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

The latest coronavirus updates from across the province
By TVO.org staff - Published on Apr 19, 2021

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This article was last updated on Monday at 4:29 p.m.

Provincewide

  • Per today's government report, there are 4,447 new cases in Ontario, for a total of 421,442 since the pandemic began; 2,202 people are in hospital, 755 of them in intensive care, and 516 on ventilators. To date, 7,735 people have died.
  • According to data from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, there are 40 outbreaks in long-term-care facilities, 36 confirmed active cases of positive residents, and 127 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 7 p.m. yesterday, Ontario has administered 66,897 new doses of COVID-19 vaccines, for a total of 3,904,778 since December 2020. 3,212,768 people have received only one dose, and 346,005 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.
JMM COVID Graph
Data from the Province of Ontario; visualizations by John Michael McGrath.
  • The Ontario government has announced that starting Tuesday, April 20, 2021, Ontario will offer the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to individuals aged 40 and over at pharmacy and primary care settings across the province. A statement released by the government points to Health Canada's announcement last week that it will not be restricting the use of AstraZeneca vaccine in any specific populations at this time.
  • The Ontario government has reversed its decision to close playgrounds after the ban was widely criticized, reports CTV NewsThe closure of outdoor spaces, including playgrounds, golf courses and basketball courts, was part of the new restrictions announced Friday by the Ontario government to combat rising coronavirus infections and hospitalizations amid the third wave of the pandemic.
  • The Ontario government has also reversed course on police powers, just one day after Premier Doug Ford announced the measures on Friday. Global News reports that officers will no longer have the right to stop any pedestrian or driver to ask why they’re out or request their home address. Solicitor General Sylvia Jones has said that police will only be able to stop people who they have reason to believe are participating in an “organized public event or social gathering.”
  • Students across Ontario will return to the virtual classroom today as school buildings remain shuttered following the spring break, reports CP24
  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he is working with provinces and territories to send more health-care workers to Ontario and boost rapid testing to shepherd the province through a gruelling third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, reports CBC News

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  • A spokesperson for the Ontario government says that Premier Doug Ford has started reaching out to international allies in an effort to secure more COVID-19 vaccines, reports CP24. “Vaccines are our only way out of this pandemic and the Premier will exhaust every avenue he has in order to get more needles into arms of Ontarians sooner,” the government said.

  • Ontario's Liberal Party is appealing directly to Progressive Conservative MPPs to “overrule the Premier” and pass legislation to give front-line workers paid sick leave during the third wave of COVID-19, reports CTV News

Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area 

  • According to data as of April 18, there are 1,477 new cases in Toronto, for a total of 134,534 since the pandemic began; 881 of them are in hospital (65 new). In total, 2,936 people have died (six new).
  • The City of Toronto and its vaccination partners have now administered more than 900,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses. According to a statement released by the City, Toronto is the first local health region in Canada to deliver more than 900,000 vaccine doses
  • Doctors who work with pregnant people are advocating for them to be put at a higher priority for receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, as more become sick with the virus during the third wave, reports CBC News. According Wendy Whittle, head of labour and delivery at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto​, pregnant people with COVID-19 account for six out of the 20 ICU beds at Mount Sinai, a number "far" greater than what doctors saw in the first wave of the pandemic.
  • The Toronto Star reports on Toronto families living in too-small households as the provincewide stay-at-home order urges people to stay at home in light of COVID-19. According to the Star, across Canada, nearly 750,000 households reported living in overcrowded homes in 2018, more than a third of which were in Toronto.
  • After Premier Doug Ford announced random police checks as part of a suite of new COVID-19 prevention measures on Friday, Hamilton police and Niagara Regional Police said this weekend they will not be carrying out random stops. As CBC Hamilton reports, Hamilton police issued a statement Saturday saying they "assure Hamilton citizens that our members will not be conducting arbitrary vehicle and person stops for the sole purpose of enforcing the stay-at-home order." The Welland Tribune reports Niagara police issued a similar statement saying "enforcement will be “complaint-driven or proactive, with the goal of gaining compliance.”
  • The Hamilton Spectator reports Hamilton's public schools are closed for a transition day with some students getting another transition day tomorrow before all instruction returns on full Wednesday. Elementary students in Catholic schools have a transition day Monday.
  • As CBC Hamilton reports, Hamilton Health Sciences medical director of infection prevention control says projections show moving from in-person to remote learning for schools is expected to prevent 637 COVID-19 cases in the city. The projections show, the third surge of COVID-19 will lead to about 12,800 cases in Hamilton.
  • Hamilton Health Sciences temporarily closed its West End Urgent Care clinic Monday to ensure capacity and staff for critical care, CHCH News reports. It's redeploying staff and temporarily closing operating rooms and reducing capacity in other facilities.
  • On Saturday, hundreds of unmasked people attended a protest against public health measures in Niagara Falls. Niagara police say they are investigating and will follow up with charges, the Standard reports.

