COVID-19: What you need to know for April 26

The latest coronavirus updates from across the province
By TVO.org staff - Published on Apr 26, 2021

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This article was last updated on Monday at 3:52 p.m.

Provincewide

  • Per today's government report, there are 3,510 new cases in Ontario, for a total of 448,861 since the pandemic began; 2,271 people are in hospital, 877 of them in intensive care, and 605 on ventilators. To date, 7,935 people have died.
  • According to data from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, there are 35 outbreaks in long-term-care facilities, 48 confirmed active cases of positive residents, and 133 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 69,308 new doses of COVID-19 vaccines, for a total of 4,696,211 since December 2020. 3,973,879 people have received only one dose, and 361,166 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.
  • On Friday, David Williams, Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health, confirmed the province's first case of the rare blood clotting condition known as vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) after receiving the AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine. According to a statement released by the government, this case marks the fourth case of VITT out of more than 1.1 million doses of the AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine that have been administered in Canada to date. 
  •  Premier Doug Ford has called on the federal government to close all non-essential travel to Canada as 36 cases of a new COVID-19 variant were confirmed in the province, reports CTV News. In a statement released Saturday morning, the premier called the discovery of the B.1.617 variant “extremely troubling.” “The images we are seeing from other parts of the world right now are heartbreaking,” Ford said. “These deadly new variants are causing devastation in India and other countries. We can’t let that happen here.”

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  • The Globe and Mail reports on how Ontario doctors are preparing to implement the province’s worst-case scenario COVID-19 emergency triage protocol. “Honestly, it’s terrifying for all of us,” said Erin O’Connor, deputy medical director of the emergency departments in the University Health Network. “And we are all just trying to brace ourselves and prepare ourselves as well as we possibly can to deliver the best care we can in a situation where we don’t have unlimited resources.”

Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area 

  • According to data as of April 25, there are 1,011 new cases in Toronto, for a total of 142,702 since the pandemic began; 1,085 of them are in hospital (56 new). In total, 3,023 people have died (12 new).
  • The City of Toronto has recorded more than 3,011 total deaths of Toronto residents as a result of COVID-19. “The lives lost to this global pandemic here in our city are completely devastating. The tragic loss of people who were loved ones, relatives, co-workers, neighbours, and friends redoubles all of our efforts to bring an end to this pandemic by following the public health measures and by continuing to vaccinate as many residents as quickly as we can as the supply allows,” said Toronto mayor John Tory in a statement
  • The University Avenue laboratory of Public Health Ontario, which provides testing for a variety of diseases including COVID-19, has an outbreak of its own, the agency confirmed to CTV News. More than a dozen people were infected in the downtown Toronto laboratory in the MaRS Centre, only about 100 meters from Queens Park. 

  • Toronto is expected to announce its first workplace closures today under new rules meant to curb the spread of COVID-19, reports CP24

  • Numerous tickets have been issued after police broke up a party in Toronto on Sunday, reports CP24. Police say they received reports of about 30 people gathering around 12:20 a.m. They did not provide a location for the gathering.

  • Local and provincial government officials in Brampton and Mississauga want the federal government to shut down all international travel and close Pearson Airport to non-essential travel, reports the Brampton Guardian. In response to a tweet reporting 26 flights and 156 rows affected by COVID-19 cases at Pearson Airport, Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown tweeted "Close the Airport. 

  • Hamilton's McMaster Children's Hospital is getting ready to admit adults to its intensive care unit to help out nearby hospitals, the Hamilton Spectator reports. Area hospitals have received 37 patient transfers from the GTA in the last four days. That comes as Hamilton hits a record high number of COVID-19 cases coming back positive, with that figure sitting at 9.5 per cent on Saturday, up from 5.6 per cent on April 18. That's the highest test positivity rate the city has ever seen, with it reaching around six per cent during the second surge in early January.

  • Ameil Joseph, member of the Hamilton Vaccine Readiness Network and associate professor in the School of Social Work at McMaster University tells the Spectator Hamilton public health has dropped the ball on vaccinating racialized people. Joseph says he suspects public health leaders don't understand the need since most people he's been communicating with there and in the network are white. While Hamilton's medical officer of health Elizabeth Richardson says the push to vaccinate racialized high-risk populations in late December, Joseph says no action occurred. For that, Richardson blames a lack of vaccine supply. Now, Black and racialized people ages 18 and up in postal codes L9C, L8W, L8L, L8N and L9K can access vaccine clinics, with a new one opening April 30.

  • A Norfolk County woman tells CBC Hamilton she wants people to know COVID-19 is serious. Her husband, 45, is critically ill with COVID-19 getting oxygen at a Hamilton hospital. She sings to him for hours at a time when she visits him in the hospital. The couple has four children.

