This article was last updated on Wednesday at 4:43 p.m.
- Per today's government report, there are 3,215 new cases in Ontario, for a total of total of 370,817 since the pandemic began; 1,397 people are in hospital, 504 of them in intensive care, and 311 on ventilators. To date, 7,475 people have died.
- According to data from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, there are 52 outbreaks in long-term-care facilities, 9 confirmed active cases of positive residents, and 118 confirmed active cases of positive staff. To date, there have been 3,755 confirmed resident deaths and 11 confirmed staff deaths.
As of 2 p.m. yesterday, Ontario's publicly-funded schools were reporting 571 new school-related student cases (for a total of 10,692) 146 new staff cases (for a total of 2,356) and 2 new unspecified cases for a total of 1,165; 1,266 schools are reporting at least one case and 57 schools have been closed.
- Per the government's report on Ontario’s vaccination program, as of 8 p.m. yesterday, Ontario has administered104,382 new doses of COVID-19 vaccines, for a total of 2,726,221 since December 2020. 2,076,655 people have received only one dose, and 324,783 people have received both doses.
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- Today, the Ontario government announced that, effective Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 12:01 a.m., it is issuing a province-wide Stay-at-Home order requiring everyone to remain at home except for essential purposes, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services (including getting vaccinated), for exercise close to home and with the people you live with, or for work that cannot be done remotely. vinctay-at-Hrs.
- Yesterday, the Ontario government announcded that it is moving into Phase Two of its COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan, with a focus on reaching individuals in "hot spot" communities where COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted certain neighbourhoods. According to a statement released by the government, this phase will also prioritize individuals with the highest-risk health conditions in April 2021.
- CTV News reports that the Ontario government hopes to be able to start vaccinating essential workers unable to perform their duties at home by mid-May, just weeks earlier than originally planned despite calls from advocates to make them more of a priority.
Restaurants Canada is asking the Ontario government to pick up a $100-million tab that went to reopening and closing costs for businesses across Ontario. The decision to put a sudden halt to business significantly hurt the industry, the group said, forcing restaurants to waste inventory and send staff home, reports the Toronto Star.
Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area
- According to data as of April 6, there are 1,173 new cases in Toronto, for a total of 119,598 since the pandemic began; 426 of them are in hospital (33 new). In total, 2,831 people have died (four new).
Starting today, all Toronto schools will move to virtual learning for at least two weeks, under orders from the regional health authority Tuesday, reports the Toronto Star.
Starting today, York Region residents born from 1962 to 1976 who live in five specific postal codes will be able to book their shot at two participating immunization clinics, reports CP24. The “high-priority areas”- four in Vaughan and one in Markham- are located in the following postal codes: L4L, L6A, L4K, L4J and L3S.
SickKids will open eight critical care beds for younger adult patients, 40 years old and under, who were previously healthy before becoming ill with COVID-19. SickKids president and CEO, Ronald Cohn, told the Toronto Star that this is the first time the hospital is opening beds for adult patients as part of a provincial response.
People born in or before 1961 can sign up for COVID-19 vaccines in Hamilton. CBC Hamilton reports Hamilton's solicitor general said this does not mean that the city's "over 70s" are vaccinated. As CHCH News first reported, hundreds of vaccination appointments went unused in Hamilton over the long weekend.
Some people over 50 in provincially-identified COVID-19 "hot spots" in Hamilton, Niagara and Halton, will be eligible for vaccinations as Ontario moves to the second stage of its vaccine rollout. The Hamilton Spectator reports neighbourhoods in the city were not only chosen for their test positivity rates (they do not have the city's highest rates), but for factors including hospitalizations and death rates, according to Hamilton's medical officer of health Elizabeth Richardson. The St. Catharines Standard reports the Niagara postal code targeted for early vaccination is also not a zone with a high COVID-19 positivity rate. In fact, there are six postal codes with higher test positivity rates.
CHCH News reports staff in Niagara's public and Catholic schools will be able to get COVID-19 vaccines next week. For the public board, that means as many as 4,000 people will be eligible between April 10 and 18.
As of Wednesday morning, Hamilton has not followed suit but CBC Hamilton reports union leaders at the local school boards are calling for a switch to remote learning in the city. The premier says COVID-19 spread is happening out in the community, not in schools, but union leaders say school safety measures are insufficient.
- As of April 6, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 635 active cases of COVID-19 in First Nation communities across Canada. They are also reporting 290 COVID-19 related deaths in total, across all First Nation reserves in Canada. To date, Ontario First Nation communities have had a total of 1,662 COVID-19 cases.
- As of April 4, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 612 communities across Canada with vaccinations underway. 257,279 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.
- Vaccine clinics for adults born in 1956 or earlier are ready for appointments will begin April 13 within the Porcupine Health Unit. Clinics will be open in Timmins, Smooth Rock Falls, Matheson, Hornepayne, Cochrane, Hearst, Iroquois Falls and Kapuskasing, and can be booked online or by calling the health unit at 1-800-461-1818.
- North Bay city council approves a motion to redistribute unused vaccines in large centres to regions that are still in phase one of the rollout, reports the North Bay Nugget. Councillors Tanya and Bill Vrebosch introduced and seconded the motion respectively. “We do have capacity to administer more vaccinations than what we currently are doing, but we don’t have the supply,” Tanya says.
- The Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre is now offering COVID-19 vaccines to residents with high-risk health conditions and their essential caregivers, TBNewswatch reports. Starting today, as the province enters Phase 2 of its vaccine rollout, residents 60 years-old and up in the Thunder Bay district can also book an appointment to receive their COVID-19 vaccine online.
- The Kingston region’s top doctor is cautioning residents about the rise of variants of concern in the region, Global News reports. The health unit announced 21 new cases on Tuesday, for a total of 76 active cases, 60 percent of which involve variants.
- Patrons who attended the Brass Pub in Kingston on April 2 are being asked to self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms, the Kingston Whig-Standard reports. The Kingston region's health unit has also asked that anyone who visited the Mansion Restaurant and Bar on March 29, between 6:30 p.m. and 10:15 p.m., or on April 2, between 5 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. to monitor for symptoms, Global News reports. (Those present on March 29 are being asked to get tested as soon as possible, and those on April 2, on or after April 9).
- Ottawa’s top doctor, Vera Etches, has said that current levels of COVID-19 are compatible with keeping schools open, Global News reports. Etches sent a letter Tuesday to the heads of Ottawa’s four school boards outlining her position to keep schools open. Etches joined with doctors from Toronto and the Peel region, in a letter released on the weekend, calling for a stay-at-home order.
- The Cornwall Community Hospital is already being tested by the third wave of COVID-19, seeing a growing number of patients being admitted with the virus, the Cornwall Standard-Freeholder reports. On Monday, the hospital was treating 26 COVID-19 patients, including five in the critical care unit.
- Two London pharmacies are now giving COVID-19 shots to adults 55 and over, as the area’s mass vaccination sites open up eligibility to the 65-plus crowd, reports the London Free Press.
- While several school boards in Ontario have moved to remote learning, the medical officer of health for the London area doesn’t think local schools need to follow suit, reports BlackBurn News. On Tuesday, Chris Mackie said that, while cases are being reported in local elementary and secondary schools, very few have been acquired or spread within schools.
- A Leamington restaurant has defined Ontario's restrictions to in-person dining, reports the London Free Press. Family Kitchen owner Kirsty Leathem opened for sit down service Saturday and Sunday, which she said prompted a visit from officials with the Windsor Essex County Health Unit.