COVID-19: What you need to know for December 21

The latest coronavirus updates from across the province
By TVO.org staff - Published on Dec 21, 2021

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Provincewide

  • Per today's government report, there are 3,453 new cases in Ontario, for a total of 657,180 since the pandemic began; 412 people are in hospital testing positive for COVID-19, while 165 are in intensive care who either previously tested positive or have currently tested positive, and patients are on ventilators. To date, 10,123 people have died. 
  •  According to data from the Ministry of Long-Term Care, there are 19 outbreaks in long-term-care facilities, 26 confirmed active cases of positive residents, and 37 confirmed active cases of positive staff. To date, there have been 3,831 confirmed resident deaths and 13 confirmed staff deaths. 
  • As of 8 p.m. yesterday, Ontario has administered 206,595 new doses of COVID-19 vaccines, for a total of 25,629,533 since December 2020. 751,774 people have received only one dose, 9,241,397 people have received only two doses, and 2,126,049 people have received three doses. 86.48 per cent of Ontarians over the age of 5 have received their first dose of vaccine, 81.1 per cent have received their second, and 15.17 per cent have received their third. 
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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.

Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area

  • According to December 20 data, Toronto reported 3,023 new cases of COVID-19, for a total of 191,036 since the pandemic began; 21 of them are in hospital (4 new). In total, 3,722 people have died (1 new). Data as of December 2020 includes case counts and outcomes since December 17. 
  • The City of Toronto has announced that approximately 6,662 new vaccine appointments at City-run immunization clinics will be added to the provincial booking system at 8 a.m. today for December 25, 26, and 27.
  • Today, Mayor John Tory received the third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Thorncliffe Park Community Hub vaccine clinic.
  • Toronto officials are urging third-dose seekers to have patience and persistence, saying some city staff are being redeployed and asked to work through vacation days, including Christmas, to increase clinic capacity, reports the Toronto Star

  • Hamilton’s top doctor is asking for patience when it comes to COVID-19 booster appointments, CBC News reports. "We know it's frustrating right now to book appointments at this time ... We ask that people remain patient and be assured there's going to continue to be new appointments added daily," says Elizabeth Richardson, Hamilton’s medical officer of health, who estimates arranging booster-shot appointments for everyone could take until late January.

Indigenous

  • As of December 14, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 687 communities across Canada with vaccinations underway. 942,383 doses have been administered, of that 390,100 were second doses and 64,673 were third doses, in individuals aged 12+
  • As of December 17, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 879 active cases of COVID-19 in First Nation communities across Canada. It is also reporting 559 COVID-19 related deaths in total, across all First Nation reserves in Canada. To date, Ontario First Nation communities have had a total of 4,189 COVID-19 cases.

Eastern

  • 56,000 new booster appointments were added in Ottawa Tuesday morning, the Ottawa Citizen reports. The city's emergency and protective services manager, Kim Ayotte, told city council in a memo Saturday that "it has been especially challenging to recruit a significant number of immunizers in short order."
  • Ottawa's COVID-19 testing task force will likely change to prioritizing essential workers and other high-risk populations, the Ottawa Citizen reports. Already, more and more people are having to do their own contact tracing, which has previously been a strategy of last resort.
  • The first non-LCBO site in Ottawa to give away free rapid tests, the Minto Recreation Complex in Barrhaven, had to turn people away Tuesday morning due to a shipment delay, CBC News reports. Those who arrived in time were given a wristband and told to come back later.
  • The Ottawa Hospital announced Monday afternoon that it will restrict visitors in an effort to slow the spread of the virus, Global News reports. Each patient can have up to two approved visitors, but only one of the two may visit per day. Essential caregivers are still permitted.

Northern

  • Long-term-care patients at the Temiskaming hospital are barred from having visitors, CBC News reports. With 58 cases in the region and an average occupancy of 128 per cent in November, the hospital has limited outside access. As of Wednesday, the hospital had 37 long-term-care patients out of a total of 61 patients.
  • The Northern Ontario Hockey Association has canceled all games within the association, the North Bay Nugget reports. "In light of the current environment across the province with respect to COVID-19 and the omicron variant, the NOHA board of directors has made the decision that effective Tuesday there will be a pause for all NOHA-sanctioned game play until January 3," says NOHA president Sue Shepherdson.
  • A single case of COVID-19 has been found at St. Elizabeth elementary school in Thunder Bay, TBNewswatch reports.
  • The Thunder Bay District Health Unit is reporting 11 new COVID-19 cases today, for a total of 65 active cases in the region. Three people are hospitalized with the virus, including one person in ICU.
  • The Northwestern Health Unit has 102 active COVID-19 cases, over half of which are in the Kenora region.

Southwestern

  • The GO-Vaxx bus won’t be visiting London on Thursday after all, the London Free Press reports. The stop on the mobile vaccine clinic’s planned route was unexpectedly cancelled.
  • A new COVID-19 vaccine that researchers at Western University are working on is showing early promise, Blackburn News reports. “We hope our second-generation vector-based COVID-19 vaccine will induce a long-lasting and strongly protective immunity against all variants of SARS-CoV-2,” says Western professor Chil-Yong Kang.

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