COVID-19: What you need to know for April 15

The latest coronavirus updates from across the province
By TVO.org staff - Published on Apr 15, 2021

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Provincewide

  • Per today's government report, there are 4,736 new cases in Ontario, for a total of 403,571 since the pandemic began; 1,932 people are in hospital, 659 of them in intensive care, and 442 on ventilators. To date, 7,639 people have died.
  • According to data from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, there are 40 outbreaks in long-term-care facilities, 22 confirmed active cases of positive residents, and 121 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 105,430 new doses of COVID-19 vaccines, for a total of 3,528,404 since December 2020. 2,849,423 people have received only one dose, and 339,491 people have received both doses.
JMM COVID Graph
Data from the Province of Ontario; visualizations by John Michael McGrath.
JMM COVID Graph
Data from the Province of Ontario; visualizations by John Michael McGrath.
Covid graph
Data from the Province of Ontario; visualizations by John Michael McGrath.
  • Canada's procurement minister says she is in the midst of negotiating new vaccine contracts to nail down supplies of COVID-19 vaccine booster shots if they're needed next year, reports CP24.
  • More than 1,000 registered nurses will be required to move into intensive care to staff the 350 new beds promised by the Ontario government as COVID-19 causes a record high number of patients in need of critical care, reports CTV News.
  • At a news conference with other Canadian premiers, Ontario Premier, Doug Ford described Ontario's pandemic picture as "critical" and said now is not the time for travel between provinces, reports CTV News. "We're encouraging all residents of each province to stay at home, not to be flying into Ontario or flying out of Ontario," said Premier Ford.

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Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area 

  • According to data as of April 15, there are 1,527 new cases in Toronto, for a total of 130,502 since the pandemic began; 813 of them are in hospital (71 new). In total, 2,900 people have died (seven new).
  • The Ontario government says a COVID-19 field hospital in Toronto could be activated later this month as it grapples with rising hospitalizations caused by the pandemic, reports CTV News. The Ministry of Health says in a statement that the mobile health unit at Sunnybrook Hospital is expecting to take patients in the coming weeks.

  • Another two COVID-19 vaccination clinics in Toronto have been shuttered amid supply issues, reports CP24. A clinic at Thorncliffe Park Community Hub that was being operated by Michael Garron Hospital did not schedule any appointments for this week and has now formally announced that it will not be taking appointments until the supply issues are resolved. North York General Hospital has also announced that its community clinic at Seneca College will close as of April 17 and won’t reopen until April 26 due to the “temporary slow down.”

  • Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown says he has been “inundated” with calls and emails from factories in Peel Region eager to set up on-site vaccination clinics and is urging the province to boost allocations of COVID-19 vaccine to Ontario’s hot spots, reports CP24.

  • Toronto public health is investigating complaints that several independent religious schools in North Toronto have remained open despite a citywide order to move to online, reports the Toronto Star.

  • A Scarborough senior, who is homebound, is still waiting to get his COVID-19 vaccine and his family is becoming increasingly worried he will contract the deadly virus, CTV News reports. “It seems like a lost cause to me, I’m mystified,” said 97 year-old Tom Fitzpatrick. “We are the most vulnerable people – I had expected it earlier.”

  • Hamilton hit a record for the most new COVID-19 cases reported in a single day with public health logging 201 on Wednesday. As CBC Hamilton reports, the seven-day average for new cases is 139.

  • City bylaw staff are getting the authority to ticket people on Hamilton Conservation Authority grounds. HCA staff say they have been overwhelmed by too many people breaking rules and can't keep up with enforcement, CBC Hamilton reports. The HCA has seen a greater number of visitors throughout the pandemic, with a 50 per cent increase in memberships sold during 2020, and over one million visitors that year, according to its 2020 annual report.

  • Hamilton schools will be receiving nearly $28 million (about $17 million for the public board and about $11 million for the Catholic board) to upgrade infrastructure to protect against COVID-19. The Hamilton Spectator reports the public board says money will go to bottle-filling stations and rooftop or classroom ventilators, among other things. The Catholic board says it will spend most of its money on ventilation.

  • The chair of Niagara's public school board tells the St. Catharines Standard: “If Doug Ford calls me his friend one more time, I’m probably going to vomit,” referring to the language the premier often uses at press conferences. Sue Barnett says she's extremely frustrated that the Ontario government so quickly changed its plan on whether schools would be open or closed. She says schools are safe and should be open for in-person learning.

  • A COVID-19 long hauler in Niagara tells the Standard he "couldn't be more pissed" after seeing a thousand-person march against COVID-19 prevention measures in St. Catharines last week. After suffering negative health effects a year after contracting COVID-19, the 75 year-old says he wants people to know just how bad the virus can be, even if one survives it. He also points out that young people can get sick and die too. Yesterday, Niagara officials reported the virus killed a 30-year-old woman, its youngest victim in the region yet.

Indigenous

  • As of April 13, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 704 active cases of COVID-19 in First Nation communities across Canada. They are also reporting 299 COVID-19 related deaths in total, across all First Nation reserves in Canada. To date, Ontario First Nation communities have had a total of 1,729 COVID-19 cases.
  • As of April 13, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 613 communities across Canada with vaccinations underway. 288,823 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.

Northern

  • COVID-19 cases continue to fall in Thunder Bay, but the threat of variants tied to travel is concerning, medical officer of health Janet DeMille told TBNewswatch. The Thunder Bay District Health Unit has found nine cases of a variant of concern in the region, and so far the region is doing quite well, but DeMille says, that could change quickly.
  • The Thunder Bay District Health Unit and its partners administered 7,300 vaccines last week, and are expected to administer 6,500 this week, but the medical officer of health says in the coming weeks there will be a slight reduction in the number of Pfizer doses allocated and delays with Moderna shipments, TBNewswatch reports.
  • Lakehead Public Schools will be offering virtual learning in the upcoming school year, in addition to in class instruction, CBC Thunder Bay reports.

Eastern

  • A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at a local legion branch in Kingston’s west end, the Kingstonist reports. So far, nine cases have been linked to the branch’s on-site bar.
  • A third person has died of COVID-19 in the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit district within the last five days, the Kingston Whig-Standard reports. No details were released about their death, other than that they were not a resident of long-term-care. Total deaths in the region are now at 57 since the pandemic began.
  • On Wednesday, Brent Moloughney, Ottawa's associate medical officer of health, told residents that the pandemic is “the worst that it's been to date” in the city. He said that the per cent of tests coming back positive is at a high and hospitalizations are doubling every 12 days, according to CTV News.
  • While a COVID-19 outbreak at the Ottawa Hospital’s civic campus was declared over on Tuesday, the hospital wrote on Twitter that staff are fatigued and urged residents to follow the province's stay-at-home order, as hospitalizations rise, CTV News reports. “Hospital staff are tired. They have been working hard throughout the pandemic to keep our community safe, but they are only human,” the hospital wrote.

Southwestern

  • First cases of the Brazilian variant of COVID-19 have appeared in the Waterloo Region and the London area, report CTV Kitchener and the London Free Press.
  • On Wednesday, London set a new record for daily cases of COVID-19, reporting 176 cases, CTV London reports.
  • The Grey Bruce Health Unit is warning that the region is at a "critical threshold" with 70 new cases of COVID-19 reported on Wednesday, CTV London reports. There are potentially "hundreds" of contacts associated with the cases, and the health unit says "drastic measures" will be implemented to keep the situation under control.
  • Parents are wondering how they can get their kids school supplies that are not accessible locally because of lockdown rules, CBC London reports.

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