COVID-19: What you need to know for December 14

The latest coronavirus updates from across the province
By TVO.org staff - Published on Dec 14, 2021

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Provincewide

  • Per today's government report, there are 1,429 new cases in Ontario, for a total of total of 635,112 since the pandemic began; 385 people are in hospital testing positive for COVID-19, while 162 are in intensive care who either previously tested positive or have currently tested positive, and 98 patients are on ventilators. To date, 10,084 people have died.

  • According to data from the Ministry of Long-Term Care, there are 11 outbreaks in long-term-care facilities, 23 confirmed active cases of positive residents, and 37 confirmed active cases of positive staff. To date, there have been 3,829 confirmed resident deaths and 13 confirmed staff deaths.

  • As of 8 p.m. yesterday, Ontario has administered 99,397 new doses of COVID-19 vaccines, for a total of 24,584,089 since December 2020. 685,089 people have received only one dose, and 12,019,901 people have received two doses, and  1,213,727 have had three doses. 85.77 per cent of Ontarians over the age of 5 have received their first dose of vaccine and 80.88 per cent have received their second.

  • As of 2 p.m. yesterday, Ontario's publicly-funded schools were reporting 473 new school-related student cases (for a total of 8,947) 61 new staff cases (for a total of 979) and 16 new unspecified cases for a total of 167; 1,019 schools are reporting at least one case and 28 schools have been closed.

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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.
JMM COVID Graph
Data from the Province of Ontario; visualizations by John Michael McGrath.
  • The head of the Ontario Hospital Association says hospitals in the province are moving to urgently reactivate mass vaccination programs as the Omicron variant – the most contagious COVID-19 variant discovered so far – quickly moves to become the dominant variant in the province, reports CP24. “Ontario hospitals are moving to implement instructions to urgently re-activate mass vaccination programs,” Ontario Hospital Association CEO and President Anthony Dale said in a tweet late Monday. “This will have a major impact on other clinical services but there’s no other choice. As we said on Saturday this is truly a race against time.”

Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area

  • According to December 13 data, Toronto reported 744 new cases of COVID-19, for a total of 185,691 since the pandemic began; 30 of them are in hospital (6 new). In total, 3,720 people have died (1 new). Data as of December 13 includes case counts and outcomes since December 10. 
  • Team Toronto Kids has announced that 35 per cent of children in Toronto age five to 11 have now received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine. This represents more than one in every three children in the city. As of December 13 at 8 a.m., 73,920 first paediatric doses have been administered to kids five to 11 years old since Team Toronto Kids launched late last month.

  • Tens of thousands of civil servants are once again being told to work remotely amid concerns about the Omicron variant, reports CP24. Both the Ontario Public Service and the City of Toronto were planning for a broader return to the office in the New Year but on Monday both announced separately that those plans are being put on hold due to the rapid rise in COVID-19 case counts. The City of Toronto says that its plans to have employees return to the office part-time as of Jan. 4 will be put on hold in the wake of new advice from Chief Medical Officer of Health Kieran Moore. That decision will affect approximately 10,000 additional civil servants or about 25 per cent of the city’s overall workforce.

  • Starting yesterday morning at 8 a.m., more than 100,000 appointments have been made available on the provincial booking system for eligible Toronto residents to book their third doses of COVID-19 vaccine. Residents are eligible for the third dose if they are at least 50 years old, and approximately six months (or 168 days) have passed since they received their second dose. Appointments can be booked by visiting the City’s COVID-19 webpage and clicking the blue button or by calling the provincial vaccine booking line at 1-833-943-3900. For more information and to book

  • Toronto Public Health (TPH) is notifying people who visited the following locations in Toronto about a potential exposure to COVID-19 on the following dates and times: Hotel X Toronto (111 Newfoundland Rd.) on December 5 from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. and December 6 from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. CLIO Restaurant (600 King St. W.) on December 5 from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m, and Scotiabank Arena (40 Bay St.), suites 243 and 244 on December 5, 7, 8 and 9 from 5 to 11 p.m.

  • The seven-day rolling average of COVID-19 cases in Hamilton is growing. It was 50 yesterday, up from 37 last week and 21 the week prior, the Hamilton Spectator reports.

  • The St. Catharines Standard reports that according to Niagara public health, 70 per cent of people infected in the Thorold jail outbreak are not fully vaccinated. Health officials say they are working to contain the outbreak.

