COVID-19: What you need to know for February 9

The latest coronavirus updates from across the province
By TVO.org staff - Published on Feb 09, 2021

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This article was last updated on Tuesday at 3:53 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. 

Provincewide

  • Per today's government report, there are 1,022 new cases in Ontario, for a total of  280,494 since the pandemic began; 909 people are in hospital, 318 of them in intensive care, and 223 on ventilators. To date, 6,555 people have died.
  • According to data from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, there are 205 outbreaks in long-term-care facilities, 459 confirmed active cases of positive residents, and 651 confirmed active cases of positive staff. Due to a technical issue with the ministry of long-term care's data this morning, they have not yet reported the number of deaths in long-term care residents or health-care workers.
JMG COVID graph Feb 09
Data from the Province of Ontario; visualizations by John Michael McGrath.
JMG COVID Graph Feb 09 (2)
Data from the Province of Ontario; visualizations by John Michael McGrath.
  • As of February 9, in publicly funded schools in Ontario, there are 34 new school-related student cases (for a total of 5,203), 10 new school-related staff cases (for a total of 1,114), and three 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, 398,633 total doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Ontario.

  • Yesterday, the Ontario government announced that it is moving to a regional approach and maintaining the shutdown in the majority of the public health regions in Ontario, including the stay-at-home order. The statement released by the government noted that the stay-at-home order will continue to apply to 28 public health regions until February 16. For Toronto, Peel, and York regions, it is proposed that the stay-at-home order will continue to apply until February 22. Only three regions in the province -  Hastings Prince Edward Public Health, Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Public Health, and Renfrew County and District Health Unit - will move back to the province's Green-Prevent level this Wednesday and will not be subject to the stay-at-home order

  • The Ontario government has announced changes to its colour-coded COVID-19 control system, which includes in-person shopping permitted, with capacity limits, for retail stores in public-health regions in the Grey-Lockdown level.

Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area

  • According to data as of February 8, there are 419 new cases in Toronto, for a total of 90, 965 since the pandemic began; 427 of them are in hospital (15 new). In total, 2,519 people have died (3 new).
  • Ontario's stay-at-home order is set to expire in Hamilton and Niagara on February 16.
  • In Hamilton Monday, about 50 residents spoke before city council (via video call) on the proposed 2021 budget. Many told councillors about the hardships they and others face due to the pandemic, suggesting the city do more to help vulnerable Hamiltonians. Recommendations included making streets safer and more accessible, paying students more than minimum wage, curtailing urban sprawl and defunding Hamilton police.
  • The Hamilton Spectator has confirmed that Hamilton public health staff are sitting on a report with details outlining the categories of people who have been vaccinated in the city (such as residents or staff at seniors' homes), information staff have said they cannot provide to the public. The paper found that the province, whose system Hamilton public health blames for their lack of details, sent a breakdown of vaccination data on January 27, but the Hamilton department has been waiting to make the information public on February 10. Public health says the data was not usable and needed to be prepared. Experts say the lack of bigger picture information makes it harder to engage with the public and keep government accountable.
  • Live music venues in Hamilton are working hard to stay afloat, with two turning to crowdfunding, CBC Hamilton reports. Owners say they're relying on savings and government funds, with one saying plans to livestream performances were scuttled by the stay-at-home order.
  • Niagara's acting medical officer of health, Dr. Mustafa Hirji, tells the St. Catharines Standard he's not sure Ontario's new COVID-19 prevention framework will work for Niagara. In December, the province would not listen to local health leaders' please to impose stricter restrictions in Niagara. What followed was a huge increase in coronavirus infections and deaths. Hirji says he may consider using his authority to impose tighter restrictions than the province does, like he did in the fall when he limited who restaurants could serve.

Indigenous

  • As of February 5, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 1,750 active cases of COVID-19 in First Nation communities across Canada. They are also reporting 176 COVID-19 related deaths in total, across all First Nation reserves in Canada. To date, Ontario First Nation communities have had a total of 570 COVID-19 cases.

