Unit declared the outbreak resolved.

Eastern

  • The Kingston region is one of a handful expected to return to the green zone on Wednesday as a part of the province’s gradual reopening plan, according to a report from the Canadian Press. There were two new cases of the virus in the Kingston region on Sunday for a total of 15 active cases, the Kingston Whig-Standard reports.
  • Troy Day, a professor of mathematics at Queen’s University and member of Ontario’s COVID-19 modelling table, tells CBC News that his modelling suggests that a COVID-19 variant first identified in the U.K. will become the dominant strain in the province within four to six weeks. Another expert, a senior scientist at the Ottawa Hospital, told the CBC that the variant is spreading more quickly in the province than vaccines are being administered.
  • Ottawa Public Health confirmed 73 new cases on Sunday, for a total case count of 470 active cases, the CBC reports.
  • Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson told Newstalk 580 that he and other big city mayors are lobbying for more financial support, facing historic shortfalls in 2021 budgets amid COVID-19.

Southwestern

  • Oneida Nation of the Thames near London is mourning the first person in its community to die of COVID-19, the London Free Press reports.
  • Small towns in southwestern Ontario are hopeful that recovery from the pandemic will bring revitalization as people from larger urban centres working remotely look to the country for affordable housing, the London Free Press reports.
  • The pastor of an Aylmer church where indoor services have been held in January tells CTV London the decision not to hold a service on Sunday was a "gesture of conciliation" and not "an act of consent" following a cease and desist order issued by the Ministry of the Attorney General on Friday.
  • A pop-up COVID-19 testing site will open at the Kingsdal Community Centre in Kitchener to serve marginalized and racialized groups, CTV Kitchener reports.


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