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Ontario reports 563 new COVID-19 cases, five more deaths on Friday

Ontario reported 563 new COVID-19 cases on Friday—the highest daily case count number the province has seen since Oct. 9. Reports show that the 7-day rolling average is now 404, up 13.7% from a week ago, which has some health experts worried that the province is heading in the wrong direction.

In the Toronto area, officials reported 52 new cases in York Region, 44 new cases in Toronto, 44 new cases in Peel, and four new cases in Durham.

Other double-digit reports from across the province include 44 new cases in Ottawa, 37 new cases in Windsor-Essex, 33 new cases in Sudbury and districts, 29 new cases in the Southwestern Public Health Unit area, 28 new cases in the North Bay Parry Sound District, 23 new cases in the Niagara Region, and 22 new cases in Haldimand-Norfolk area.

The cumulative number of cases in the province, to date, stands at 602,087, with 588,796 cases resolved. The province also reported 5 new deaths on Friday, with a cumulative number of deaths, to date, of 9,896.

Out of Friday’s new COVID cases, 314 are in individuals who are not fully vaccinated or have an unknown vaccination status and 249 are in fully vaccinated individuals.

According to Christine Elliott, Ontario’s Minister of Health, 225 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19; 168 are not fully vaccinated or have an unknown vaccination status and 57 are fully vaccinated. As for the ICU, —129 people are in ICU due to COVID-19; 117 are not fully vaccinated or have an unknown vaccination status and 12 are fully vaccinated.

As of Friday morning, 22,585,340 doses of approved COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in Ontario. Approximately 88.4% of people 12+ in Ontario have received at least one dose and 84.9% of people 12+ in Ontario are fully vaccinated.

More on the vaccine front—Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam confirmed in a press conference on Friday that Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) single-shot vaccines are set to arrive in Canada imminently, confirming that the federal government is accessing doses from Europe, which have been verified by Health Canada “to meet safety, quality, and efficacy standards.”

Health Canada authorized the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for use in adults since March 2021, but the first shipment of 310,000 doses back in June was never distributed, after the discovery that a drug substance in them was manufactured at the Emergent BioSolutions facility in Baltimore, where there were reports of quality control issues.

Tam also commented on Pfizer’s experimental antiviral pill to treat COVID-19. Although the pharmaceutical corporation states that the pill was shown to cut, by 89%, the chances of hospitalization or death for adults at risk of developing severe disease, Tam later confirmed that Health Canada has not as yet received a submission to review the pill.

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