Today’s coronavirus news: There are 340 new cases of COVID-19 in Ontario; one estimate says nearly half of Connecticut residents have been infected with the virus – Toronto Star

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By Star staff and wire services

Sun., Oct. 31, 20213 min. read

Article was updated 45 mins ago

The latest coronavirus news from Canada and around the world Sunday. This file will be updated throughout the day. Web links to longer stories if available.

11:33 a.m.: Quebec is reporting 567 new COVID-19 cases today, along with one more death related to the virus.

Health officials issued a release saying hospitalizations fell by eight to 236, while the number of patients in intensive care dropped by five to 62.

Of the latest reported infections, 353 were among people who were either unvaccinated or who had only received a first dose within the past two weeks.

The province says it vaccinated 7,523 people on Saturday, including up to 4,847 second doses.

The province’s public health institute says about 90 per cent of Quebecers aged 12 and older have received at least one dose, while 87 per cent are considered fully vaccinated with two shots.

Starting Monday, bars and restaurants will be able to operate at full capacity across the province after a year of restrictions. .

10:15 a.m.: There are 340 new cases of COVID-19 reported in Ontario today. 223 cases are in individuals who are not fully vaccinated or have an unknown vaccination status and 117 are in fully vaccinated individuals.

In Ontario, 22,514,717 vaccine doses have been administered. Nearly 88.2 per cent of Ontarians 12+ have one dose and 84.5 per cent have two doses. 104 people are hospitalized with #COVID19, and 133 people are in ICU due to COVID-19. Please note that not all hospitals report on weekends.

8:46 a.m.: Northern Health declared the COVID-19 outbreak at Wrinch Memorial Hospital on Oct. 29.

The outbreak was declared on Sept. 27, and saw eight patients and two staff members test positive for the virus. One patient death was recorded, said Northern Health.

Northern Health is actively monitoring and following up all laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 among staff and patients at all their facilities.

8:45 a.m.: Russia has recorded a new daily high number of coronavirus cases as much of the country’s businesses remain closed in an effort to counter a weeks-long surge in infections.

The national coronavirus task force on Sunday reported 40,993 new infections over the previous day, up more than 700 on the previous record of a day earlier. Russia has tallied record of infections or deaths almost daily during October.

The death toll reported Sunday was 1,158, just slightly down from Friday’s record 1,163.

That brought Russia’s official COVID-19 death count to 238,538, by far the largest in Europe. More than 8.51 million infections have been recorded in the country of 146 million during the pandemic.

Sunday 8:44 a.m.: While vaccination remains the most important tool in ending Connecticut’s COVID-19 outbreak once and for all, experts say another factor could play a role as well: immunity from previous coronavirus infection, known as natural immunity.

Natural immunity is not absolute and is not indefinite. As with immunity from vaccination, it fades over time. But research suggests those who have had COVID-19 are unlikely to catch it again immediately and therefore unlikely to contribute to a broader outbreak in the near future.

Although estimates vary on what share of Connecticut residents have been infected with COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, one model suggests the number may be approaching 50 per cent. If that’s the case, experts say, natural immunity among people who have been previously infected could make some difference in ending the pandemic in the state.

How much of a difference, however, remains up for debate.

Read Saturday’s coronavirus news.