COVID-19: What you need to know for February 2

The latest coronavirus updates from across the province
By TVO.org staff - Published on Feb 02, 2021

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This article was last updated on Tuesday at 10:52 a.m.

Provincewide

  • Per today's government report, there are 745 new cases in Ontario, for a total of total of 270,925 since the pandemic began; 1,192 people are in hospital, 341 of them in intensive care, and 253 on ventilators. To date, 6,238 people have died. However, the Ministry of Health cautioned that today's data is likely under-reporting the true number of cases due to IT changes in Toronto.
  • According to data from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, there are 224 outbreaks in long-term-care facilities, 855 confirmed active cases of positive residents, and 838 confirmed active cases of positive staff. To date, there have been 3,578 confirmed resident deaths and 11 confirmed staff deaths.
JMG Graph
Data from the Province of Ontario; visualizations by John Michael McGrath.
JMG COVID GRAPH
Data from the Province of Ontario; visualizations by John Michael McGrath.
  • As of February 2, in publicly funded schools in Ontario, there are 17 new school-related student cases (for a total of 5,161), four new school-related staff cases (for a total of 1,102), and one new case in "individuals not identified" (for a total of 1,118); 32 schools have a reported case, and no school is currently closed.

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  • Per the government's report on Ontario’s vaccination program, 341,900 total doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Ontario.

  • On Monday, Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced that the Ontario government is providing an additional $381 million, provided through the federal Safe Return to Class Fund, to keep schools safe from COVID-19. According to a statement released by the government, the funding will be used to improve air quality and ventilation in schools, support online learning, promote student mental health and hire additional staff. 

  • CP24 reports that Premier Doug Ford will provide an update this afternoon on the province’s COVID-19 vaccination program as the government approaches its deadline to provide first doses to all residents of long-term-care and high-risk retirement homes. The government's deadline for residents of long-term-care and high-risk retirement homes to receive their first dose is February 5.

Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area

  • According to data as of January 31, there are 961 new cases in Toronto, for a total of 85,983 since the pandemic began; 1 of them is in hospital. In total, 18 people have died. According to Toronto Public Health, today's case counts are higher as a result of adjustments due to the transition to the provincial info system for case and contact management as announced last week. As stated in a tweet, starting today, there will be reduced reporting so Toronto Public Health can address tech issues before resuming full daily reporting.
  • Toronto Public Health is reporting that at least two out of 78 COVID-19 cases at Belmont Meats, a meat processing facility currently experiencing an outbreak, have been identified as being from the U.K. coronavirus variant strain reports Global News.
  • Ontario’s first known case of a “variant of concern” initially identified in South Africa was confirmed on Monday in a Mississauga man, reports the Toronto Star. Ontario now has 69 confirmed variant cases as of Sunday, according to data from Public Health Ontario.
  • According to the Toronto Star, a survey of health units in parts of the province where physical schools are already open, or opening, found that asymptomatic COVID-19 testing promised by the province is rarely happening. The Star contacted 18 public health units where it was aware schools have opened. Of the 11 that responded by press time, only one, Sudbury, confirmed that asymptomatic testing has been done.
  • Roberta Place, a long-term-care home in Barrie currently battling a COVID-19 outbreak, is facing a proposed class-action lawsuit from residents' families who allege their loved ones were neglected by those charged with keeping them safe reports CP24.
  • Hamilton's mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinic started giving residents at seniors' homes their jabs again. The process resumed Sunday and continued Monday, as reported by the Hamilton Spectator. The fixed-site clinic at Hamilton Health Sciences is expected to remain closed until at least February 10 due to a vaccine shortage.
  • The Spectator also reports that public health staff in Haldimand-Norfolk are busy tracing contacts of a resident in the area who contracted a more contagious variant of COVID-19. Public health has not shared how the resident contracted the virus, the number of contacts they had, or their condition.
  • Niagara has Ontario's third-highest COVID-19 death rate, but as the St. Catharines Standard reports, it is not considered a pandemic hot spot. Only Toronto and Windsor-Essex have higher death rates. The region's infection rate remains third in Ontario, behind Toronto and Peel.

Indigenous

  • As of January 29, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 2,911 active cases of COVID-19 in First Nation communities across Canada. They are also reporting 157 COVID-19 related deaths in total, across all First Nation reserves in Canada. To date, Ontario First Nation communities have had a total of 536 COVID-19 cases.
  • Six Nations received notice over the weekend from Ohsweken Public Health have identified positive cases from members that attended midwinter’s ceremonies from January 15 - 26.
  • On February 1, COVID-19 vaccines arrived by plane in Neskantaga First Nation, along with a medivac plane which will be on standby in case of emergencies, says Chief Moonias.

Northern

  • Hundreds of residents in Ontario’s remote communities will be receiving vaccines this week as part of Ornge’s Operation Remote Immunity. This week teams will be flying to Neskantaga, Slate Falls, Muskrat Dam, Fort Severn, Webequie and Kashechewan.

Eastern

  • There were no new cases of COVID-19 in the Kingston region on Monday, the Kingston Whig-Standard reports. There were a total of nine active cases in the region.
  • Ottawa Public Health reported 22 new cases of the virus on Monday, the Ottawa Citizen reports, with a total of 599 active cases, which is down from 1,218 a week ago.
  • As of Monday, 26,337 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Ottawa, according to Ottawa Public Health. The figure was higher than anticipated because some health care workers have been able to extract a sixth dose from vaccine vials, rather than the assumed five, Global News reports.
  • A resident of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry, who asked to remain anonymous, tells Nation Valley News that she was able to get a vaccination in Palm Beach County, Florida, where she is staying for the winter months. (The federal government has long asked Canadians not to travel outside the country).
  • Ottawa students went back to in-person learning on Monday, in a move that some parents told CBC News was the right one, despite their reservations. Ottawa’s medical officer of health, Vera Etches, has cited mental health concerns among her reasons for pushing for the reopening.

Southwestern

  • Councillors in Essex want the province to ease pandemic restrictions that are keeping many local small businesses closed. "We frankly can't handle it anymore," says Sherry Bondy, one of the town's councillors, according to CBC.
  • A second delivery of COVID-19 vaccine to Chatham-Kent, expected to arrive this week, has been delayed, Blackburn News reports.
  • Police in Aylmer have charged two men for holding a gathering that exceeds numbers permitted under the Reopening Ontario Act, Blackburn News reports. The charges follow an in-person service that was held on Sunday at an Aylmer church.


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