No new local cases of COVID-19 were reported on Friday, the first day of Ontario’s reopening.
Hastings Prince Edward Public Health data showed there remained an active case in Trenton and one in Belleville; they were reported Wednesday and Thursday.
There were no new recoveries, deaths or outbreaks of COVID-19 in the two counties.
One person was in hospital but not in intensive care.
One more past case was identified as a variant of concern. To date 491 of the region’s 1,123 total cases were due to variants of concern.
By Friday, 104,159 residents, or 62 per cent of the population, had received one dose of vaccine. Second doses totalled 17,395, or 10 per cent of residents.
Across Ontario, there were 574 new cases, 850 recoveries and four more deaths, the province’s website stated. To date 8,935 people in the province had died of COVID-19.
The latest projections in Ontario suggest sharply lower case counts and positivity rates in the immediate future, but concerns remain about the more transmissible Delta variant.
“It is critical to control the spread of this variant,” said Dr. Adalsteinn Brown, co-chair of the province’s COVID-19 Science Advisory Table.
The group Zero COVID Canada sent a letter Thursday to the premiers of Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Quebec “to express our deepest concerns regarding the reopening plans” in those provinces.
The group is made up of researchers, physicians, engineers, activists, lawyers, educators, and concerned citizens.
“Each new variant has the potential to evade vaccination efforts, and we need to protect our efforts to date,” they wrote.
“In these circumstances, reopening too soon will waste much of the hard work we’ve put in to stop the spread and cause a fourth wave,” said the letter. “If we make the last bit of effort, the current downgrading wave could be the last.”
Ontario’s hospitalizations declined by 27 cases from a day earlier and totalled 489.
Yet 449 of those hospitalized required intensive care, with 292 of them needing ventilators to help them breathe.
Sixteen of Ontario’s 610 long-term care homes with COVID-19 outbreaks, a decrease of one from Thursday. Six of those homes had no resident cases.
There were two new cases – one resident, one worker – reported in long-term care homes.
More information on COVID-19 and related supports is available on the health unit’s website at hpepublichealth.ca.