COVID-19: What you need to know for January 22

The latest coronavirus updates from across the province
By TVO.org staff - Published on Jan 22, 2021

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This article was last updated on Friday at 4:06 p.m.

Provincewide

  • Per today's government report, there are 2,662 new cases in Ontario, for a total of total of 250,226 since the pandemic began; 1,512 people are in hospital, 383 of them in intensive care, and 291 on ventilators. To date, 5,701 people have died.
  • According to data from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, there are 244 outbreaks in long-term-care facilities, 1,346 confirmed active cases of positive residents, and 1,130 confirmed active cases of positive staff. To date, there have been 3,298 confirmed resident deaths and 10 confirmed staff deaths.
JMG Graph
Data from the Province of Ontario; visualizations by John Michael McGrath.
JMG Graph 2
Data from the Province of Ontario; visualizations by John Michael McGrath.
  • As of January 22, in publicly funded schools in northern Ontario, there are no new school-related student cases (for a total of 5,133), no new school-related staff cases (for a total of 1,096), and no new cases in "individuals not identified" (for a total of 1,095); seven schools have a reported case, and two schools are currently closed.

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  • Per the government's report on Ontario’s vaccination program, 264,985 total doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Ontario. 

  • The Ontario government announced that it is providing $2.4 million to train up to 300 personal support workers for positions in long-term care homes in the Ottawa area, starting January 2021. According to a statement released by the government, the pilot scholarship program is being delivered in partnership with Willis College and will be offered at no cost to accepted applicants.

  • The Ontario government announced yesterday that COVID-19 isolation centres are opening this week in Oshawa and Brampton and two isolation centres serving the City of Toronto are expanding. According to a statement released by the government, these new centres and expansions are in addition to existing centres in the City of Ottawa, and the regions of Peel and Waterloo.

Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area

  • According to data as of January 21, there are 831 new cases in Toronto, for a total of 80,541 since the pandemic began; 64 of them are in hospital. In total, 21 people have died.
  • Traffic data released today by Toronto showed that vehicle traffic continues to be at its lowest observed levels since Stage 1 reopening back in May and June 2020, but is still higher than conditions observed during the initial lockdown last spring.
  • Yesterday, Toronto’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa discussed new data on racialized groups affected by COVID-19 during a city media briefing. In November, 79 per cent of reported cases of COVID-19 in Toronto were among those who identified with a racialized group, reports CP24.
  • Yesterday, Toronto’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa reported that for the first time in months, the effective COVID-19 reproductive number is below one – at 0.86. The Medical Officer of Health explained this means that overall each new case of COVID-19 is resulting in less than one additional new infection. The city also announced support and services to targeted neighbourhoods with high COVID-19 cases.
  • Though hospital workers in Hamilton who received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine before Monday will still receive the necessary second dose on time, other staff likely won't. Hospital network Hamilton Health Sciences told the Hamilton Spectator it is waiting on direction from the province and looking at delaying doses for most individuals. This is due to a temporary delay in vaccine shipments from maker Pfizer due to retooling at a plant.
  • The hospital network also tells the Spectator it expects one quarter of its workers won't get the vaccine, noting it isn't mandatory. That amounts to about 3,750 people. As of Monday, about 6,500 staff from Hamilton Health Sciences and St Joseph’s Healthcare had been vaccinated. Public health in Hamilton does not have an updated figure for how many residents and staffs of seniors' homes got their vaccines.
  • A group of Hamilton emergency department doctors sent an open letter to the province asking for nurses who have to isolate after COVID-19 exposure to still be paid. Currently, they are not eligible. Hamilton Health Sciences told CBC Hamilton is supports the doctors' letter.
  • Halton's police chief will keep his job after a recent trip to Florida over a property matter which some police and members of the public criticized and said was non-essential. As CBC Hamilton reports, Chief Stephen Tanner apologized, noting that his trip was approved be the police board.
  • The St. Catharines Standard reports that two hair salons are under investigation by city and regional bylaw officials after they opened their doors this week claiming to be film studios. Film productions are allowed to work under the stay-at-home rules. The salon owners have both shared misinformation about the pandemic online. One charges customers for what she calls auditions, which include haircuts. Reputable film studios do not charge for auditions. The other would not provide comment to the Standard.
  • The paper also reports that Niagara public health staff had vaccinated residents in more than 96 per cent of local long-term care homes by Thursday afternoon. Next, residents in at-risk retirement homes will receive doses. The priority is residents who have not been infected by COVID-19. Niagara's data shows in most homes, more than 90 per cent of eligible residents received their first does.

Indigenous

As of January 20, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 5,409 active cases of COVID-19 in First Nation communities across Canada. They are also reporting 124 COVID-19 related deaths in total, across all First Nation reserves in Canada. To date, Ontario First Nation communities have had a total of 434 COVID-19 cases.

