February 23 COVID-19 Update

Canada is seeing a decrease of protests in the capital city as police enforcement rises. Steve Bell, Ottawa interim police chief, said in a news conference Sunday that 191 protesters had been arrested and 107 people charged. Charges included obstructing police, disobeying a court order, assault, mischief, possessing a weapon and assaulting a police officer. Some of those arrests included protesters who allegedly had smoke grenades and fireworks, and were wearing body armour, police said.

Ontario’s Special Investigation Unit is also reviewing an incident where a woman was reportedly seriously injured after an interaction with a police officer on a horse, and a second where an officer discharged a less-than-lethal firearm at protesters.

Despite having the streets with less and less protesters, Justin Trudeau still considers the situation “fragile” and defended appealing the Emergencies Act.

Monday, Feb 21 marked another milestone to the path of lifting public health measures.

Social gathering limits increased to 25 people indoors and 100 people outdoors, capacity limits in indoor public settings where proof of vaccination is required were removed, including restaurants, indoor sports and recreational facilities and cinemas. The next step will be on Feb. 28, when travel restrictions are also being eased by the government

Effective Mar. 14, 2022, capacity limits in all indoor public settings will be lifted. Proof of vaccination will be maintained in addition to other regular measures, amid other changes.

Almost 10,000 residents in Waterloo region who are eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine need to get their first dose for public health to reach its 90 per cent immunization target.

The Kitchener Rangers, a local hockey team, has partnered up with the region to launch Shut Out COVID-19,” a campaign aimed at promoting vaccinations in the region. The team will use its social media to share public health messaging and play videos during home games in an effort to reach out to everyone and especially youth.

As of Friday, all youth between 12 to 17 years old who got their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at least six months ago are eligible to receive their third shot. The local hockey team plans to host mobile vaccination clinics before games on March 20 and March 27.

Residents at Ontario long-term care homes can now receive general fully vaccinated visitors.

After new public health measures were lifted on Monday more people are a;pwed to visit residents of long-term care homes. Patients were only allowed to receive visits from designated caregivers and that number has been increased by the provincial government to four people. 

The City of Guelph is set to lift the COVID-19 state of emergency on Mar. 1.

The decision to lift the state of emergency was done in consultation with Dr. Nicola Mercer, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health’s medical officer of health, and the city’s emergency operations control group.

Waterloo health officials have confirmed approximately 56 new cases and that 88% of the population aged 5+ has at least 1 dose in the Waterloo Region. In the province, 1,038 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 on Tuesday, as the rate of hospitalizations continues to decline.

Of the new hospitalizations reported, 319 people are in intensive care units. Nearly 80 per cent were admitted to intensive care specifically for the virus, while the rest were admitted for other reasons and tested positive.