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.
This article was last updated on Tuesday at 4:27 p.m.
- Per today's government report, there are 3,128 new cases in Ontario, for a total of 197,360 since the pandemic began; 1,347 people are in hospital, 352 of them in intensive care and 245 on ventilators. To date, 4,730 people have died.
According to data from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, there are 216 outbreaks in long-term-care facilities, 1,101 confirmed active cases of positive residents, and 1,140 confirmed active cases of positive staff. To date, there have been 2,830 confirmed resident deaths and eight confirmed staff deaths.
Per the government's report on Ontario’s vaccination program, 50,030 total does of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Ontario.
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The Ontario Ministry of Long Term Care rejected a request for an extension from the province's Long-Term Care COVID-19 Commission yesterday. The independent group is producing a final report on the province's handling of COVID-19 and has cited significant delays in obtaining government information central to their investigation as one reason for their extension request. In response, Minister of Long-Term Care Merrilee Fullerton urged the commission to meet the initial deadline of April 30, 2021. "The urgency of our situation has not changed," wrote Minister Fullerton.
Yesterday the Ontario government announced support for home-based food businesses during COVID-19.This includes a guide on how to start a home-based food business, and an overview of public health requirements that need to be followed as a food operator. According to a press release by the government, home-based food businesses that prepare only low-risk foods are exempt from certain regulatory requirements, such as specified handwashing stations in food premises, compliance with commercial dishwashing requirements and food handling training certification.
Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area
- According to data as of January 4, there are 832 new cases in Toronto, for a total of 64,725 since the pandemic began; 31 of them are in hospital. In total, 14 people have died.
- Toronto Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Eileen de Villa, announced yesterday that the city will now publicly identify the location of some COVID-19 outbreaks in workplaces as it seeks to improve transparency amid a surge in infections, reports CP24. According to the data released yesterday, of the 302 workplace outbreaks reported during the pandemic, 132 fell into a category made up of offices, warehouses, shipping and distribution facilities, manufacturing facilities and construction sites.
- Paul Johnson, director of the Hamilton's Emergency Operations Centre said Monday that the city received about 200 complaints of COVID-19 rule-breaking between Dec. 24 and this past weekend. These included gatherings at a bar, bakery and restaurant, the Hamilton Spectator reports.
- The Toronto Star reported that Conservative MP for Flamborough-Glanbrook David Sweet travelled to the United States for leisure, a violation of Ontario's stay-at-home guidelines. He has since resigned from his role as House of Commons ethics committee chair and said will not seek re-election. Sweet joins the ranks of several politicians who have now been reprimanded or stepped down from their roles for travelling during the pandemic.
As CBC Hamilton reports, the first COVID-19 field hospital in Ontario started taking patients this week. It is located in Burlington on the grounds of the Joseph Brant Hospital. Four Niagara-area hospitals will be able to send patients there. As the St. Catharines Standard reports, Niagara Health president Lynn Guerriero says the need for the field hospital speaks to the intense pressure on Ontario's health system.
- As of January 4, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 3,290 active cases of COVID-19 in First Nation communities across Canada. They are also reporting 87 COVID-19 related deaths in total, across all First Nation reserves in Canada. To date, Ontario First Nation communities have had a total of 262 COVID-19 cases in total.
- Algoma Public Health is advising the public of potential high-risk exposure to COVID-19 to anyone who attended a New Year’s Eve gathering at 66 Sage St. in Garden River, reports CTV News. Anyone who attended the gathering is advised to immediately self-isolate and contact Algoma Public Health.
- All federal schools (IL Thomas, Oliver M Smith K, Emily C General Elementary and Jamieson/JC Hill) in Six Nations of the Grand River are scheduled to re-open February 1, 2021. This date is subject to change if the number of COVID-19 cases increases and as directed by public health.