COVID-19: What you need to know for December 7

The latest coronavirus updates from across the province
By TVO.org staff - Published on Dec 07, 2021

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Provincewide

  • Per today's government report, there are 928 new cases in Ontario, for a total of 625,312 since the pandemic began; 340 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 95 patients are on ventilators. To date, 10,036 people have died.
  • According to data from the Ministry of Long-Term Care, there are 7 outbreaks in long-term-care facilities, 13 confirmed active cases of positive residents, and 23 confirmed active cases of positive staff. To date, there have been 3,827 confirmed resident deaths and 13 confirmed staff deaths.

  • As of 8 p.m. yesterday, Ontario has administered 60,631 new doses of COVID-19 vaccines, for a total of 24,076,464 since December 2020. 594,495 people have received only one dose, and 11,300,708 people have received two doses, and 866,170 have had three doses. 84.88 per cent of Ontarians over the age of 5 have received their first dose of vaccine and 80.64 per cent have received their second.​​​​​​​
  • Between 2 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Monday, Ontario's publicly-funded schools were reporting 303 new school-related student cases (for a total of 7,662) 35 new staff cases (for a total of 833) and 7 new unspecified cases for a total of 134; 836 schools are reporting at least one case and 8 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.

​​​​​​​​​​​​Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area

  • According to December 6 data, Toronto reported 433 new cases of COVID-19, for a total of 184,142 since the pandemic began; 25 of them are in hospital (4 new). In total, 3,716 people have died (0 new). Data as of December 6 includes case counts and outcomes since December 3. 
  • Toronto Public Health is investigating its first school case of the new Omicron variant in Scarborough, reports CP24. Few details have been released, but officials say the case was identified at Precious Blood Catholic School, located near Lawrence and Pharmacy avenues.
  • The City of Toronto announced that as of December 6 at 8:30 a.m., more than 60,000 doses have been administered to residents between five and 11 years old. In less than two weeks, approximately 26 per cent of Toronto residents in this age group have initiated their vaccination series by receiving one dose.
  • The Toronto Star reports that more than 120 staff at Maplehurst Correctional Complex in Milton have been placed on leave after Halton Public Health banned unvaccinated staff from working at the jail last week amid a COVID-19 outbreak, according to a union memo obtained by the Star. There are 80 cases linked to the current outbreak, according to Halton Public Health. As of December 1, according to the Ministry of the Solicitor General, there were 36 active inmate cases.
  • Hamilton is experiencing a "swell" in COVID-19 cases, but not a surge, medical officer of health Elizabeth Richardson told the city's board of health yesterday. As the Hamilton Spectator reports, an average of 25 new cases have been reported each day since December 3, higher than the recent 20 per day average. Richardson says relative to other parts of the province, Hamilton is seeing a small increase.
  • CBC Hamilton reports that current modelling for the health unit shows cases will stay below previous peaks if public health measures stay in place (and people follow them), but warn that lifting them before April could result in 600 more people getting COVID-19. A city epidemiologist says to avoid a large jump, the city also needs 65 per cent of kids aged five to 11 to get a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by the end of January. These models are based on the delta variant remaining the primary strain and could change if a new variant like omicron takes over.
  • McMaster University scientists are starting human trials for two inhaled COVID-19 vaccines. They would target the lungs, where the virus attacks, so researchers say they could be more effective than current intramuscular vaccines, the Spectator reports.
  • The paper also reports that Hamilton high school students will be back on a regular timetable next semester, rather than the quad master model designed to limit students' contacts. Public health supports the change and says it will work with the boards should the situation change.
  • Another unvaccinated person with "severe underlying health conditions" died of COVID-19 in Haldimand-Norfolk, officials say. Acting medical officer of health Matt Strauss told reporters four residents are in intensive care for COVID-19. There are 22 ongoing outbreaks in the region, most linked to schools. The test positivity rate in the region appears to be trending downward.
  • Some Niagara residents trying to secure third doses of the COVID-19 vaccine tell the St. Catharines Standard the process is too difficult, especially with the health unit focusing on children. Acting medical officer of health Mustafa Hirji had warned it would be harder for adults to get shots while officials prioritized unvaccinated children. A pharmacist tells the paper he's frustrated with people getting mad and demanding third doses immediately when there's relatively little to go around.
  • By early next year, any Niagara Regional Police Service member who does not show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or provide negative test results will be put on unpaid leave. The Standard reports proof of vaccination must be provided by December 17, but members who cannot get vaccinated will be accommodated. The NRP is one of the last Ontario police forces to enact such a policy.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Indigenous