  • On Monday evening, the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte COVID-19 response team was notified of one confirmed positive COVID-19 test on the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory. The individual is self-isolating and is being monitored by the community health nurse in charge. Contract tracing is currently underway to ensure that any potential risk to the community is determined. This is the community’s second COVID-19 case.
  • As of February 8, Six Nations of the Grand River is reporting 49 active cases in the community.
  • Today is Election Day for Chief and Council in Wasauksing First Nation. The community reminds members that masks are mandatory, you must sign in and do a COVID screening and maintain physical distancing at the voting station.
  • On February 8, M'Chigeeng First Nation received 44 doses of the Moderna vaccine for Elders in congregate living spaces, said Chief Debassige on social media. “Our vaccine rollout plan enabled us to deliver the additional doses to the most elderly in our community and their live-in caregivers,” writes Debassige. “My dad received his today! Elders are grateful!”

Northern

  • The North Bay Parry Sound Health Unit has revealed the location of Saturday's "cluster" of cases at an apartment building, which included a COVID variant. The Lancelot apartments on Lakeshore Drive has 17 confirmed cases and one hospitalization with more tests pending. The health unit says the cluster is now considered an outbreak. Two cases have found preliminary results indicating a COVID variant, but further testing is required to identify which variants they are. The North Bay Regional Health Centre tested 110 people from the apartment building on February 6.
  • Algoma Public Health has confirmed two new COVID cases in its area. One is in Elliot Lake and area, and the other is in Central and East Algoma. There are 30 active cases in the region.
  • Health Sciences North (HSN) reports three new cases in its Ramsey Lake Health Centre outbreak. Two of the new cases are patients and one is a staff member, bringing the total number of cases to five since the outbreak was declared Saturday. HSN has postponed 55 non-urgent and elective surgeries for this week (February 8 to 14), but all other clinics and procedures at the hospital continue as normal. The outbreak is located within the J and K hallways of the sixth floor of the health centre's South Tower.
  • Two workers at a Valard Construction camp near White River have tested positive for COVID-19, TBNewswatch reports.
  • The Thunder Bay District Health Unit says it will no longer report possible low-risk COVID-19 exposure on flights, and suggests the public check the federal website, TBNewswatch reports

Eastern

  • The Kingston region will be moving into the green zone on Wednesday, along with Hastings Prince Edward Public Health and the Renfrew County District Health Unit, Global News reports. The rest of the province will remain under stay-at-home order until February 16, with the exception of Toronto, Peel and York, which will remain in lockdown until February 22. (The active COVID-19 case count in the Kingston region was 15, as of Monday).
  • Rob Cushman, medical officer of health for the Renfrew County and District Health Unit, tells CBC News that with Renfrew being so close to Ottawa, there are concerns that some Ottawans will travel to their region to enjoy its reopening. Belleville Mayor Mitch Panciuk said that he is discouraging residents from accepting visitors from any other region.
  • Ottawa will remain under lockdown for another week, along with most of the province. In Gatineau, which neighbors Ottawa, stores, salons and museums opened up on Monday, though Quebec’s curfew remains in effect, CTV News reports.
  • Ottawa Bylaw provided nearly two dozen verbal warnings to people using the Rideau Canal Skateway last weekend, mainly related to gatherings, according to CTV News. Playing hockey is also not permitted.

Southwestern

  • Gregory Kelly, a Western University professor who acts as the university's marshall during graduation ceremonies tells the London Free Press that he has resigned to protest the presence of Linda Hasenfratz, the university's chancellor, at in-person graduation ceremonies. Hasenfratz was a member of the province's COVID-19 task force but stepped down after her out-of-country vacation over Christmas was made public. Kelly says he found Hasenfratz's decision to take the vacation during the COVID-19 pandemic "reprehensible."
  • A ski hill in London says it will open for business when COVID-19 emergency restrictions lift next week, CTV London reports.
  • More families weathering the COVID-19 pandemic at home in London during summer months generated a record-breaking 358 pool fence permits in 2020, CTV London reports.
  • Kitchener will waive patio fees to support local businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, CTV Kitchener reports.
  • Lambton Public Health has declared an outbreak of COVID-19 after two inmates tested positive for the virus, CBC Windsor reports.
  • Windsor-Essex County Health Unit officials predict they will have delivered the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine to all residents in the region's long-term care facilities by Feb. 18, Blackburn News reports.

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