COVID-19: What you need to know for January 11

The latest coronavirus updates from across the province
By TVO.org staff - Published on Jan 11, 2022

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Provincewide

  • Per today's government report, there are 7,951 new cases in Ontario, for a total of total of 896,248 since the pandemic began; 3,220 people are in hospital testing positive for COVID-19, while 477 are in intensive care who either previously tested positive or have currently tested positive, and 250 patients are on ventilators. To date, 10,399 people have died.
  • According to data from the Ministry of Long-Term Care, there are 271 outbreaks in long-term-care facilities, 1,566 confirmed active cases of positive residents, and 2,762 confirmed active cases of positive staff. To date, there have been 3,865 confirmed resident deaths and 13 confirmed staff deaths.
  • As of 8 p.m. yesterday, Ontario has administered 141,693 new doses of COVID-19 vaccines, for a total of 28,693,247 since December 2020. 814,038 people have received only one dose, and 12,296,949 people have received two doses, and 4,894,431 have had three doses. 87.74 per cent of Ontarians over the age of 5 have received their first dose of vaccine and 81.95 per cent have received their second.
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

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  • According to January 10 data, Toronto reported 6,842 new cases of COVID-19, for a total of 248,916 since the pandemic began; 306 of them are in hospital (145 new). In total, 3,784 people have died (15 new). Data as of January 10 includes case counts and outcomes since January 7.
  • CP24 reports that there is data suggesting that some people are refusing to take the Moderna COVID vaccine. At a briefing on Monday Medical Officer of Health, Eileen de Villa expressed exasperation with data suggesting that two to three per cent of all people with appointments at city-run clinics are now walking away being offered Moderna and “choosing to wait for Pfizer instead.”
  • The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) has terminated 354 employees who failed to comply with the agency’s COVID-19 vaccine policy, reports CP24. “This represents approximately two per cent of TTC employees - and they've all been out of the workplace since November 21,” TTC Spokesperson Stuart Green said in an email to CP24.
  • The urgent care centre at Peel Memorial Centre for Integrated Health and Wellness in Brampton will be closed until at least February 1 amid “extreme capacity and staffing shortages,” reports CP24. William Osler Health System made the announcement Monday evening after previously announcing the urgent care centre would be closed until January 10.
  • At points this weekend there were upwards of 50 Toronto ambulances that were out of service at one time while paramedics waited to offload patients at local hospitals, a situation that officials say is increasingly impacting response times in the city, reports CP24
  • The City of Hamilton will make walk-in appointments available for children 5-11 at the LimeRidge Mall and Centre on Barton vaccine clinics.
  • As the Hamilton Spectator reports, people with COVID-19 will soon have a clinic at the Charlton Campus of St. Joseph's Healthcare to turn to for help. Public health and hospital officials are urging those with the virus to go to family doctors first — not emergency departments — unless they have serious symptoms. There is already a virtual care clinic affiliated with Hamilton hospitals.
  • CBC Hamilton reports that with schools reportedly set to resume in-person classes on January 17, local boards are waiting on more N95 masks and HEPA filters. The chair of the Catholic board says the board received 140,000 N95 masks and is waiting on another 60,000. The public school board is waiting on an additional 57 HEPA filters, a spokesperson says. The province is running a new appointment-only vaccine clinic in Hamilton for education and childcare workers.
  • The St. Catharines Standard writes that Niagara is not included in those education and childcare clinics, something St. Catharines MPP Jennie Stevens wrote to Education Minister Stephen Lecce asking him to change.
  • The Spectator writes several COVID-19 infrastructure projects aiming to improve air quality in Hamilton's public schools are still under construction. As of December 16, 17 of 30 had been completed. Thirteen are ongoing with a 2023 or 2024 completion deadline.
  • Scarsin Forecasting, who provides pandemic modelling to Hamilton public health, predicts COVID-19 could send 760 people to hospital from January 10 to February 28, with 84 ending up in intensive care, CBC Hamilton reports. Alternatively, public health shared Monday, an alternate model shows there could be as many as 1,046 hospitalizations and 221 ICU admissions during that period. Hamilton has Ontario's second-highest rate of cumulative COVID-19 hospital patients per 100,000 people at 324. Fewer than 45 per cent of eligible Hamiltonians have received a third COVID-19 vaccine (the goal is 90 per cent) and 41 per cent of children five to 11 have one dose (Ontario's average is 47 per cent).
  • The paper also reports that transit staffing shortages are less pronounced in St. Catharines and Welland than Niagara Falls and GO Transit, which both made service changes in response.
  • A Hamilton union representing oilseed processing workers lost a challenge against its employers mandatory vaccination policy, which the Spectator reports, could set a precedent for similar grievances.
  • The head of the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce tells the Standard that new government supports for Ontario businesses do too little to help some businesses facing new restrictions, such as restaurants, food suppliers and hair salons.
  • After Hamilton and Niagara's top doctors said they'd be looking more closely at COVID-19 hospitalizations than case counts due to limits on testing, TVO.org's Hamilton-Niagara reporter Justin Chandler asked public health scientist, Jeff Kwong, what metrics he thinks we need to watch.
  • Niagara's acting medical officer of health Mustafa Hirji was one of three top doctors on The Agenda with Steve Paikin Friday night. He told host Nam Kiwanuka about the state of COVID-19 in Niagara, challenges with the vaccine roll out, and shared some personal reflections on the pandemic.

