Per today's government report, there are 10,964 new cases in Ontario, for a total of total of 926,904 since the pandemic began; 3,814 people are in hospital testing positive for COVID-19, while 527 are in intensive care who either previously tested positive or have currently tested positive, and 288 patients are on ventilators. To date, 10,522 people have died.
According to data from the Ministry of Long-Term Care, there are 326 outbreaks in long-term-care facilities, 2,146 confirmed active cases of positive residents, and 3,830 confirmed active cases of positive staff. To date, there have been 3,893 confirmed resident deaths and 13 confirmed staff deaths.
As of 8 p.m. yesterday, Ontario has administered 163,036 new doses of COVID-19 vaccines, for a total of 29,180,320 since December 2020. 816,121 people have received only one dose, and 12,333,169 people have received two doses, and 5,310,425 have had three doses. 88. per cent of Ontarians over the age of 5 have received their first dose of vaccine and 82.19 per cent have received their second.
- It’s unclear if businesses ordered closed by the Ontario government last week will get to reopen on January 26 after Ontario's chief medical officer of health, Kieran Moore, revealed Thursday that he “can’t guarantee” that new public health restrictions will lift on that date, reports CP24.
Ontario is making immunocompromised individuals eligible to receive a fourth dose of COVID-19 vaccine, after previously doing the same for residents of long-term care homes and other congregate care settings, reports CP24.
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Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area
- According to January 13 data, Toronto reported 2,190 new cases of COVID-19, for a total of 255,004 since the pandemic began; 345 of them are in hospital (31 new). In total, 3,805 people have died (9 new).
- Toronto is opening 8,000 more COVID-19 vaccination appointments in an effort to get more residents vaccinated, reports CP24. On Friday, at 8 a.m., the city opened the appointments for adults and children on the provincial booking system. The appointments will be available for Sunday, January 16 and Monday, January 17 at any of the city’s five mass immunization clinics.
- The Toronto District School Board has released some details about its plan for Monday's return to in-person learning, including how it will report positive COVID-19 cases in classrooms, reports CP24. In a post on its website Thursday evening, the TDSB said when schools become aware of a PCR or rapid antigen test confirmed case, only classes directly impacted will be notified.
- The City of Toronto has announced that it will be opening additional emergency shelter spaces to house those experiencing homelessness, reports CP24. The City also announced yesterday that all shelter sites will soon receive deliveries of more than 310,000 N95 masks to make available to shelter clients. According to a press release, the City estimates that more than 310,000 N95 masks will be sufficient to provide all clients of the shelter system with N95 masks for at least the next 14 days.
- The Toronto Star reports that thousands of students have been absent from class for “no reason,” according to recent data from Toronto’s public school board. According to the TDSB, on January 5 the top reasons for full-day absences at elementary schools, and the number of students away, were: No reason provided — 10,636; other — 3,337; illness — 1,238; vacation — 1,025; and family — 763. Amongst high school students, 5,212 were absent for no reason; 160 listed other; 152 were on vacation; 137 were ill and 107 were excused.
- The president of Peel’s elementary teachers' union said that she’s not sure if there will be enough teachers available to cover all the in-person classes in Peel when they resume next week, reports the Brampton Guardian.
- During a press briefing on Thursday, January 13, William Osler Health System president and CEO Naveed Mohammad told reporters the most recent data suggests the recent wave of new cases driven by the Omicron variant could peak in roughly a week, reports the Brampton Guardian. “There’s modelling that our own departments are doing here in the hospital and there is also modelling that is being done by the province. We are hoping that, at least for our hospitals, things may peak in the next seven to eight days and then start to come down after that,” Mohammad said. “That’s what we’re hoping (and) what our current models show."
- The back-to-school vaccination clinic at the Save Max Sports Centre in Brampton will see doses administered to youth aged 5 to 11 and their parents or caregivers at the same time, reports the Brampton Guardian. Open only on Sunday, January 16 from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m., residents need to secure appointments online through Ontario’s or Peel's booking system.
- Hamilton's overwhelmed hospitals have transferred four patients out of the area for care. The Hamilton Spectator writes that while we don't know about these patients' situations, this speaks to the challenges hospitals are having managing the COVID-19 surge.
- The city is currently dealing with 94 COIVD-19 outbreaks, CBC Hamilton reports. One of the largest is at the Hamilton-Wentworth Detention centre, with 55 cases.
- Absenteeism due to COVID-19 sickness and isolation are making it harder for many businesses, including some in Hamilton, to run effectively or even stay open, the Spectator reports.
- Hamilton's city workers who have not provided proof of two COVID-19 vaccinations or a valid medical exemption by May 31 will lose their jobs. As CBC Hamilton reports, this is an update to an earlier policy that allowed unvaccinated staff and workers who wouldn't share their status to keep working with regular testing.
