COVID-19: What you need to know for April 28

The latest coronavirus updates from across the province
By TVO.org staff - Published on Apr 28, 2021

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This article was last updated on Wednesday at 4:07 p.m.

Provincewide

  • Per today's government report, there are 3,480 new cases in Ontario, for a total of  455,606 since the pandemic began; 2,281 people are in hospital, 877 of them in intensive care, and 605 on ventilators. To date, 7,988 people have died. The minister of health's office advised media that today's numbers include "catch-up" cases from the Hamilton and Niagara public health units.
  • According to data from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, there are 39 outbreaks in long-term-care facilities, 49 confirmed active cases of positive residents, and 133 confirmed active cases of positive staff. To date, there have been 3,756 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 116,173 new doses of COVID-19 vaccines, for a total of 4,907,203 since December 2020. 4,176,871 people have received only one dose, and 365,166 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.
  • The Ontario government announced that full-time and part-time workers in the province who need time off due to COVID-19 will be eligible to receive up to $200 per day for up to three days as part of a temporary provincial paid sick leave program, reports CP24. The province says it will introduce legislation on Thursday that, if passed, will require employers to provide employees with up to three days off if they miss work due to COVID-19. Labour Minister Monte McNaughton says the province will reimburse employers up to $200 per day for each employee.

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  • Yesterday, the Ontario government introduced the Advancing Oversight and Planning in Ontario’s Health System Act, 2021. According to a statement released by the government, the proposed legislation is part of the government’s commitment to build a more connected, patient-centred health care system. If passed, the government says the legislation will help strengthen Ontario’s health care workforce and support the delivery of high-quality care by regulating personal support workers, physician assistants and behaviour analysts.
  • Internal government documents obtained by CBC News show few signs that Ontario prepared the long-term care sector for the risks from COVID-19 before the virus began its deadly spread through the province's nursing homes. According to the outlet's reporting, only a handful of documents mention protecting long-term-care residents in February, even as cases were steadily arriving in Ontario. 

  • CBC News reports that the federal government is rejecting Ontario's offer to top up the federal paid sick leave program to $1,000 a week for provincial residents instead of creating its own. The federal government said its wage subsidy program is already in place to help employers pay workers who are on sick leave. And the Canada recovery sickness benefit is designed to support workers who don't have a regular employer, or as a stop gap until their province mandates paid sick days, a spokesperson for the federal finance minister, Katherine Cuplinskas said in a statement to CBC News. "When Ontario is ready to mandate sick leave in provincially regulated businesses, as we have done for federally regulated businesses, we will be there to help," Cuplinskas said.

  • The Toronto Star reports on the experience of three Ontario workers without sick pay. “There are days I’m so exhausted, in so much pain. I have to force myself to go to work because if I miss a day of work I’m not covered," said Anna Farrow, an essential retail worker. 

Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area 

  • According to data as of April 27, there are 1,055 new cases in Toronto, for a total of 144,736 since the pandemic began; 1,121 of them are in hospital (43 new). In total, 3,043 people have died (13 new).
  • In Hamilton's locally- and provincially-identified "hot spot" postal codes, residents older than 40 can get vaccinated against COVID-19 at any mobile or large-scale clinic. As CBC Hamilton reports, those people can book through Hamilton's vaccine hotline. People 45 and older living in L8W, L9C and L2G (in Niagara), which are all provincially-identified hot spots, can book shots using the province's online portal.
  • The Hamilton Spectator reports city councilors grilled medical officer of health Elizabeth Richardson and the city’s general manager of finance of corporate services Mike Zegarac about public health's refusal to name a basketball team at the centre of an October outbreak. The general issues committee members also asked why, after the city clerk released the name to the Spectator following a freedom-of-information request, city staff wanted to hire an external consultant to review the matter. Councillors unanimously approved a motion to have city staff internally review the matter instead, with a report due in June.
  • Following some criticism, CBC Hamilton reports a Port Colborne gas station removed a discount it was offering vaccinated customers for the convenience store and car wash. The station's owners did not provide comment but the corporation that supplies gas to the business said it had the sign changed to offer a discount to everyone. A city spokesperson said they had heard "concerns with alleged discrimination."
  • As Niagara This Week reports, a Brock University study on Twitter usage during the pandemic found overall, people were positive in their discussions, but that they became more negative the more cases went up and in response to province-wide lockdowns. For each increase of 100 daily cases, negativity increased by three per cent. The study also identified many racist tweets.