Northern

  • Health Sciences North has admitted nine COVID-positive patients. Three patients currently being tested and awaiting results, with one patient in the ICU.
  • A fifth resident of Amberwood Suites long-term-care home in Sudbury has died, according to the Sudbury Star. The outbreak, which began January 5, has infected 33 residents and five staff members to date.
  • In-person classes are returning to Sault Ste. Marie high schools on January 25, according to Algoma Public Health. The public health unit, in collaboration with Algoma District school boards, recommended the closures on January 8. Students and parents are encouraged to visit the website of their school and school board for more information on ongoing options for both in-person and virtual learning.
  • The Porcupine Health Unit has announced a COVID death in an institutional setting, bringing the total deaths in the region since the onset of the pandemic to nine. There are 30 active cases in the region.
  • Thunder Bay Mayor Bill Mauro says he will table a motion to have nets re-installed at the city’s outdoor rinks, after the City of Thunder Bay announced it would remove the nets in order to comply with COVID-19 restrictions.

Eastern

  • Active cases in the Eastern Ontario Health Unit were at 544 as of Thursday, down from 560 the day prior, the Review reports. As of Thursday, more than 1,500 residents and employees in long-term care homes in the region had been vaccinated.
  • Thirty-five new cases were reported in the City of Kawartha Lakes on Thursday - a high for the region. A spokesperson said that the new cases were almost all linked to an outbreak at a long-term care home in Lindsay, the Peterborough Examiner reports.
  • The Kingston region’s medical officer of health, Dr. Kieran Moore, says that despite the area’s low COVID-19 numbers, the region should stay under provincial lock-down, as it would be risky opening up before areas like Toronto, CTV News reports. He also said that he would like to see stronger regulations against intraprovincial travel.
  • The local unit of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) is reporting low morale and high stress levels among staff at the Kingston Health Sciences Centre, citing “gruelling long hours, critical staff shortages, and an environment where there is no pay for staff who have to isolate or quarantine because of exposure to COVID-19,” the Kingstonist reports.
  • Positivity rates among teens and pre-teens are on the rise in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark, one Kemptville doctor is now pointing out. “They just need more reminders and it has to come from the parents, and I know that just having one friend over may seem safe, but it might not be and that’s how this virus spreads,” said Dr. Suzanne Rutherford to the Kingston Whig-Standard.

Southwestern

  • Two paramedics in the Waterloo Region who contracted COVID-19 and say they had been in close contact with patients who had the virus, have been denied Workplace Insurance and Safety board compensation, CBC Kitchener reports.
  • Medically fragile adults urgently need to be made a priority for COVID-19 vaccination, their advocates tell CBC London.
  • Public health officials are testing residents and staff at some London-area long-term care facilities for variants of the COVID-19 virus, the London Free Press reports.
  • London Health Sciences Centre is asking the Ontario Superior Court to dismiss the hospital's former CEO's claim that he was wrongfully dismissed. According to the London Free Press, the hospital's statement of defence alleges that, despite other executives pushing back on his plans to travel to the U.S. during the pandemic, Dr. Paul Woods, the former CEO, pursued them anyways, including taking a vacation in Florida in October.
  • Hundreds of migrant workers have arrived in Essex County as the greenhouse growing season begins there, and 2,000 more are expected. But, as Leamington's mayor tells the Windsor Star, no one is ensuring the workers follow a 14-day COVID-19 quarrantine.
  • An unnamed managerial staff member of the Essex-Windsor EMS travelled out of Canada over Christmas, the services' chief tells CBC Windsor.
  • More people are using food banks in the Windsor-Essex region since the start of the pandemic, and many of the new clients are first-time users and include students, families and seniors, CBC Windsor reports.
  • Police in Woodstock have handed out five charges under the Reopening Ontario Act to people protesting COVID-19 restrictions, CTV Kitchener reports.
  • Unsanctioned social gatherings have led to an outbreak in a residence at the University of Guelph, CTV Kitchener reports.
  • In Goderich, municipal officials have decided to remove the ice from the community's arena in light of ongoing pandemic restrictions. “Say two or three weeks, we come out of this stay at home restriction, it might be and likely is that we’re going to go back to red and that will still prohibit us from having a full engagement of the rink use,” John Grace, the town's mayor, tells Blackburn News.
  • Health Canada has approved a Sarnia research group's proposal to study an at-home treatment program of COVID-19 in people at risk of developing the virus's more dangerous symptoms, Blackburn News reports.
  • The Sarnia-Lambton region's first shipment of vaccine will arrive Feb. 1 and will be the Moderna vaccine rather than the Pfizer one. The region's medical officer of health tells Balckburn News that staff and residents in long-term care and retirement homes, as well as residents' essential caregivers will be the first to receive the vaccine.

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