Indigenous

  • As of December 7, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 687 communities across Canada with vaccinations underway. 916,796 doses have been administered, of that 383,602 were second doses in individuals 12 and older.
  • As of December 10, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 830 active cases of COVID-19 in First Nation communities across Canada. It is also reporting 545 COVID-19 related deaths in total, across all First Nation reserves in Canada. To date, Ontario First Nation communities have had a total of 3,958 COVID-19 cases.

Eastern

  • Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox, and Addington Health region has new restrictions in force after record case numbers, CBC News reports. Indoor gatherings are limited to 5,, restaurants must close at 10 p.m. except to offer takeout,, and the hours at which businesses can serve alcohol are scaled back, among others. Kingston currently has the highest rate of COVID-19 infections in the province.
  • Two more patients have been transferred out of Kingston's ICU, the Kingston Whig-Standard reports. Three other patients had been transferred last week due to high case numbers.
  • St. Lawrence College has cancelled in-person exams, the Cornwall Seaway News reports. Some lab tests will still be in person.
  • Ottawa mayor Jim Watson has tested negative for COVID-19 after a staff member tested positive, the Ottawa Citizen reports. Watson says he will continue to work from home and get another test in five days.

Northern

  • Two Blind River schools closed in-person learning amid potential cases of the omicron variant, CBC Sudbury reports. Blind River Public School and W. C. Eaket Secondary School both closed, though the cases have not yet been confirmed in a lab to be the omicron variant.
  • The Thunder Bay District Health Unit is reporting seven new COVID-19 cases, for a total of 64 active cases. Two people are hospitalized with the virus.

  • The Northwestern Health Unit currently has 25 active COVID-19 cases, 11 of which are located in the Rainy River region.

  • COVID-19 cases have been reported at two Thunder Bay high schools, while outbreaks at two other schools are over, TBNewswatch reports. One COVID-19 case has been found at Superior CVI, and there have been three COVID-19 cases reported at Hammarskjold High School this week -- but the Thunder Bay District Health Unit has not declared an outbreak at the school. Meanwhile, the health unit says outbreaks at St. Ignatius High School and St. Ann Elementary School are over.

  • Kindergarten students returning to school after the Christmas break will be required to wear masks in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19, TBNewswatch reports. Lakehead Public Schools and the Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board announced the policy on Monday, which takes effect on January 3, 2022.

  • For the first time, the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre is recruiting roughly 15 full-time personal support workers to help care for patients, TBNewswatch reports. A hospital spokesperson says this is a temporary measure that will not see PSWs replacing nurses, rather they will allow nurses to focus on acute patient care.

Southwestern

  • Brant County is seeing its highest weekly COVID-19 case count in more than half a year, the Sarnia Observer reports. There were 112 new COVID cases in the week ending December 12, according to the area’s health unit. The last time the Brant County Health Unit saw that many new cases was the week ending May 16, when there were 163.
  • The Middlesex-London Health Unit’s mass-vaccination clinic is returning to Earl Nichols Arena in the New Year as more adults become eligible for boosters, the London Free Press reports. “With the expanded booster dose eligibility the province announced late last week and with children under the age of 12 soon being able to receive their second dose, the need for more clinic capacity was clear,” says, Alex Summers, the health unit’s associate medical officer of health, in a statement ahead of the south London clinic’s scheduled January 6 opening.
  • The London Free Press also reports that dozens more elective surgeries have been cancelled at St. Joseph’s Health Care London while the hospital contends with staff shortages resulting from a COVID-19 exposure. With 23 staff self-isolating, St. Joseph’s needs to reschedule another 58 procedures on top of 36 recently postponed operations.
  • More than 500 high-risk contacts are connected to the nine Waterloo-region sports teams with suspected or confirmed cases of the Omicron COVID-19 variant, CBC News reports. "The large number of cases associated with these sports teams is further indication that Omicron is likely already spreading rapidly and extensively in our community as it's doing elsewhere in Ontario," says Hsiu-Li Wang, the Region of Waterloo Public Health’s medical officer of health.
  • Windsor-Essex’s top doctor says it’s not a matter of if but when Omicron is discovered in the region, the Windsor Star reports. “I’ve not been advised of a case as of yet in Windsor-Essex — I think that day is coming. It’s just a matter of time,” says Shanker Nesathurai, acting medical officer of health for the Windsor Essex County Health Unit. It’s likely, he says, that Omicron will be the province’s dominant strain by year’s end.


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