COVID-19: What you need to know for April 21

The latest coronavirus updates from across the province
By TVO.org staff - Published on Apr 21, 2021

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This article was last updated on Wednesday at 4:05 p.m.

Provincewide

  • Per today's government report, there are 4,212 new cases in Ontario, for a total of 429,123 since the pandemic began; 2,335 people are in hospital, 790 of them in intensive care, and 566 on ventilators. To date, 7,789 people have died.
  • According to data from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, there are 34 outbreaks in long-term-care facilities, 37 confirmed active cases of positive residents, and 122 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 136,695 new doses of COVID-19 vaccines, for a total of 4,131,882 since December 2020. 3,433,091 people have received only one dose, and 349,396 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 announced that 20 Shoppers Drug Mart locations, including 16 in the hot-spot communities of Toronto, Peel and York Region, will begin offering the AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine 24/7 to individuals aged 40 and over as early as today. According to a statement, the province says that when it begins to receive more vaccine supply from the federal government, it will expand 24/7 COVID-19 vaccinations to additional hot spot areas.
  • CP24 reports that Premier Doug Ford is isolating after learning that a staff member that he came in close contact with Monday has tested positive for COVID-19. In a statement released late Tuesday night, the premier’s office said that the staff member was tested today after learning that they had been at risk of exposure and that the test came back positive.
  • In a report released on Tuesday, Ontario’s science table said that there is a need for additional restrictions amid surging case counts and record hospitalizations that have “hospitals buckling,” reports CTV News. But the panel said that the government should be “clearly encouraging safe outdoor activities” and “allowing small groups of people from different households to meet outside with masking and two-metre distancing.”

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  • The Toronto Star reports that several Ontario gyms have recently reopened under an exception in the province’s lockdown regulations intended to serve people with disabilities. The exception in the Reopening Ontario Act allows a fitness facility to open solely for use by persons with a disability, within the meaning of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, who have a “written instruction” from a regulated health professional for “physical therapy” that they can’t do elsewhere.

  • Ontario hospitals are transferring an unprecedented number of patients within the province as the COVID-19 pandemic puts intense pressure on the health-care system, reports CBC News. Doctors say the record number of patient transfers is happening as hospitals face a surge in hospitalizations and admissions to their intensive care units in the third wave. And they say they are concerned about what could happen if hospital resources are stretched further. TVO.org's Northeastern Hub reporter, Nick Dunne, reported on how northern hospitals are preparing to receive COVID-19 patients from the GTA

Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area 

  • According to data as of April 20, there are 1,302 new cases in Toronto, for a total of 136,883 since the pandemic began; 1,010 of them are in hospital (169 new). In total, 2,970 people have died (27 new).
  • Yesterday, Toronto Public Health announced that it will issue a Section 22 order for workplaces. According to a statement, the Order is planned to require the closure of certain workplaces, or portions of workplaces, where five or more confirmed cases are identified within a 14-day period and where cases could reasonably have been acquired through infection in the workplace.
  • Hundreds of people who were scheduled to receive COVID-19 vaccines at the drive-thru clinic at Canada's Wonderland Wednesday have had their appointments rebooked due to an expected bout of winter weather, reports CP24. In a statement Tuesday afternoon, York Region said those who were scheduled to get vaccinated at the outdoor drive-thru site on Wednesday will now have an appointment for the exact same time on Friday.

  • CBC News reports that members of Toronto's Latino community are nearly seven times more likely to contract COVID-19 than their white counterparts and four times as likely to require hospitalization to treat the disease, according to new data from Toronto Public Health.

  • On Monday, Hamilton public health sent an early invitation about a vaccination clinic for Hamiltonians aged 40-49 to an undisclosed group it calls “community partners and associations that represent at-risk populations,” the Hamilton Spectator reports. The clinic was made public a few hours later but was already fully booked. It's unclear who those partners are or who was able to book. The paper obtained a copy of the invitation which does not mention "at-risk populations."

  • CBC Hamilton profiled a man who's recovering after being intubated for a COVID-19 infection. He's close to leaving the hospital but has fallen behind on rent and car payments. A group of friends started a fundraiser to help him pay his debts.

  • The Spectator reports Hamilton businesses are still unclear on how they can host vaccine clinics following a provincial announcements two weeks ago saying employers could do so.

  • Niagara's acting medical officer of health, Mustafa Hirji, says local businesses should encourage employees to get vaccinated and give them time off to do so, the St. Catharines Standard reports.

Indigenous

  • As of April 20, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 760 active cases of COVID-19 in First Nation communities across Canada. It is also reporting 305 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 1,779 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

  • Another person has died of COVID-19 in northwestern Ontario, the Thunder Bay District Health Unit reported on Tuesday. The death brings the total number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the region to 60.
  • A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at New Gold Mine in Emo, where three employees have tested positive for the virus, and others are awaiting test results, according to a release from the Northwestern Health Unit.
  • Unlike a number of universities in the United States, Lakehead University in Thunder Bay will not require students to provide proof of vaccination in order to attend campus, TBNewswatch reports.
  • The Sudbury Star reports 10 new cases in Public Health Sudbury and Districts' area, for an active total case count of 158.
  • Algoma Public Heath is reporting five new cases in the Sault Ste. Marie area, leading to a total of 45 cases.

Eastern

  • Another person has died of COVID-19 in Peterborough, marking the region’s thirteenth death, the Peterborough Examiner reports. There were 119 active cases in the region yesterday, with ongoing outbreaks at Champlain College’s student residence, a retirement home, an unnamed congregate living facility, and two unnamed workplaces. Peterborough Regional Health Centre has received 46 patient transfers since January, 22 of whom arrived in the last three weeks.
  • Less than two days after the provincial restriction came into effect, the Ottawa Police Service has announced that as of 8 p.m. on Tuesday, it will no longer be performing 24/7 checkpoints at the Quebec border, Global News reports.
  • Ottawa Public Health reported 186 COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, and while general infections are trending down somewhat, workplace outbreaks are on the rise, Global News reports. As of Wednesday, Ottawa has ordered that masks be used at all public playgrounds, with exemptions for children under the age of two.
  • Kingston reported eight new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, the Kingston Whig-Standard reports. The city’s popular Breakwater Park will remain closed until at least April 27 to avoid overcrowding, according to CTV News.

Southwestern

  • A Windsor boater has launched a petition asking the provincial government to open marinas, CBC Windsor reports.
  • A Leamington restaurant owner who flouted lockdown rules last month held a protest on Tuesday in front of her restaurant and tells the Windsor Star she will not back down.
  • The Chatham-Kent Health Alliance has begun accepting patient transfers from the GTA, Blackburn News reports.
  • There has been an outbreak of COVID-19 at a Lambton College student residence, the Sarnia Observer reports
  • Police have laid charges against four people under the Reopening Ontario Act following a gathering at the Church of God in Aylmer on Tuesday, the London Free Press reports.
  • The Saugeen Valley Conservation Authority has temporarily closed its properties as part of the provincial COVID-19 lockdown, Blackburn News reports.
  • The Region of Waterloo Public Health is now allowing teachers, farmers, childcare workers, funeral workers, emergency responders and enforcement officers to join the queue for COVID-19 vaccines, CTV Kitchener reports.


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