According to provincial data, 2,448 cases were resolved in the previous 24-hour reporting period, and a total of 227,494 cases are now considered resolved.
Marking one year since the first case of COVID-19 was identified in Ontario, Premier Doug Ford and Minister of Health Christine Elliott issued a statement Monday to highlight the progress the province has made in tackling “one of the most difficult challenges in our history.”
Ontario conducted 35,968 tests in the previous 24 hours, with a 5.5 per cent test positivity rate.
Ontario has completed over 9 million tests to date, which, Ford noted, is more than all the other Canadian provinces and territories combined, and rapid testing is available in long-term care homes, hospitals and at Pearson International Airport.
The statement calls the approval of vaccines in December a “beacon of hope.”
“In response, our government launched a three-phase COVID-19 vaccination plan and received our first doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. To date, we’ve vaccinated over 285,000 frontline health care workers, long-term care, First Nations elder care and retirement home residents, staff and essential caregivers,” according to the statement.
Article content continued
“We’ve completed the first round of vaccinations ahead of schedule in long-term care homes in regions with the highest rates of COVID-19. Soon, Ontario will have capacity to vaccinate nearly 40,000 people a day, and even triple and quadruple that capacity over the coming weeks, dependent on supply from the federal government.”
With worsening long-term care outbreaks in some parts of the province and a temporary shutdown of some vaccine shipments, the Ontario government is delaying second doses of vaccine to many people to focus on long-term care residents.
During a technical briefing Monday, provincial health officials said every long-term care resident in the province will get at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine by Feb. 5 or sooner.
The province administered 5,537 vaccine doses in the previous 24 hours and has administered 286,110 total vaccine doses as of 8 p.m. Sunday.
Ford and Elliot said the pandemic has had a “devastating impact” on businesses of all sizes, with “significant financial support” available from the government to help businesses through the provincial shutdown.
The government cited rebates on property tax and energy bills, funding to offset the cost of PPE, and new grants for small businesses.
“We are confident that our economy will come back with a vengeance when this crisis is over,” the statement reads. “Time and again, the people of Ontario faced extraordinary challenges this past year — and time and again, they stepped up, did their part, and showed the true Ontario spirit. Thank you to everyone who made incredible sacrifices and put in countless hours to keep us safe and keep the province running smoothly.
“Until vaccines are widely available, we are urging all Ontarians to continue to follow all public health advice. Simply put, we must all continue to stay home, stay safe, and save lives. By supporting one another, we will persevere, and we will get through this pandemic together.”
This content was originally published here.