Indigenous

  • As of April 26, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 800 active cases of COVID-19 in First Nation communities across Canada. It is also reporting 307 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 1,837 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.
  • As of April 27, Six Nations of the Grand River is reporting 25 active cases of COVID-19 in the community. 8 new cases were reported on Saturday and 1 new case was reported on Sunday.
  • Six Nation Health Services is offering one-hour webinars with vaccine educators so that community members can get their vaccine-related questions answered. Webinars are taking place today at 2 p.m. and continuing every week day until May 5.
  • COVID-19 vaccine appointments are available for Indigenous adults 16 years of age or older, living in Thunder Bay, through the Mindimooyenh vaccination clinic.
  • Appointments are available for both first and second doses at the COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Six Nations of the Grand River. Call to book.
  • 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

  • Public Health Sudbury and Districts has reported one new death yesterday for a total of 26 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
  • Sault Ste. Marie police fined three people gathering on St. Mary's River Drive and are working on charging five others under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. Police warn that anyone violating the gathering rules will be fined.
  • The North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit have opened vaccine clinic eligibility to child care workers and high risk adults 18 and up. High risk health conditions include obesity, intellectual or development disabilities and people taking treatments that cause immunosuppression. Appointments can be booked by calling the health unit at 1-800-563-2808.
  • An outbreak was declared at Kirkland Lake Gold, the Timiskaming Health Unit says. The health unit is conducting contact tracing with Kirkland Lake Gold.
  • The Porcupine Health Unit declared an outbreak at the Living Space shelter in Timmins after two cases were confirmed. The health unit also issued an exposure warning for anyone who visited the shelter between April 22 and April 27. The health unit will conduct COVID testing at the shelter. Anyone experiencing symptoms is advised to self-isolate immediately and call their local assessment centre.
  • Anti-masker Chris Sky, also known as Chris Saccoccia, was arrested in Thunder Bay yesterday after speaking to a crowd of more than 100 people at the city’s Hillcrest Park, TBNewswatch reports.
  • Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre is expected to receive its first COVID-19 patient from southern Ontario on Wednesday, TBNewswatch reports.
  • A new report from the Northern Policy Institute explores how businesses in Thunder Bay are being affected by COVID-19 restrictions. According to results from a survey completed in February, 35 per cent of businesses surveyed said COVID-19 posed a “highly negative” strategic risk to their long-term business prospects.

Eastern

  • A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at Belleville General Hospital, with three staff members on one unit testing positive, Global News reports. Visits on the unit will be paused for the next two weeks, except for end of life situations.
  • Kingston’s top doctor, Kieran Moore, has said the region expects its supply of Pfizer to double by the middle of May, which may be sustained into at least June, according to Global News. Currently, eligibility for Pfizer is limited to those 60 years and up in the region, and AstraZeneca supply, which can be used for those 40 and up, is running low. “Pfizer is the only product that we have confidence in the supply chain for May. We have had no guarantee of any other product arriving in KFLA, mainly from supply chain issues,” Moore said.
  • Some hospital staff at Kingston Health Sciences Centre are still experiencing issues with finding and paying for parking, even after a city initiative to provide 700 free passes to workers at the hospital. The passes were given out on a first come, first serve basis and workers on 12-hour shifts were not able to get them, staff members told Global News.
  • Two eastern Ontario politicians, MP Derek Sloan and MPP Randy Hillier, who have each made untrue and misleading claims playing down the risk of COVID-19, have been fined for attending a large church gathering in Alymer in contravention to the Reopening of Ontario Act, the Kingston-Whig Standard reports.

Southwestern

  • A coroner's report regarding the deaths last year of three migrant farm workers who had contracted COVID-19 recommends the institution of an anonymous hotline, the London Free Press reports.
  • Middlesex-London's medical officer of health tells CTV London that while daily cases of COVID-19 have leveled off locally, there is still a long way to go before easing lockdown measures can be considered.
  • International students planning to study in Windsor in May say Canada's ban of flights from India and Pakistan have disrupted their plans, CBC Windsor reports.
  • A Windsor doctor tells CTV Windsor that COVID-19 will cause similar symptoms in children as those adults experience.
  • Sarnia police have charged 12 people under the Reopening Ontario Act, Blackburn News reports. The charges follow two anti-lockdown protests earlier this month.

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