Indigenous

  • As of April 15, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 643 active cases of COVID-19 in First Nation communities across Canada. It is also reporting 302 COVID-19 related deaths in total across all First Nation reserves in Canada. To date, First Nations communities in Ontario have had a total of 1,736 COVID-19 cases.
  • As of April 15, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 613 communities across Canada with vaccinations underway. 297,461 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, and Whitehorse.

Northern

  • A high risk exposure warning at Wacky Wings in Sudbury has been advised by Public Health Sudbury and Districts. Anyone who attended the restaurant on April 11, 2021 between 5:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. should receive testing as soon as possible and self-isolate for 14 days regardless if you test positive or negative, the health unit says. Self isolation includes isolating from household members.
  • Three workers at the Black Fox mine in Matheson have tested positive as the Porcupine Health Unit declares an outbreak at the facility. The health unit confirmed that the cases are all workplace-related. CBC Sudbury reports a 37 per cent increase of usage at the Inner City Homes food bank due to pandemic pressures. According to CBC, the province-wide average has been a 30 per cent increase.

Eastern

  • The major municipal police forces in eastern Ontario — Kingston, Ottawa, and Peterborough — each made statements saying that they will not randomly stop residents, after a provincial order Friday that allowed services to stop anyone outside their home for questioning as to the purpose of their movement. That directive was walked back on Saturday, limiting stops to those whom officers suspect of attending a social gathering, CBC News reports.
  • The OPP will be policing Ontario’s border with Quebec, following Friday’s order to restrict interprovincial travel, the Ottawa Citizen reports. “The OPP will have a presence and will be stopping vehicles at all of the land crossings in our jurisdiction, including Highways 401 and 417,” Bill Dickson, assistant manager of OPP media relations, told the Citizen. “Those not travelling for essential reasons will be refused entry,” he said. (Checkpoints began at 12:01am on Monday, according to CTV News).
  • Nili Kaplan-Myrth, a family doctor in Ottawa, says that she’s worked hard to get doses of COVID-19 vaccine to administer to patients, but now with 200 doses of AstraZeneca at the ready, she’s had a hard time booking patients, the Ottawa Citizen reports. “Literally, people are shopping for vaccine. It makes doctors feel like we’re used car salesmen. I have never encountered anything like this before,” the doctor told the Citizen.
  • Ottawa’s Capital ward Councillor Shawn Menard says that the city needs a more rational approach to COVID-19 than the stay-at-home order issued Friday, according to the Ottawa Citizen. He called for an approach that prioritizes frontline workers for vaccines, including daycare workers, and recognizes the importance of keeping parks and amenities open to the public.

Southwestern

  • Mapping from a University of Windsor data analyst indicates COVID-19 vaccination clinic gaps in Windsor-Essex County region low-income communities where residents are at greater risk of exposure to the virus because they are more likely unable to work from home, CBC Windsor reports.
  • A Windsor nurse is singing out about her pandemic experiences, CTV Windsor reports.
  • The Registrar of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario has suspended the liquor licence of a Leamington restaurant for non-compliance after it defied provincial COVID-19 lockdown orders and remained open to in-restaurant diners, CTV London reports.
  • Strathroy-Caradoc Police have charged four people with violations under the Reopening Ontario and Emergency Management and Civil Protection acts. The charges follow anti-mask and anti-lockdown protests in Strathroy on Thursday and Saturday, Blackburn News reports.
  • About 40 people gathered for an anti-lockdown protest in Hanover on Saturday, Blackburn News reports. Hanover Police tells the Owen Sound Sun Times that charges are pending.
  • Staff at area public health units report a rise in the number of abusive phone calls as the pandemic wears on, the Stratford Beacon Herald reports.
  • Hundreds of people gathered at an anti-lockdown rally held in uptown Waterloo on Sunday, CTV Kitchener reports.

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