  • Hamilton MP David Sweet has apologized after tweeting there is no evidence lockdowns prevent the spread of COVID-19, CBC Hamilton reports. He also called them the greatest restriction on civil liberties since internment camps in World War II, in which so-called "enemy aliens" had their property seized and were imprisoned. Sweet represents Flamborough-Glanbrook for the Conservative Party of Canada. In apologizing, he said he was not comparing today's events to "atrocities of war." His statements that lockdowns do not work are contrary to data showing restrictions slow the spread of the coronavirus.

  • In just over three weeks, the number of variant cases has grown 700 per cent to 2,379 on Sunday, up from 306 at the start of the month. As the St. Catharines Standard reports, they now account for about half of Niagara's active cases. COVID-19 variants are more contagious and tend to make people sicker. Acting medical officer of health Mustafa Hirji says the vaccine is less effective against some variants too.

Indigenous

  • As of April 22, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 719 active cases of COVID-19 in First Nation communities across Canada. It is also reporting 306 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 1,803 COVID-19 cases.
  • As of April 23, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 651 communities across Canada with vaccinations underway. 346,108 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.
  • The Toronto Star reports that Indigenous people in Toronto have been hospitalized with COVID-19 at more than three times the rate of the general population in the city. The rate of COVID-19 infection for Indigenous people in Toronto is also 23 per cent higher than that of the city’s general population, according to data provided by the Star.
  • As of April 23, Six Nations of the Grand River is reporting 28 active cases of COVID-19 in the community.
  • As of April 23, Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory is reporting 0 active cases of COVID. They have administered 2360 first doses of the COVID vaccine and 1363 members have had first and second doses completed.
  • First Nation, Inuit and Métis community members who are age 16+, as well as their spouses and family household members, can book an appointment to get the COVID-19 vaccine at the St. Laurent Complex, in Ottawa.

Northern

  • An outbreak at the Young-Davidson mine in Matachewan was declared on Sunday by the Timiskaming Health Unit. The health unit says it is working with the management at Alamos Gold to conduct contact tracing, testing and make sure health measures are being followed.
  • Health Sciences North has an outbreak on the fourth floor of the Ramsey Lake Health Centres' South Tower, according to Public Health Sudbury and Districts.
  • Over the weekend, the number of COVID-19 cases in the Northwestern Health Unit rose to 86 active cases, with the majority of the cases in Kenora. So far, the health unit has administered 21,827 vaccines.
  • The Thunder Bay District Health Unit reported 10 COVID-19 cases on Saturday, plus three cases that have been identified as a variant of concern.
  • This spring, nearly 2,000 people in Kashechewan and Fort Albany First Nation will move to temporary shelters on higher ground in order to avoid spring flooding on the Albany River, TBNewswatch reports.

Eastern

  • As of Friday, pregnant women became eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccination, in light of a surge of pregnant women landing in critical care with the virus, the Ottawa Citizen reports. Pregnant women were added to the “highest risk” health category and have been directed to book appointments through the provincial call centre at 1-833-943-3900.
  • Ottawa Public Health reported 254 new cases of the virus on Friday, with key indicators in decline, as one quarter of city residents have had at least one dose of the vaccine, CBC News reports. The public health unit reported 146 new cases on Saturday, CTV News reports, which was the lowest per day jump since April 1. Ottawa’s mayor and medical officer of health have both signed up to receive an AstraZeneca vaccination at a local pharmacy, according to CTV News.
  • A local Kingston doctor will discuss the status of COVID-19 vaccines in the community and answer questions on Tuesday night at 6:30-7:30 p.m. on Zoom, the Kingston Whig-Standard reports.
  • In Peterborough, nearly 35 percent of eligible residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine, Global News reports, though the community’s top doctor has warned that they are still a long way from achieving “herd immunity.”

Southwestern

  • A plan to introduce retail and entertainment huts on beaches in Goderich has been put on hold because of uncertainty about the pandemic, Blackburn News reports.
  • An outbreak of COVID-19 has been declared at a childcare centre in Watford in Lambton County, Blackburn News reports.
  • A mobile immunization clinic in Lambton County is taking COVID-19 vaccines to some of the area's most vulnerable people, Blackburn News reports.
  • COVID-19 outbreaks have been declared at two fast-food restaurants in the Windsor-Essex region, Blackburn News reports.
  • About 100- people attended an anti-lockdown protest in Windsor on Saturday, the Windsor Star reports.
  • Hospitals in the Waterloo Region are looking for nurses as they seek to expand the beds available to address COVID-19 patients, CBC Kitchener-Waterloo reports.
  • Aylmer police are investigating a gathering of more than 100 people at a Church of God Sunday service, CBC London reports. Two people have been charged with obstructing police and a third for assault, Blackburn News reports.
  • Hundreds of people gathered in Stratford on Sunday to protest the provincial COVID-19 lockdown, CTV Kitchener reports. Another rally that took place that same day in Waterloo attracted dozens of people, CTV Kitchener reports.
  • A golf course in Tillsonburg has defied provincial lockdown orders and has opened for business, CTV London reports.


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