COVID91: Ontario Records 1,313 More Cases, 28 Deaths

Doctor drawing vaccine for treatment of COVID-19 Straightnews
Doctor drawing vaccine for treatment of COVID-19

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 rose slightly in Ontario Friday, with 1,228 new cases reported Saturday by Ontario Health.

However, the number of resolved cases also increased by 1,313.

There were 28 more deaths attributed to the pandemic.

Ontario’s hot spots continue to be Toronto (with 331 more cases), Peel Region (228) and York Region (132).

On Friday, the province announced that Toronto and Peel, along with the North Bay/Parry Sound region would remain under lockdown regulations for at least another two weeks.

The provincial tally includes 54 new cases in Ottawa. Ontario and Ottawa Public Health case totals can vary because the numbers are collected at different times of the day. OPH releases its figures at about noon.

In regions near Ottawa, the Eastern Ontario Health Unit, which includes Cornwall, had eight new cases, Hastings Unit had three new cases, and the Kingston and Renfrew units each reported two new cases. No new cases were reported in the Leeds, Grenville unit.

The number of resolved cases continues to outpace new infections, with 1,313 added to the tally over the past 24 hours.

Health officials say 699 patients are in hospital with COVID-19, 263 of whom are in intensive care, including 181 on a ventilator.

The province had administered 540,129 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine as of Friday night.

Quebec

Quebec reported reporting 769 new cases of COVID-19 as of Friday, with 14 additional deaths, including four within the past 24 hours.

The Health Department says the number of hospitalizations declined by 23 to 700. There are 120 people are in intensive care, a decline of seven.

There were 223 new cases, but no new deaths in the Outaouais region in the last 24 hours.

Health authorities say 15,386 doses of vaccine were administered on Friday for a total of 329,324.

There have been 281,456 cases and 10,292 deaths in Quebec since the pandemic began.

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National

More than one in three federal public servants was granted paid time off work during the first nine months of the COVID-19 pandemic at a cost exceeding $800 million, according to a Treasury Board document.

At the onset of the pandemic, civil servants were told to work from home if possible, to avoid spreading the novel Coronavirus throughout government offices.

Employees who were unable to work remotely were still paid, however, under a provision known as the “699” pay code, allowing “other leave with pay.”

The special leave must be approved by management and is granted when employees are unable to report to work for reasons beyond their control.

Treasury Board issued a “clarification” of its leave policy on Nov. 9, instructing managers that 699 leave could be granted on a “case-by-case” basis, and only after remote or alternate work or flexible hours have been considered.

As well, the government said that other types of leave, including accumulated sick time and vacation, would have to be used first.

The number of workers approved for 699 leave peaked in April at more than 73,000. That number had dwindled to just over 9,000 by the end of November, according to the latest figures.

In all, 117,000, or 39 per cent, of federal employees spread across 86 departments and agencies, were approved for the leave.

That number was reduced by 95 per cent as of Jan. 6, 2021, according to a background note obtained by The Canadian Press.

(OTTAWA SUN)