COVID-19: What you need to know for January 6

The latest coronavirus updates from across the province
By TVO.org staff - Published on Jan 06, 2022

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Provincewide

  • Per today's government report, there are 13,339 new cases in Ontario, for a total of 841,371 since the pandemic began; 2,279 people are in hospital testing positive for COVID-19, while 319 are in intensive care who either previously tested positive or have currently tested positive, and 164 patients are on ventilators. To date, 10,272 people have died.
  • According to data from the Ministry of Long-Term Care, there are 186 outbreaks in long-term-care facilities, and 870 confirmed active cases of positive residents. To date, there have been 3,844 confirmed resident deaths and 13 confirmed staff deaths.
  • As of 8 p.m. yesterday, Ontario has administered 195,005 new doses of COVID-19 vaccines, for a total of 27,945,958 since December 2020. 804,540 people have received only one dose, and 12,249,723 people have received two doses, and 4,232,672 have had three doses. 87.41 per cent of Ontarians over the age of 5 have received their first dose of vaccine and 81.68 per cent have received their second. 32.73 per cent of people over the age of 12 have received a third dose.
JMM COVID Graph
Data from the Province of Ontario; visualizations by John Michael McGrath.
JMM COVID Graph
Data from the Province of Ontario; visualizations by John Michael McGrath.
JMM COVID Graph
Data from the Province of Ontario; visualizations by John Michael McGrath.
JMM COVID Graph
Data from the Province of Ontario; visualizations by John Michael McGrath.
  • Ontario hospitals are seeing a rise in the number of kids, including babies, hospitalized with COVID-19, leading four major hospitals to issue a joint plea for pregnant people to get vaccinated, reports the Toronto Star.
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Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area

  • According to January 5 data, Toronto reported 3,056 new cases of COVID-19, for a total of 237,536 since the pandemic began; 161 of them are in hospital (21 new). In total, 3,752 people have died (5 new). 
  • The deadline for City of Toronto employees to be compliant with the COVID-19 Vaccination Policy was midnight on January 2. At that time, approximately 98.6 per cent of the active workforce reported being fully vaccinated, which represents approximately 32,478 active employees across all City divisions notes a media release from the City. The January 2 deadline for City employees to be compliant with the COVID-19 Vaccination Policy was extended from last year in order to provide employees additional time to become educated and obtain a vaccine as well as to allow greater time between first and second doses. As of the deadline, a total of 461 employees had either not received any doses of a COVID-19 vaccine or had not reported their vaccination status and have had their employment with the City of Toronto terminated. 

  • The City of Toronto announced today that more than six million COVID-19 vaccine doses have now been administered by Team Toronto. The City also announced yesterday that more than 880,000 eligible residents have now received their third dose of COVID-19 vaccine as part of the Toronto Omicron Action Plan’s ramped up vaccination efforts, and more than 45 per cent of kids now have their first dose, according to the latest data from Tuesday, January 4.
  • Today, the City of Toronto, in partnership with Michael Garron Hospital, will begin administering a fourth-dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to 131 eligible residents at True Davidson Acres, a City directly-operated long-term care (LTC) home. According to a media release, to date, 92 per cent of residents in the City’s 10 directly-operated LTC homes who are eligible for three doses, have received them.

  • ​​​​​​​The city of Toronto expects up to 60 per cent of its huge workforce to be swept off the job by COVID-19, reports the Toronto Star. The Toronto Zoo announced it will close from Wednesday until at least January 27 “to maintain critical staffing levels in essential areas related to the care and welfare of our animals and infrastructure.” Mayor John Tory told a pandemic briefing Tuesday that staff absences have hit essential services such as vaccination clinics, and are expected to rise dramatically along with exponential growth of COVID-19, which is expected to last four to six weeks.

  • Toronto’s library system will close almost half its branches due to COVID-19-related staff shortages, reports the Star. Toronto Public Library said Tuesday that 44 branches will be temporarily shuttered starting next Monday and staff redeployed to keep the 52 “largest and most used” branches operating as COVID-19 infections and isolations continue to mount. A list of the branches that will close is online here. An internal TPL memo obtained by the Star reported that last week the infection of 25 staff members forced the closure of six branches. As of Tuesday, more library employees were being forced off the job by Omicron.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

  • Some Brampton councillors disagreed with the city’s decision to go ahead with its planned in-person, outdoor New Year’s Eve celebrations and annual New Year’s levy in the face of a massive increase in COVID-19 due to the Omicron variant, reports the Brampton Guardian.

