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 1,076 new cases in Ontario, for a total of total of 283,587 since the pandemic began; 763 people are in hospital, 295 of them in intensive care, and 204 on ventilators. To date, 6,632 people have died.
- According to data from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, there are 180 outbreaks in long-term-care facilities, 339 confirmed active cases of positive residents, and 465 confirmed active cases of positive staff. To date, there have been 3,706 confirmed resident deaths and 11 confirmed staff deaths.
- As of February 12, in publicly funded schools in Ontario, there are 24 new school-related student cases (for a total of 5,264), seven new school-related staff cases (for a total of 1,130), and no new cases in an "individual not identified" (for a total of 1,125); 112 schools have a reported case, and three school are currently closed.
- Per the government's report on Ontario’s vaccination program, 426,836 total doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Ontario.
- Yesterday, Stephen Lecce, Ontario's Minister of Education, announced that March break will be postponed until April 12-16. "This decision was made with the best advice of Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health and public health officials, including consultations with many local Medical Officers of Health," read a statement from the ministry.
- Ontario's chief medical officer of health says the government will announce today which categories of its COVID-19 restrictions system some regions will fall into when they begin to reopen next week, reports Global News. Toronto, Peel Region and York Region will remain under the stay-at-home order until at least February 22.
- New modelling released by the province's health experts show that while public health measures have helped to decline mobility, deaths, cases, positivity rates and hospitalizations in Ontario, the continuing spread of the U.K. variant of the virus could potentially lead to a third wave of the pandemic as soon as late February and early March, reports CTV.
Gary Garber, the former medical director of infection prevention and control at Public Health Ontario, testified to Ontario's long-term-care commission last week that his department was asked to maintain a “low profile” in order to avoid being “subsumed” by the newly created Ontario Health early last year, reports CP24. “At the time, I was explaining it to people that COVID really was the IPAC (infection prevention and control) Olympics, that we had people who had been training for years,” Garber told the Long-Term Care COVID-19 Commission.
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Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area
- According to data as of February 10, there are 411 new cases in Toronto, for a total of 91,469 since the pandemic began; 419 of them are in hospital (18 new). In total, 2,534 people have died (8 new).
- Niagara has been successful in administering six, and even seven doses per vial of the Pfizer-BioNTech, which were originally determined to hold five doses. Hamilton and Brant health units tell CBC Hamilton they too have had some success getting extra doses. Brant staff were able to extract six doses in 98 per cent of vials, but not seven. Hamilton's medical officer of health said staff were "often" able to get six doses.
- A daughter told the Hamilton Spectator about the difficult situation her elderly mother faces within a temporary Hamilton hospital where nearly two-thirds of patients have the COVID-19 virus. The facility has three ongoing outbreaks (every floor was affected at one point) and patients have not been allowed visitors.
- The Spectator and the St. Catharines Standard outline what's to be expected for businesses re-opening in Hamilton and Niagara next week.
- The Standard reports that a St. Catharines salon, which previously opened for business claiming to be a film studio, only to be shut down by bylaw officers, has opened again. Despite what the paper describes as obvious activity, bylaw departments said they could not confirm the salon was open.
- As of February 10, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 1,553 active cases of COVID-19 in First Nation communities across Canada. They are also reporting 199 COVID-19 related deaths in total, across all First Nation reserves in Canada. To date, Ontario First Nation communities have had a total of 628 COVID-19 cases.
- Listen for a COVID-19 update from the Nishnawbe Aski Nation Executive team on Wawatay radio every Friday at 1:05p.m.
- As of February 11, Six Nations of the Grand River is reporting 57 active cases of COVID-19 in the community.
- On February 15, Six Nations Health Services Gedeo Team will be launching CommUNITY: Virtual Wellness Series. Gedeo translates to compassion in the Cayuga language. CommUNITY will feature a number of Indigenous speakers and focus on elements of the mind, body and spirit and motions to inspire healing and wellness through humour, ceremony, music, sport and cooking. The series will kick off on Family Day and take place every other Saturday after that, until May 15.
- Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte is advising anyone who visited “Fast Freddy’s” on January 26, 27 or 28 or “49 Quik Stop” on February 4 or 8, that they may have had low risk exposure to COVID-19 and must self-monitor. If symptoms of COVID-19 develop, seek testing, even if symptoms are very mild. Individuals who were identified as having high risk exposure to the case have been contacted by the community health nurse.
- Wabaseemoong First Nation Chief Waylon Scott announced on February 10 that the community was going into a strict lockdown. Members are expected to stay in their homes for a week, in an effort to control the spread of COVID-19. The chief said he will review the situation after seven days, with the option to extend the lockdown to 14 days.
- A COVID-related death has been reported as a result of Health Science North's outbreak yesterday, according to Public Health Sudbury and Districts. As of February 9, there were five active cases in the hospital's outbreak, according to CBC.
- Public Health Sudbury reports 24 new cases, 61 resolved cases, 11 hospitalizations and one death between February 4 to 10, for a total of 27 active cases in its area. Five outbreaks were declared over in the past week: three in schools, one in a retirement home and one in a community congregate living setting. There are five active outbreaks.
- The outbreak at North Bay's Skyline Lancelot apartments has grown to 24 cases, 18 of which are a result of a COVID variant, according to the North Bay Nugget. Within the outbreak, 18 of the cases are from residents of the apartment. Further testing is required to identify the exact variant.
- The Porcupine Health Unit is reporting one new outbreak-related COVID case in the Kapuskasing, Opasatika, Val Rita-Harty, Moonbeam and Fauquier-Strickland area. There are 32 active cases in the region.
- The Weeneebayko Area Health Authority announced 2,841 residents and healthcare workers have been vaccinated with the first dose of the Moderna vaccine.
- An outbreak has been declared at McKellar Park Central Public School in Thunder Bay after two more COVID-19 cases have been detected. The school is closed for in-person instruction.
- In order to deal with the ongoing outbreak at the Thunder Bay District Jail, Dr. Janet DeMille, Thunder Bay District Health Unit’s medical officer of health, has issued a Class Section 22 order under the Health and Protection and Promotion Act, requiring individuals who are positive for COVID-19 and released from the jail to self-isolate, TBNewswatch reports.
- A new vaccination centre at the Bora Laskin Theatre building at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay will increase vaccination capacity up to 500 people per day, says Rhonda Crocker-Ellacott, president and CEO at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre. Crocker-Ellacott expects the move from the hospital - where currently they can only vaccinate about 168 people per day - to the university to begin sometime next week, TBNewswatch reports.
- In light of new COVID-19 variants in the province, the Ontario Health Coalition strongly urges residents to stay home and avoid all non-essential travel even after the provincial lockdown order is lifted, TBNewswatch reports.
- Three new COVID-19 cases were reported in the Kingston region Thursday, writes the Kingston Whig-Standard.
Kieran Moore, Kingston’s medical officer of health, has been added to Ontario’s Ministers’ COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force, reports Global News.
Kingston businesses prepare for the possibility of out-of-town visitors as the Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington Public Health region entered the green-zone this week, reports Global News. "If you have been in the red zone over the last 14 days, we’re going to ask you to wait to book your appointment for 14 days, or re-book after a 14-day quarantine if you’ve been in a red zone,” said one business owner.
- A pricey tab that accompanies government-manded hotel quarrantine for international travellers unfairly targets families with low incomes who are trying to keep in touch with family members across borders, CTV Kitchener reports.
- Walk-in delivery may be down, but demand for flower delivery is skyrocketing as residents in the London and Middlesex area prepare to celebrate Valentine's Day in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, the London Free Press reports.
- Seventeen people have tested positive in an outbreak of COVID-19 at the Downtown Mission shelter in Windsor and more than 30 other people are still awaiting test results, CTV Windsor reports.
A variant of the COVID-19 virus has been detected in Windsor, but more lab testing is needed to determine exactly which one it might be, the Windsor Star reports.