This article was last updated on Wednesday at 4:07 p.m.
TVO.org reporters and editors are tracking stories about the coronavirus pandemic in all regions of the province. Here's what Ontarians need to know.
- Per today's government report, there are 1,072 new cases in Ontario, for a total of total of 281,566 since the pandemic began; 948 people are in hospital, 313 of them in intensive care, and 226 on ventilators. To date, 6,596 people have died.
- According to data from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, there are 200 outbreaks in long-term-care facilities, 394 confirmed active cases of positive residents, and 568 confirmed active cases of positive staff. To date, there have been 3,683 confirmed resident deaths and 11 confirmed staff deaths.
As of February 10, in publicly funded schools in Ontario, there are 27 new school-related student cases (for a total of 5,224), four new school-related staff cases (for a total of 1,118), and no new cases in an "individual not identified" (for a total of 1,125); 67 schools have a reported case, and one school is currently closed.
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Per the government's report on Ontario’s vaccination program, 412,119 total doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Ontario.
Today, the Ontario government announced that it is extending electricity rate relief for families, small businesses and farms to support those spending more time at home while the province maintains the stay-at-home order in the majority of public health regions. According to a statement, the government will continue to hold electricity prices to the off-peak rate of 8.5 cents per kilowatt-hour until February 22.
Yesterday, the Ontario government announced that it will continue to provide targeted supports to 15 communities hardest hit by COVID-19, this includes priority neighborhoods in Durham, Peel, Toronto, York and Ottawa. This is part of the government's High Priority Communities Strategy announced last December. According the statement, the government is also investing up to $42 million to create about 1,500 spaces in approximately 11 COVID-19 isolation centres so people can self-isolate and keep their families and communities safe.
The Ontario government has announced a $4.5 million investment to help older adults stay connected with their communities while self-isolating in their home during the COVID-19 outbreak. According to a statement, the funding will support over 180 diverse community projects that will ensure the health and safety of seniors in Ontario.
The Ontario government has announced an investment of $7 million to help increase access to mental health and addiction services for postsecondary students during COVID-19. According to a statement, the funding will provide more supports for students, both on-campus and virtually and can also be used to address the needs of vulnerable and diverse groups, such as Indigenous students, LGBTQ students and students with disabilities.
The Ontario government announced that it will provide over $6.2 million to help create safe and affordable housing for Indigenous people in Orillia. According to a statement released by the government, the Métis Nation of Ontario will provide property management for the three-storey apartment buildings which contain a mix of one and two-bedroom apartments, including two accessible units. The government says that the funding will support those experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless during COVID-19.
Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area
- According to data as of February 9, there are 440 new cases in Toronto, for a total of 91,368 since the pandemic began; 426 of them are in hospital (39 new). In total, 2,535 people have died (16 new).
- Yesterday, the Ontario government announced funding for the renovation of the Chinguacousy Wellness Centre in Brampton.The Government of Canada is investing $572,000 in the project through the Community, Culture and Recreation Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada plan. The Government of Ontario is providing $476,619, while the City of Brampton is contributing $381,381. The statement released by the government notes that the Chinguacousy Wellness Centre remains closed due to the provincewide shutdown in response to COVID-19, and the renovations are expected to take place starting in Spring 2021.
- Simcoe Muskoka's chief medical officer of health, Charles Gardner, says the provincewide stay-at-home order should be extended as variants of concerns have emerged across the province, reports CP24. “I think we need to be ready to move right back again into shutdown and the stay-at-home order if the numbers start to go up," said Gardner.
- Hamilton's medical officer of health, Dr. Elizabeth Richardson, told media yesterday it feels "rather quick" to be moving back to the province's colour-coded COVID-19 restrictions framework. As CBC Hamilton reports, the rate of infection continues to fall in the city, with the weekly rate of cases per 100,000 people sitting at 61, down from a high of 164. Richardson notes she does not yet know which colour in the framework Hamilton will be designated.
- The vaccine clinic at Hamilton Health Sciences re-opens today, mainly to give second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, the Hamilton Spectator reports. Officials have clarified that essential caregivers can get vaccines even if they're not visiting seniors' homes. As of Tuesday, public health had not provided a breakdown of who in Hamilton has been vaccinated.
- The Spectator also reports that a McMaster University team is testing three cheap, common drugs to treat COVID-19. The principal investigator says evidence suggests they may reduce the severity of the disease in patients with mild to moderate infections.
- A physician/assistant professor at McMaster says an app, produced in part by a company he co-founded, will aid COVID-19 patients in their recovery. He told CBC Hamilton that people suffering from effects of the disease even after recovering from it, will have access to peer support through the app, Stronger Together, which is available in 102 countries.
- Next week, Hamilton will start accepting applications for on-street patios from restaurants and other hospitality businesses. The Public Record reports that the city is aiming for patio season to start in April.
- Health Canada approved the extraction of six doses from each vial of the Pfizer-Biontech vaccine yesterday, rather than the five it was initially thought each bottle contained. As CHCH reports, Niagara's acting medical officer of health Dr. Mustafa Hirji tweeted that public health in the region had 100 per cent success at getting a sixth dose from each vial, and 49.9 per cent success at getting a seventh.
- As of February 9, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 1,834 active cases of COVID-19 in First Nation communities across Canada. They are also reporting 190 COVID-19 related deaths in total, across all First Nation reserves in Canada. To date, Ontario First Nation communities have had a total of 607 COVID-19 cases.
- Listen to Deputy Grand Chief Jason Smallboy giving an update on COVID-19, on Tuesday February 9, on Wawatay Radio
- Minister Marc Miller, Associate Deputy Minister Valerie Gideon, and Chief Medical Officer Tom Wong, will hold a news conference to provide an update on the coronavirus disease on February 10 at 12p.m. EST.
As of February 9, Six Nations of the Grand River is reporting 53 active cases of COVID-19 in the community.
- Algoma Public Health reports one new COVID case in Sault Ste. Marie and area. There are currently 21 active cases in the health unit's area.
- Students and staff at Sunset Park Public School in North Bay have been dismissed due to the presence of a COVID variant, according to the North Bay Parry Sound Health Unit. Though an outbreak has yet to be declared, the health unit says the closure is a "cautionary measure to reduce the spread of the virus."
- MPPs in the northwest are criticizing the provincial government’s decision to keep the region in lockdown for one more week, TBNewswatch reports. Thunder Bay-Superior North MPP Michael Gravelle says he would’ve “preferred” for the stay-at-home order to be lifted this week, as “a week makes a huge difference” particularly for small businesses in the region.
- The Porcupine Health Unit (PHU) is reporting four new cases in its area. Two cases are from the Timmins area, one is in the Hearst and Hornepayne area and is outbreak-related, and one is in the Kapuskasing, Opasatika, Val Rita-Harty, Moonbeam and Fauquier-Strickland area. There are currently 42 active cases in within the PHU.
- Two Aurora residents were fined in Sudbury in violation of lockdown orders after getting stuck in a snowmobile trail, reports CBC Sudbury. The two were fined under the Trespass to Property Act for driving the vehicle on an OFSC Trail, the Emergency Management and Civil Protections Act – Stay-at-Home Order for failing to comply with an order ($880) and the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act. The fines totalled $1,560.
- Beginning next week, non-essential travellers entering Canada through U.S. land border crossings will have to have proof of negative COVID-19 test results, the Windsor Star reports.
- Blue Mountain near Collingwood will reopen its ski hills next week, the Owen Sound Sun Times reports.
- Windsor Regional Hospital has announced plans to relax some visitor restrictions as its number of COVID-19 cases drops, CTV Windsor reports.