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 Wednesday at 4:31 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 220 outbreaks in long-term-care facilities, 1,180 confirmed active cases of positive residents, and 1,162 confirmed active cases of positive staff. To date, there have been 2,877 confirmed resident deaths and ten confirmed staff deaths.
Per the government's report on Ontario’s vaccination program, 60,380 total does of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Ontario.
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Yesterday the government announced plans to accelarate COVID-19 vaccinations in long-term-care homes in priority regions. As part of Phase One of its vaccine implementation plan, the government is ensuring that all residents, health care workers, and essential caregivers at long-term-care homes in Toronto, Peel, York and Windsor-Essex will receive a COVID-19 vaccination by January 21, 2021
The head of the Ontario Medical Association says the risk COVID-19 poses to pregnant and breastfeeding women is higher than the risk of taking a vaccine against the virus that causes it, reports CP24. Dr. Samantha Hil says because pregnant and breastfeeding women haven't been included in clinical trials yet she is worried the message many pregnant women are getting is to not get vaccinated.
Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area
- According to data as of January 5, there are 837 new cases in Toronto, for a total of 65,521 since the pandemic began; 49 of them are in hospital. In total, 5 people have died.
- Brampton will open its first isolation centre, reports CBC. In December, the provincial government announced an additional $42 million to create 1,700 new isolation spaces across the province by mid-January. Brampton expects to open three sites with 140 beds each with its portion of the funding.
- Hamilton reported 11 more deaths due to COVID-19 Tuesday, alongside a record high of 209 new cases. Nine of the dead were in long-term-care homes. As the Hamilton Spectator reports, four were at Grace Villa, the home with Hamilton's worst outbreak of the coronavirus. Public health staff in Hamilton are no longer reporting when COVID-19 deaths happened.
- In Niagara Tuesday, 20 more cases were reported, bringing the pandemic total to 1,007. Public health did not report new deaths.
- Niagara's acting medical officer of health, Dr. Mustafa Hirji, said Tuesday it is "deeply disappointing" Niagara has not been seen as a COVID-19 hotspot and therefore not received vaccines for the virus. He tweeted that in the last two weeks, 33 people died in Niagara long-term-care homes, noting almost a quarter of Niagara cases are linked to outbreaks. Hirji added that he thinks the province should prioritize homes in Niagara, saying: "Each day this is delayed, lives are lost."
- Hamilton long-term-care home residents are also not receiving COVID-19 vaccinations. The Spectator reports that the province determined Hamilton's COVID-19 transmission rate to be below the threshold for priority vaccination, putting it behind Toronto, Peel, York and Windsor-Essex. Of the 6,000 vaccine doses in Hamilton, about 40 per cent have been administered.
The CEO of St. Joseph's Health System and Niagara Health vacationed in the Carian over the holidays. When news of the trip became public, Dr. Tom Stewart, resigned from the health advisory boards he sits on, including the one that advises the premier, CBC Hamilton reports. He joins the ranks of several Ontario leaders who were caught vacationing out of the country, in defiance of stay-at-home guidelines. Stewart apologized in a statement.
- As of January 5, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 3,349 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.
- Six Nations of the Grand River is implementing an online booking system allowing community members to schedule COVID-19 tests, reports CBC.
Nipissing First Nation is advising people of potential high-risk exposure to COVID-19 at a local business, Kana Leaf located on Osprey Miikan in Nipissing First Nation (NFN). Individuals deemed high-risk and living in NFN have been contacted by NFN Health Services. Individuals deemed high-risk and not living in NFN have been contacted by the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit. All individuals have been advised to immediately self-isolate, self-monitor, and get tested for COVID-19.
- The Thunder Bay District Jail is in lockdown after an inmate tested positive for COVID-19, TBNewswatch reports.
Southbridge Care Homes has revealed that a personal support worker who tested positive for COVID-19 worked two night-shifts on December 28 and 29 at Southbridge Roseview, a long-term-care home in Thunder Bay, TBNewswatch reports
Another resident at Southbridge Roseview
has died after contracting COVID-19. Twenty residents of the long-term-care home have died of COVID-19 since an outbreak began at the facility in November.
Algoma Public Health
reported two new COVID cases on Tuesday, bringing the total number of active cases to 30.
- As of Tuesday, there were 53 active COVID-19 cases in the region of Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox and Addington Public Health, a dozen of which were added Tuesday, the Kingston Whig-Standard reports. In addition, there were 65 active cases at Joyceville Institution, a federal prison outside of Kingston.
- Last week, the chief medical officer for Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox and Addington (KFL&A) stated that many recent cases were linked to holiday travel, and specifically, to residents leaving the KFL&A area, Global News reports. Several thousand doses of the Pfizer vaccine are expected to arrive in Kingston in about two weeks, with long-term-care staff prioritized to receive it.
- An order is forthcoming from Ottawa to limit the number of people allowed on outdoor recreation venues like ice skating rinks to 25 at one time, CBC News reports, following reports of a lack of physical distancing at such locations.
- Ottawa’s medical officer of health has urged city residents to wear a mask anytime that they are outside, because the levels of the virus are so high in the city, CBC News reports.
- One of the authors of a study that looks at the impacts of COVID-19 on Huron and Perth Counties warns that current approches to vaccine rollout suggest that it will take longer to deliver vaccines to rural residents compared to the delivery to urban residents, Blackburn News reports.
- London Health Sciences Centre cancelled surgeries earlier this week because of "rising COVID pressure," a hospital spokesperson tells the London Free Press.
- Windsor Regional Hospital is scrambling to find morgue space as the number of deaths from COVID-19 rises in the city and surrounding region, CBC reports.
- Six officers in the Windsor Police Service have tested positive for COVID-19, CBC reports.
- Ontario's largest beef processing facility is back online, CBC reports. Cargill's plant in Guelph ceased operations December 16 to 29 after more than 150 people at the plant tested positive for COVID-19.
- The show must go on despite the province-wide COVID-19 lockdown, organizers of a youth theatre program at the Roxy Theatre in Owen Sound have determined. But, for now, youth will get a chance to hone their acting chops through online training rather than onstage, a spokesperson with the program tells the Sun Times.
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