COVID-19: What you need to know for August 20

The latest coronavirus updates from across the province
By staff - Published on Aug 20, 2021




  • Per today's government report, there are 650 new cases in Ontario, for a total of 558,101 since the pandemic began; 197 people are in hospital testing positive for COVID-19, while 135 are in intensive care who either previously tested positive or have currently tested positive, and 77 patients are on ventilators. To date, 9,450 people have died.
  • According to data from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, there are 4 outbreaks in long-term-care facilities, 3 confirmed active cases of positive residents, and 10 confirmed active cases of positive staff. To date, there have been 3,793 confirmed resident deaths and 13 confirmed staff deaths.13 confirmed staff deaths.
  • Per the government's report on Ontario’s vaccination program, as of 8 p.m. yesterday, Ontario has administered 45,748 new doses of COVID-19 vaccines, for a total of 20,386,811 since December 2020. 986,241 people have received only one dose, and 9,700,285 people have received both doses. 81.96 per cent of Ontarians over the age of 12 have received their first dose of vaccine and 74.4 per cent have received their second.
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Data from the Province of Ontario; visualizations by John Michael McGrath.
Data from the Province of Ontario; visualizations by John Michael McGrath.
Data from the Province of Ontario; visualizations by John Michael McGrath.
Data from the Province of Ontario; visualizations by John Michael McGrath.

Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area 

  • According to August 19 data, Toronto reported 158 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday, for a total of 172,644 since the pandemic began; 24 of them are in hospital (six new). In total, 3,618 people have died (one new).
  • In a news release, Toronto's medical officer of health, Eileen de Villa, announced that she is strongly recommending local employers institute a workplace vaccination policy to protect their employees and the public from COVID-19. Toronto Public Health and de Villa recommend that workplace policies should, at minimum, require workers to provide proof of their vaccination series approved by Health Canada or the World Health Organization; unvaccinated employees to provide written proof of a medical reason from a physician or nurse practitioner that includes whether the reason is permanent or time-limited, and unvaccinated workers to complete a vaccination education course on the risks of being unvaccinated in the workplace. 
  • The City of Toronto announced yesterday that all members of the Toronto Public Service will be required to disclose and provide proof of vaccination status by September 13. According to a news release, staff who have not been vaccinated or who do not disclose their vaccination status by September 13 will be required to attend mandatory education on the benefits of vaccination. These unvaccinated individuals will then need to provide proof of the first dose no later than September 30.
  • The Hamilton Spectator reports that nearly one-quarter of Hamilton’s active COVID cases are residents in their twenties. 


  • As of August 17, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 687 communities across Canada with vaccinations underway. 731,313 doses have been administered, of that 318,933 were second doses in individuals 12 and older.
  • As of August 18, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 442 active cases of COVID-19 in First Nation communities across Canada. It is also reporting 385 COVID-19 related deaths in total, across all First Nation reserves in Canada. To date, Ontario First Nation communities have had a total of 2,961COVID-19 cases.


  • Algoma Public Health reported four new cases in Sault Ste. Marie for a total of six active cases within the health unit area.
  • Public Health Sudbury and Districts says that, between August 11 and 18, the health unit saw 26 new cases and 18 cases were resolved. 16 of those cases were in Greater Sudbury, eight were in Manitoulin while two were in the Sudbury District. PHSD also reports that 82.3 per cent of the population over the age of 12 has had one vaccine dose, while 74.8 per cent have had both.
  • North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit medical officer of Health Peter Chirico has revoked mandatory self-isolation order under the Ontario Health Protection and Promotion Act. “We have reached a time in the pandemic when the Class Order no longer reflects the management of high-risk contacts, now that most of the population is immunized against COVID-19,” says Chirico. In a release, the health unit says most positive cases and their close contacts voluntarily self-isolated.


  • With the announcement Tuesday that the province would allow people at “highest risk” to receive a third booster shot of the vaccine, health units are taking different approaches, Global News reports. The Kingston region’s health unit is working with the Kingston Health Sciences Centre to contact eligible patients, including cancer patients.
  • The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) is making COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for all staff, volunteers, and students, the Ottawa Citizen reports. “Imagine bringing a sick child to CHEO and all of the worries already on a parent or caregiver’s mind,” said the hospital’s CEO, Alex Munter, in a tweet. “They shouldn’t also have to worry about the vaccine status of our staff when they access care. This policy is one additional layer of protection for kids+families.”


  • Rob Katzman, whose company owns a number of local adult entertainment in the Windsor area, is mandating that his employees get vaccinated or submit to regular testing, reports the Windsor Star. “We’re insisting — they have to be vaccinated if they want to work,” he told the Star Thursday.
  • The Windsor Star reports that MPP Rick Nicholls has been tossed from the Progressive Conservative caucus and won’t be allowed to seek re-election as a PC candidate, Premier Doug Ford said late Thursday. The statement came two hours after the Chatham-Kent-Leamington MPP said he disagrees with his government’s pandemic policies and will “exercise autonomy over his body” and not receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Chatham-Kent’s medical officer of health, David Colby, says he’s “extremely concerned” about the local rise in COVID-19 cases recently, reports the Chatham Daily News. “What is becoming increasingly clear is that this a pandemic of the unvaccinated," said Colby on a conference call with media Thursday 

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