- As a Hamilton city councillor calls for a discussion on ending homeless encampments, Niagara Region's public health and community services committee says it needs provincial funding to support a growing homelessness crisis. As the St. Catharines Standard reports, emergency COVID-19 funding is set to end. The community services commissioner says funding is not keeping up with need.
- Niagara's acting medical officer of health Mustafa Hirji tells the Standard that Ontario's plan to hold more vaccination clinics in schools could mean fewer shots elsewhere in the community due to limited public health resources. He also said most schools don't have the space for clinics. Hirji says the focus should be on getting parents to take kids to existing clinics. About 42 per cent of Niagara's five- to 11-year-olds have one dose, compared to 81 per cent of 12- to 17-year-olds.
- The paper also reports that although Ontario provided funding to a Thorold biotech company making rapid tests a year ago, it has yet to respond to the company's requests to supply its kits in the province.
- 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 11, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 4,985 active cases of COVID-19 in First Nation communities across Canada. It is also reporting 573 COVID-19 related deaths in total, across all First Nation reserves in Canada. To date, Ontario First Nation communities have had a total of 5,803 COVID-19 cases.
- According to Global News, the Limestone District School Board in Kingston has requested that COVID-19 vaccines be added to the list of mandatory vaccinations for students. The board also asked for “continued tracking and public reporting of COVID-19 cases within schools, the implementation of a ‘test to return’ strategy, as well as funding for COVID-related supplies such as masks and rapid antigen tests.”
- The Peterborough Examiner spoke with a 21-year-old Trent University student to learn about life inside the “overwhelmed” Peterborough Regional Health Centre. “You can’t hug… you can’t do anything but try to hold it together,” says Jenna Dakin.
- The Cornwall Community Hospital says that new provincial guidelines has allowed it to preserve testing capacity at its assessment centre. “Following the provincial government’s announcement that publicly funded PCR testing would be reserved only for priority population groups,” reads a hospital statement, “the assessment centre has seen a notable decrease.”
- Public Health Sudbury and Districts reported 111 new cases, dropping the active total case count to 983, the Sudbury Star reports. The Star also says there were 11 deaths in the region over the past week. At Health Sciences North, there are 38 cases in hospital, including four in ICU.
- The Weeneebayko Area Health Authority reports five new cases and four resolved for a total of 78 active cases in the James and Hudson Bay coast, including 31 cases in Attawapiskat and 29 in Moose Factory.
- The Thunder Bay District Health Unit is reporting 80 new COVID-19 cases among vulnerable individuals and those in high-risk settings. The health unit is reporting 356 active COVID-19 cases and 17 local residents hospitalized with the virus, including two people in the ICU.
A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at Jasper Place, a supportive senior living facility in Thunder Bay where two people have tested positive for the virus, TBNewswatch reports.
- Lakehead District School Board in Thunder Bay is warning parents about the possibility of school closures in light of staffing shortages, as students return to the classroom next week. “We are committed to doing all we can to keep schools and classes open, but we expect to be faced with school closures or class cancellations due to insufficient staff to safely operate out schools,” the school board said in a statement.
- A million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Middlesex-London, CTV News London reports. “This is an astounding achievement, not only because of the sheer number of vaccine doses that have been given, but more importantly the enthusiasm we’ve seen from community members who have rolled up their sleeves over the last year,” says Alex Summers, the Middlesex-London Health Unit’s acting medical officer of health.
- The Middlesex-London Health Unit has recorded its fifth COVID-related death in a week, the London Free Press reports. The latest death, reported Thursday, was a woman of more than 100 years of age. Since the pandemic began, 265 deaths have now been linked to the virus.
- With in-class learning set to resume for elementary and high-school students in Ontario on January 17, London parents tell CBC News that they’re scrambling to get their kids vaccinated. "We moved up the vaccination — the second dose — earlier so that they could be double-vaccinated prior to their return to school," said Kyleigh Alexander, who was at the Western Fair District Agriplex with her two children this week to get them their seconds shots before they return to the classroom.
- Sarnia and Lambton County’s COVID-19 death toll reached 93 on Thursday with two new virus-related fatalities confirmed as the local public-health unit declared 147 new cases, Blackburn News reports. Meanwhile, the region’s active case count was 870, down by 69 from the previous day.
- It’s only taken a week for the number of COVID-19 patients in Windsor-Essex to come close to doubling, CBC News reports. On Thursday, local hospitals were caring for 95 people infected with the virus, compared to 49 a week ago, according to the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit. "In my experience as a hospital doctor, 95 people is a significant burden on a hospital," says Shanker Nesathurai, WECHU’s acting medical officer of health.
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