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A COVID-19 vaccination program will begin Wednesday at the St. Catharines hospital – the long-awaited news coming as Niagara Health announced Tuesday afternoon it had received its first shipment of vaccine.
“This is the day we’ve all been waiting for and a turning point in Niagara’s pandemic response,” said Lynn Guerriero, Niagara Health president and interim chief executive officer.
Over the next three weeks, she said, Niagara Health and Niagara Region Public Health expect to vaccinate 11,000 people, starting with front-line health care workers as well as vulnerable seniors in long-term care across Niagara.
Meanwhile Tuesday, the public health department reported 120 new cases of COVID-19 across the region.
There are 1,429 active cases across the region, up sharply from the 337 reported a month ago. There are 51 active outbreaks, and 26 long-term-care or retirement homes are in outbreak.
Since the pandemic began, there have been at least 200 COVID-related deaths recorded in Niagara.
Across Niagara, there are continuing outbreaks in long-term-care or retirement home settings at:
In Niagara Falls, at Meadows of Dorchester, River Road Retirement Residence, Chapel Heights (floors 2 and 3), Oakwood Park Lodge, Chippawa Creek at Bella Care Residence (Willoughby and Vineyard units), and Millennium Trail Manor.
In St. Catharines, at Heidehof Home for the Aged, Henley House, Radiant Care Tabor Manor long-term care (third floor), Tufford Manor, Linhaven nursing home (Lincoln, Henley, Brock floors), West Park Health Centre, Royal Henley Retirement Residence, Tufford Nursing Home, Extendicare, Garden City Manor.
In Niagara-on-the-Lake, at Niagara Long-Term Care Residence (Riverview unit) and at Pleasant Manor long-term care. In Lincoln at United Mennonite Home and Albright Manor, and in Grimsby at Shalom Manor.
In Welland at Villa de Rose Retirement Suites and Rapelje Lodge (houses 400, 500), and in Pelham at Woodlands of Sunset (Cedars unit).
In Fort Erie at Crescent Park Lodge and Maple Park Lodge (Robin, Cardinal units).s
Several hospital outbreaks continue, including at Hotel Dieu Shaver Health and Rehabilitation Centre in St. Catharines (entire facility).
At St. Catharines hospital, there are outbreaks in Unit 4A and the emergency department, which remains open. In each instance, an outbreak was declared after five staffers tested positive.
At Greater Niagara General Hospital, outbreaks continue in units C, D, Trillium and in intensive care. Niagara Health reports 18 patients and 41 staff members remain active cases, and so far 11 patients have died.
The emergency department remains open at the Niagara Falls hospital.
NOTE: This article was updated Jan. 12 to note the start of Niagara’s vaccination program.