COVID-19: What you need to know for January 4

The latest coronavirus updates from across the province
By TVO.org staff - Published on Jan 04, 2022

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Provincewide

  • Per today's government report, there are 11,352 new cases in Ontario, for a total of 816,450 since the pandemic began; 1,290 people are in hospital testing positive for COVID-19, while 266 are in intensive care who either previously tested positive or have currently tested positive, and 128 patients are on ventilators. To date, 10,239 people have died.
  • According to data from the Ministry of Long-Term Care, there are 135 outbreaks in long-term-care facilities, 499 confirmed active cases of positive residents, and 874 confirmed active cases of positive staff. To date, there have been 3,835 confirmed resident deaths and 13 confirmed staff deaths.
  • As of 8 p.m. yesterday, Ontario has administered 148,577 new doses of COVID-19 vaccines, for a total of 27,570,940 since December 2020. 802,387 people have received only one dose, and 12,230,179 people have received two doses, and 3,895,067 have had three doses. 87.27 per cent of Ontarians over the age of 5 have received their first dose of vaccine and 81.55 per cent have received their second.
covid-19
Data from the Province of Ontario; visualizations by John Michael McGrath.
covid-19
Data from the Province of Ontario; visualizations by John Michael McGrath.
covid-19
Data from the Province of Ontario; visualizations by John Michael McGrath.
covid-19
Data from the Province of Ontario; visualizations by John Michael McGrath.

Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area

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  • According to December 31 data, Toronto reported 4,853 new cases of COVID-19, for a total of 222,247 since the pandemic began; 106 of them are in hospital (51 new). In total, 3,740 people have died (7 new). 
  • As the Hamilton Spectator reports, the seven-day daily average of new COVID-19 cases in Hamilton sat near 700 on Monday despite changes in testing rules meaning fewer people are likely getting tested for the virus. This means data is becoming unreliable. Public health staff said they'd become overwhelmed and unable to report outbreaks in settings such as workplaces on Christmas Eve. That said, the city has 43 ongoing outbreaks logged.
  • Niagara This Week notes that in Niagara, daily case counts have also become less representative of reality due to lacking testing capacity. Niagara's acting medical officer of health says there'll be more emphasis on hospitalizations now.
  • The Spectator outlines the decision some Hamilton parents are facing on whether to get their kids a second COVID-19 vaccine dose at a shorter interval than Health Canada recommends, despite a lower rate of protection.
  • Local businesses tell CBC Hamilton and the St. Catharines Standard that new capacity limits and closures the province will mandate as of tomorrow to reduce COVID-19 transmission will cause significant economic pain. Owners and advocates say that while they're understanding, they need financial support from the government to hold on.

Indigenous

  • As of December 29, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 687 communities across Canada with vaccinations underway. 987,707 doses have been administered, of that 398,551 were second doses and 79,360 were third doses, in individuals aged 12+.
  • As of December 30, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 1,559 active cases of COVID-19 in First Nation communities across Canada. It is also reporting 564 COVID-19 related deaths in total, across all First Nation reserves in Canada. To date, Ontario First Nation communities have had a total of 4,634 COVID-19 cases.

Eastern

  • In response to recently announced provincial restrictions, the Ottawa Hospital is postponing non-urgent surgeries and barring general visitors from accessing its facilities, CTV News Ottawa reports.
  • A record number of active COVID-19 cases has been reported in the Kingston area, according to the Kingston Whig-Standard. The active-case count for the region now totals 2,199.

Northern

  • The Thunder Bay District Health Unit is reporting one death and 40 new COVID-19 cases today, for a total of 350 active cases in the region. There are six local residents currently hospitalized with the virus. As of December 31, the health unit has limited COVID-19 testing to “the most vulnerable individuals and individuals associated with the highest risk settings,” which means that confirmed COVID-19 cases “will significantly underestimate the true number of people with COVID-19” in the Thunder Bay region.
  • The Northwestern Health Unit currently has 418 active COVID-19 cases, according to health unit data. There are 171 active cases in the Kenora region, 166 in Sioux Lookout, and 29 cases in Dryden. Four people are currently hospitalized with the virus.
  • Bearskin Lake First Nation in northwestern Ontario, which declared a state of emergency on December 29 due to a large COVID-19 outbreak, is asking for support from the military to assist with its pandemic response, TBNewswatch reports. As of Monday, there were 174 COVID-19 cases in the community of nearly 500 people.
  • Thunder Bay residents looking for COVID-19 rapid antigen test kits can go to Edgewater Park Public School, 511 Victoria Ave. W., where test kids will be handed out (limited to kit one per person) beginning at 7AM on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
  • Thirty-three First Nations in northwestern Ontario have locked down in light of rising cases of the Omicron variant, CBC Thunder Bay reports. Leaders in the 33 communities signed a resolution that restricts indoor gatherings and limits non-essential travel, while calling for support from service providers.
  • In response to provincial COVID-19 restrictions, the City of Thunder Bay will be closing some facilities and programs, including the 55 Plus Centre, TBNewswatch reports.

Southwestern

  • Two post-secondary students, including one from London’s Western University, have created a website enabling Ontarians to log the results of their COVID-19 rapid antigen tests, CBC News reports. Launched on January 1, Rapid Report Ontario has already seen hundreds of users record results, and the website’s founders hope researchers can use the data for future studies.
  • More than 200 Windsor Regional Hospital employees are self-isolating because of COVID-19, CTV News Windsor reports. Officials say 4.5 per cent of the hospital’s staff, or 221 people, are currently in isolation. Some 91 staff members are off work after testing positive for COVID-19.

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