Indigenous

  • As of January 4, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 687 communities across Canada with vaccinations underway. 992,500 doses have been administered, of that 399,464 were second doses and 81,921 were third doses, in individuals aged 12+.
  • As of January 7, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 4,285 active cases of COVID-19 in First Nation communities across Canada. It is also reporting 570 COVID-19 related deaths in total, across all First Nation reserves in Canada. To date, Ontario First Nation communities have had a total of 5,387 COVID-19 cases.

Eastern

  • According to internal documents, some of Ottawa’s largest hospitals may ask workers who have tested positive for COVID-19 to come into work, “if exceptionally critical to operations.” Nurses who spoke with CBC Ottawa expressed concern, saying they could infect vulnerable patients.
  • The Leeds, Granville, and Lanark public health unit says that more than one-third of eligible adults have received a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. More than 66 per cent of people aged 80 and older have three jabs, as well as 65 per cent of seniors aged 70-79.
  • Peterborough’s public health unit is looking into an event that occurred over the weekend at the Keene Centre for the Arts. Pictures and videos show a large group partying without masks.
  • The Kingston Health Sciences Centre is offering COVID-19 assessment to those with “worsening COVID-19 symptoms,” at the Beechgrove Assessment Centre.

Northern

  • Attawapiskat First Nation sent requests for help to the Canadian Rangers and other organizations after hitting 30 active cases in the community. The cases are so far contained to 10 households, and 85 close and high-risk contacts have been identified. According to the Weeneebayko Area Health Authority, there are 81 cases in the James and Hudson Bay coasts, including 30 cases in Moose Factory.
  • The Northwestern Health Unit currently has 365 active COVID-19 cases, the bulk of which are in the Kenora and Sioux Lookout areas, with 153 and 146 cases, respectively. Seven people are currently hospitalized with the virus, according to health unit data.
  • The Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre is operating at 99 per cent occupancy rate, with 19 patients with COVID-19 admitted to hospital, including two in ICU, CBC Thunder Bay reports.
  • COVID-19 cases at the Thunder Bay District Jail have more than doubled since an outbreak was declared at the facility last week, rising from 24 cases to 52, TBNewswatch reports. That number represents 22 inmates and 30 staff members who’ve tested positive for the virus, according to Bill Hayes, president of the local Ontario Public Service Employees Union which represents correctional officers.
  • The Thunder Bay District Health Unit says an outbreak at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Thunder Bay - which was declared on December 23 after 3 people in the facility contracted COVID-19, according to TBNewswatch - is now over.

Southwestern

  • Lab results have confirmed 223 new COVID-19 cases for Middlesex-London, CTV News London reports. The cases announced Monday came on the heels of a weekend during which the local public-health unit reported four deaths and upwards of 900 new cases.
  • London councillor Michael van Holst was roundly criticized for questioning the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines at the city’s corporate services committee on Monday, CBC News reports. As committee discussed a possible vaccine policy for councillors, van Holst likened the jab’s protection against the virus to a “toque and sandals,” versus the “hard hat and safety boots” that health experts had promised. Mayor Ed Holder was among those to speak out in response to van Holst: “I'm going to challenge the credentials of our colleague who is presenting his conjecture as fact. That's not only offensive, but it's exceptionally misleading."
  • COVID-related hospitalizations continue to reach new highs in Sarnia-Lambton, the Sarnia Observer reports. Bluewater Health spokesperson Julia Oosterman tweeted on January 9, “We’ve beat our own ‘record,”’ adding, “34 is the highest we’ve seen yet,” referring to the number of patients then being treated for the virus at the hospital. As of Monday, that number had risen further to 41.
  • Windsor-Essex residents can pick up free COVID-19 rapid antigen tests later this week from the University of Windsor, CTV News Windsor reports. Distribution of the take-home tests — which are being offered through the province’s holiday testing blitz — is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. at the university’s education parking lot on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, respectively, while supplies last.


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