  • As of December 1, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 687 communities across Canada with vaccinations underway. 891,972 doses have been administered, of that 383,602 were second doses in individuals 12 and older.
  • As of December 6, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 911 active cases of COVID-19 in First Nation communities across Canada. It is also reporting 544 COVID-19 related deaths in total, across all First Nation reserves in Canada. To date, Ontario First Nation communities have had a total of 3,876 COVID-19 cases.

Eastern

  • 35 per cent of eligible Ottawa children ages 5-11 have received their first doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, which means Ottawa leads pediatric vaccinations in Ontario, Global News reports. The next closest unit is Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington, which has just under 33 per cent. As of Monday, 26,000 children in Ottawa have received a dose.
  • COVID-19 cases in the Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox, & Addington region continue their steep climb, with 337 cases as of Monday afternoon, the Kingston Whig-Standard reports. 117 cases have been added since Friday. There are two current outbreaks, both in jails, and these outbreaks have six active cases between them.
  • Kingston's Integrated Care Hub, a drop-in centre providing consumption and treatment options for those with substance use disorders, is trying to help homeless people find safe places to isolate in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak, CBC Kingston reports. Kingston has one of the lowest vacancy rates in the province, and it has risen over the last year. Justine McIsaac, the hub's consumption treatment coordinator, says they've been able to move people into hotels, but there hasn't been enough space, and they've had to set up overflow trailers as a result. "We're asking people to isolate in a trailer for 10 days and hope for the best. And there was no other option. We were the option, right? And nobody is okay with it," she says.

Northern

  • Peter Juni, scientific director of Ontario’s COVID-19 science advisory table, says the Thunder Bay District Health Unit should consider more public health restrictions in light of rising COVID-19 cases and the discovery of the omicron variant in the city, TBNewswatch reports. Juni suggests tighter restrictions such as the steps Windsor-Essex public health unit is taking, which include limiting social gatherings and limiting capacity in bars and restaurants to 50 per cent.
  • A new case of COVID-19 has been found at St. Martin School in Thunder Bay, which recently reopened after closing in response to an outbreak where at least 27 people were infected with the virus, TBNewswatch reports. Parents and guardians of students who may be affected have been notified and will be contacted by public health.
  • COVID-19 outbreaks have been declared at two schools in Thunder Bay, TBNewswatch reports. Three cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed at St. Margaret School, while two cases have been confirmed at Hammarskjold High School. Close contacts will be contacted by public health, and affected classes and cohorts have been dismissed, but the schools remain open at this time.

Southwestern

  • Amid rising COVID-19 cases in Chatham-Kent, the local public-health unit is ramping up gathering restrictions, Sarnia & Lambton County This Week reports. Effective Friday at 12:01 a.m., indoor gatherings, which are currently capped at 25 people, will be limited to 10 attendees.
  • At least 42 people have contracted COVID-19 after an outbreak at an Essex County restaurant, the Windsor Star reports. Public-health officials advise anyone who attended Elite Restaurant, in Kingsville, between November 18 to December 2 to immediately get tested for the virus.
  • A cluster of at least 30 coronavirus cases that the Middlesex-London Health Unit is investigating likely involves the Omicron variant. "The situation continues to evolve very quickly, but there's already enough evidence to indicate strongly that the Omicron variant has arrived in our region," says Alex Summers, acting medical officer of health for the MLHU, as per CBC News.


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