This article was last updated on Tuesday at 3:59 p.m.
- Per today's government report, there are 3,670 new cases in Ontario, for a total of 394,679 since the pandemic began; 1,822 people are in hospital, 626 of them in intensive care, and 422 on ventilators. To date, 7,582 people have died.
- According to data from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, there are 36 outbreaks in long-term-care facilities, 21 confirmed active cases of positive residents, and 115 confirmed active cases of positive staff. To date, there have been 3,755 confirmed resident deaths and 11 confirmed staff deaths.
- Per the government's report on Ontario’s vaccination program, as of 8 p.m. yesterday, Ontario has administered 95,692 new doses of COVID-19 vaccines, for a total of 3,310,157 since December 2020. 2,639,633 people have received only one dose, and 335,262 people have received both doses.
- Yesterday, the Ontario government announced that it has made the decision to move elementary and secondary schools to remote learning following the April break. According a statement released by the government, the move was made in response to the rapid increase in COVID-19 cases, the increasing risks posed to the public by COVID-19 variants, and the massive spike in hospital admissions.
- The Ontario government says it will add hundreds of critical care beds this week to help with an influx of COVID-19 cases that is pushing the health-care system to the brink, reports CP24.
- Air Canada and the federal government have reached an agreement on a $5.9-billion aid package that the company says will speed up customer refunds, protect industry jobs and return service to some communities that were shuttered due to the COVID-19 pandemic, reports CTV News.
Frustration is growing among essential workers delegated to Phase 2 of Ontario’s vaccine rollout, with many of those most at risk of exposure to COVID-19 concerned they may not get their first dose until the summer, reports the Toronto Star.
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Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area
- According to data as of April 12, there are 1,012 new cases in Toronto, for a total of 126,463 since the pandemic began; 668 of them are in hospital (41 new). In total, 2,870 people have died (three new).
- Toronto Mayor, John Tory, confirmed that more than 20 per cent of Torontonians have started vaccination – meaning one in five residents have now received at least their first dose. A statement released yesterday indicated that at the time, more than 758,882 doses have been administered so far in Toronto.
Yesterday, Mayor John Tory announced the recipients of the City of Toronto’s $5.5M COVID-19 Vaccine Engagement Teams Grants – a key part of the City’s COVID-19 Community Mobilization and Engagement Plan to connect with vulnerable residents and communities across Toronto. According to a statement released yesterday, through the grants, Vaccine Engagement Teams will be funded to carry out work between April 2021 and March 2022, and are expected to play a significant role in Phase 2 and Phase 3 of the Province of Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccination plan. A list of recipients can be found here.
After a three-day stay at a Toronto quarantine hotel, North York resident, Syed Shah, tested positive for COVID-19 and spread it to his family. Shah's family say their 74-year-old father believes he contracted a coronavirus variant of concern during his stay at the hotel, CP24 reports.
Toronto could see about 2,500 COVID-19 cases per day by the end of April if the current rate of transmission remains the same, reports CP24. During a presentation yesterday, Eileen de Villa, Toronto's chief medical officer of health, said "all together this says that right now, what we can anticipate of this third wave, is likely going to be worse that we have seen thus far over the course of the pandemic.”
West Lincoln's municipal council removed Mayor Dave Bylsma from the township's emergency table after he spoke at a thousand-person protest against pandemic restrictions in St. Catharines on Saturday. Bylsma told CHCH News yesterday it's important to be "receptive to many different ideas." He said he has concerns COVID-19 vaccination is unnecessary, which is contrary to global public health advice. Bylsma has said orange juice, fresh air and sunshine can ward off the coronavirus, which not credible advice.
As the St. Catharines Standard reports, Niagara Region Chair Jim Bradley said Bylsma's views are outlandish and criticized him for openly breaking the law to attend the rally. Bylsma did not physically distance from other attendees, or wear a mask. Many protesters at the event shared baseless conspiracy theories.
Hamilton's medical officer of health Elizabeth Richardson said at a press briefing yesterday that Hamilton started vaccinating homebound residents over the weekend. She said eligible individuals were being identified by their care providers.
- As of April 12, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 666 active cases of COVID-19 in First Nation communities across Canada. They are also reporting 298 COVID-19 related deaths in total, across all First Nation reserves in Canada. To date, Ontario First Nation communities have had a total of 1,697 COVID-19 cases.
