COVID-19: What you need to know for August 4

The latest coronavirus updates from across the province
By TVO.org staff - Published on Aug 04, 2021

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Provincewide

  • Per today's government report, there are 139 new cases in Ontario, for a total of 551,125 since the pandemic began; 112 people are in hospital testing positive for COVID-19, while 108 are in intensive care who either previously tested positive or have currently tested positive, and 57 patients are on ventilators. To date, 9,360 people have died.
  • According to data from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, there are 5 outbreaks in long-term-care facilities, 10 confirmed active cases of positive residents, and 15 confirmed active cases of positive staff. To date, there have been 3,793 confirmed resident deaths and 13 confirmed staff deaths.
  • Per the government's report on Ontario’s vaccination program, as of 8 p.m. yesterday, Ontario has administered 60,094 new doses of COVID-19 vaccines, for a total of 19,652,011 since December 2020. 10,496,523 people have received only one dose, and 9,095,394 people have received both doses. 81.57 per cent of Ontarians over the age of 12 have received their first dose of vaccine and 71.44 per cent have received their second.​​​​​​​
  • On Tuesday, the Ontario government released guidance on a return to school, which said that staff at publicly funded boards and at private schools should be preparing to provide a full day (five hours) of in-person instruction five days a week, reports Global News. However, they were also told this could be subject to change throughout the 2021-2022 school year and that remote learning shouldn’t be off the table should there be changes in the COVID-19 pandemic. In response, teachers’ unions in Ontario say they are concerned about the lack of cohorting and the missing guidance on how to handle a COVID-19 outbreak in the newly released plan, reports CP24. In a news release, the ETFO called for smaller class sizes as well as cohorting “that genuinely limits interaction.”
  • CTV News reports that Ontarians who have yet to get vaccinated are at a greater risk for serious illness and pose more concern than breakthrough cases of people fully vaccinated, according to provincially driven research.
  • Pharmacists are scrambling to use up thousands of doses of the Moderna vaccine that are days away from expiring, with some proposing using the “liquid gold” for third shots, reports the Toronto Star. There’s been a “deep decline” in demand for the Moderna vaccine, specifically in the last few weeks, said Justin Bates, CEO of the Ontario Pharmacists Association, who is trying to find ways to avoid wasting the vaccine. Doses have a limited shelf life and will spoil 30 days after they are delivered to fridges and are in a thawed state.

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Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area 

  • According to August 3 data, Toronto reported 181 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday, for a total of 170,928 since the pandemic began; 20 of them are in hospital (seven new). In total, 3,609 people have died (three new). Data as of August 3 includes case counts and outcomes since July 30. 
  • According a news release, Toronto Public Health and Toronto hospital partners have processed 12,100 out-of-province vaccination record applications. Approximately 3,900 applications were from individuals requiring a second vaccine dose. All first dose applications received prior to July 20 have been processed and uploaded into COVaxOn. Second dose and single dose vaccine applications received before June 30 have been processed and uploaded.
  • The federal heritage minister was in Hamilton yesterday to show off financial supports for heritage and arts organizations including the Art Gallery of Hamilton, the Hamilton Spectator reports.
  • Minister Steven Guilbeaut announced support for Niagara's Canada summer games, which had been postponed due to the pandemic. The St. Catharines Standard reports the games, set to take place in Niagara this year, are now scheduled for August 2022.
  • Niagara's acting medical officer of health Mustafa Hirji tells the Standard he worries unvaccinated students will contract COVID-19 in schools and spread it. He says Niagara public health is working to encourage any youth who can get their shot to do so.
  • Indigenous

  • As of July 27, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 687 communities across Canada with vaccinations underway. 701,228 doses have been administered, of that 281,188 were second doses in individuals 12 and older.
  • As of August 3, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 222 active cases of COVID-19 in First Nation communities across Canada. It is also reporting 381 COVID-19 related deaths in total, across all First Nation reserves in Canada. To date, Ontario First Nation communities have had a total of 2,930 COVID-19 cases.

Northern

Eastern

  • A bonfire and indoor party in Frankford has resulted in the first new COVID-19 outbreak in the Hastings-Prince Edward health unit since May, the Belleville Intelligencer reports. Six people, all under the age of 18, were infected at the July 24 gathering.
  • Some Ottawa area parents and unions are criticizing the Ontario government’s plan for returning children to school in September, calling it inadequate and “a lot of the same,” CBC News reports. The plan does not mandate vaccinations for eligible students or staff.
  • The Kingston region health unit says that it is shifting its vaccination strategy, as 72 per cent of the region is now fully vaccinated, CTV News reports. The unit is planning on expanding its mobile operations team to increase access for those who may have had trouble getting to a clinic, said Hugh Guan, the associate medical officer of health for the region.

Southwestern

  • The medical officer of health the Middlesex-London Health Unit, Chris Mackie, said low testing volumes during the Civic Holiday weekend likely contributed to the region reporting its first day with no new cases since early September, reports the London Free Press. The zero day comes amid rising case counts in the London area in recent weeks, Mackie said, including 29 cases during the long weekend. Recent cases are overwhelmingly among unvaccinated people, reports the Free Press
  • The Windsor Star reports that Windsor nurses are so “burnt out and beaten down” by COVID-19 workloads and conspiracy theories that many are quitting the profession, according to an ongoing University of Windsor study.  “They felt disposable. They felt expendable. And there was a lot less of that light at the end of the tunnel kind of hope that things would get better. There was a lot more concern about the variants. There was a lot of concern about vaccination rates not being has high as they need to be, and just a fear that they would never get back to doing their jobs the way they really wanted to," said Dana Menard, a University of Windsor psychology professor and lead investigator on the study. 
  • Windsor Regional Hospital (WRH) is putting a new COVID-19 policy in place that will require all staff to declare their vaccination status, reports Blackburn News


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