- As of April 9, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 614 communities across Canada with vaccinations underway. 274,018 doses have been administered. ISC reminds the urban Indigenous population that First Nations living off reserve, Inuit and Métis are or will receive COVID-19 vaccination through their provincial or territorial health services. ISC is aware of vaccinations already taking place in several urban centres, including Toronto, Montreal, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Whitehorse.
- Sudbury lost 60 businesses and Manitoulin Island lost 30 businesses in the early days of the pandemic, CBC Sudbury reports. Sudbury & Manitoulin Workforce Planning published a report detailing the economic impacts of the pandemic.
- Variants of concern were confirmed in 15 cases within the Porcupine Health Unit, the Timmins Daily Press reports. The cases, which are in Timmins and the area of Cochrane, Matheson, Iroquois Falls, Smooth Rock Falls, are expected to be the U.K. variant.
- The long-term-care wing of North Shore Health Network Blind River is quarantining residents after a staff member tested positive, the Elliot Lake Standard reports.
- At least 5 COVID-19 cases have been linked to an outdoor Easter Service on April 4 at Calvary Baptist Church in Emo, TBNewswatch reports. Outdoor religious services are currently permitted under the province’s lockdown measures.
- A number of Canadian Pacific Railway employees in Thunder Bay and Schreiber have contracted COVID-19, an anonymous source not authorized to speak publicly on the matter told TBNewswatch. A spokesperson for the Thunder Bay District Health Unit says they are investigating.
- Overnight nursing services have returned to Pikangikum First Nation this weekend, TBNewswatch reports. Indigenous Services Canada removed the nurses in March over concerns for their health and safety after the community voted to expel the OPP from the community due to misconduct allegations.
- The Safeway Pharmacy on Court Street in Thunder Bay has been added to the list of pharmacies doling out vaccines, TBNewswatch reports. Three other pharmacies, including Shoppers Drug Mart on Red River Road, Dawson Heights Pharmacy on Regina Avenue and Oak Medical Pharmacy on Arthur Street are also offering the AstraZeneca vaccine. Kenora, Fort Frances and Dryden also have pharmacies included in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.
- Ottawa's mayor, Jim Watson, is convening a meeting of city staff and federal authorities to deal with reports of people gathering large groups in city parks, Global News reports. (Outdoor gatherings are limited to five people under stay-at-home orders). As far as indoor gatherings, by-law officers in Ottawa laid 10 charges over the weekend for illegal, indoor gatherings, the Ottawa Citizen reports.
- Wastewater data in Ottawa is showing some signs that COVID-19 numbers may be plateauing the wake of the province’s shutdown, CBC News reports. “I'd like to say that we're maybe reaching a plateau now, this week. We'll see in the next few days,” said Tyson Graber, a co-lead investigator on the wastewater monitoring project.
- As of Monday, the Kingston region’s public health unit is tracking 131 active COVID-19 cases, which is the highest number to-date in the region, the Kingston Whig-Standard reports.
- Ottawa-area hospitals are now receiving critically-ill patients from the Greater Toronto Area, the Ottawa Citizen reports, which marks a first since the pandemic began. Five patients were brought from the GTA by air ambulance over the weekend. Though faring better than Toronto area hospitals, Ottawa’s hospitals are already at or near capacity, with CBC News reporting that the Ottawa Hospital’s civic campus is at 99 per cent capacity and its general campus at 95 percent.
- London area MPPs want a portion of the city that is a student neighbourhood to be declared a pandemic hot spot and vaccinate residents there as soon as possible because of its high rate of positive COVID-19 tests, the London Free Press reports.
- Londoners' growing taste for take-out foods is generating large volumes of unwanted materials in blueboxes, CTV London reports.
- Middlesex-London Health Unit, in anticipation of ramped up volumes at its vaccination clinics, did a test run at a London clinic on Monday to make sure they're prepared, CTV London reports.
- A new study indicates health care workers are not protected enough from COVID-19 and are experiencing one of the highest rates of COVID-19 infection, one of its researchers, a University of Windsor adjunct professor, tells the Windstor Star.
- Researchers in Windsor and Hamilton are looking at the use of a hood as an alternative to traditional ventilators to help treat COVID-19 patients needing ventilation, CTV Windsor reports.
- In the Waterloo Region, three city buses have been retrofitted to be used as mobile rapid testing facilities for screening workers in small and medium-sized businesses for COVID-19, CTV Kitchener reports.
- Chatham-Kent council is looking at providing tax relief for businesses and residents because of the pandemic, Blackburn News reports.
- Lambton Public Health has delayed two COVID-19 vaccination clinics in the county this week because of delays in the delivery of vaccine, Blackburn News Reports.