  • On Sunday, January 2, the union representing paramedics working in Peel region shared a tweet indicating a code black was initiated at 4:20 p.m., meaning there was “one or less ambulance available in the region,” reports the Brampton Guardian. “We’re suffering from the same sort of health human resource crunch that all of our health-care partners are,” said Dave Wakely, president of the Peel Paramedic Union, OPSEU L277.

  • A Brantford long-term care home is experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak that has infected 69 people (40 residents and 29 staff) and killed one, according to the home. A spokesperson for the home, Fox Ridge Care Community, told CBC Hamilton most residents are experiencing mild symptoms.

  • Prisoner advocates tell the Hamilton Spectator that the Hamilton-Wentworth Detention Centre is failing to communicate with inmates and families about a COVID-19 outbreak at the jail (17 inmates and one staff member are reportedly infected).

  • Ontario pediatric hospitals, including Hamilton's McMaster Children's Hospital, say they have admitted six infants with COVID-19 since mid-December — what was previously a rare occurrence, CBC News reports.

  • Niagara Health redeployed 30 surgical-care workers and asked employees to pause vacations to fill staffing shortages. The St. Catharines Standard reports the health system is short at least 354 staff who are self-isolating after possible COVID-19 exposure.

  • The Spectator reports that some Hamilton breweries are getting creative to drain heir kegs. One is telling customers to bring their own container to have filled with beer. The sillier the container, the bigger discount they get.

Indigenous

  • 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 5, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 3,404 active cases of COVID-19 in First Nation communities across Canada. It is also reporting 567 COVID-19 related deaths in total, across all First Nation reserves in Canada. To date, Ontario First Nation communities have had a total of 5,118 COVID-19 cases.

Eastern

  • According to Piotr Oglaza, KFL&A's medical officer of health, the region has the highest coverage in Ontario for first doses among children aged five to 11 and for third-dose coverage for individuals over the age of 70, reports the Kingston Whig-Standard

    Additionally, the region has seen the highest rates per capita for third-dose administration over the past few weeks, with over 54 per cent of the eligible population having received their third dose.

  • CHEO is urging pregnant women to get vaccinated after six babies under a year old were admitted to two Ontario pediatric hospitals with COVID-19 infections in the past three weeks, reports the Ottawa Citizen.

  • The Nunavut health department is sending a staff member bilingual in Inuktut-English to the Embassy West seniors living facility in Ottawa where five Nunavut elders have tested positive for COVID-19, reports CBC News. Nunavut Health Minister John Main said in a news release that the staff member is being sent "to ensure our Elders receive the best possible care and support."

Northern

  • The City of Greater Sudbury's pools, fitness centres arenas are all closed until January 27, while outdoor recreational facilities like trails, outdoor rinks and skil hills are at 50 per cent capacity.
  • One person died of COVID in the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit area for a total of nine deaths in the region since the start of the pandemic, the North Bay Nugget reports. There are 458 active cases in the region, with 351 in Nipissing and 107 in Parry Sound District.
  • As PCR testing criteria has changed, Public Health Sudbury and Districts is considered publishing its wastewater data online, CBC Sudbury reports. "It does have the potential of being able to indicate trends where just given the provincial testing strategy at this time may not be picking it up because of the numbers that are being involved," says Burgess Hawkins, manager of health protection at the health unit.
  • The Northwestern Health Unit currently has 439 active COVID-19 cases, the bulk of which are in Kenora and Sioux Lookout, with 187 and 169 cases, respectively. According to health unit data, there are 5 people currently hospitalized with the virus.

  • A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at a third long term care home in Thunder Bay. The Thunder Bay District Health Unit says an outbreak was declared after three people “associated with” Hogarth Riverview Manor, specifically the Marigold Resident Home Area, tested positive for the virus.

  • The Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre has declared a COVID-19 outbreak on 3A, the hospital’s Surgical Inpatients Unit. It’s unclear how many COVID-19 cases there are, but the hospital has reopened it’s dedicated COVID-19 unit, TBNewswatch reports. There are currently 15 patients at the hospital who are positive for the virus, including two in the ICU, according to TBNewswatch.

  • Bearskin Lake First Nation in northwestern Ontario, which is dealing with a significant COVID-19 outbreak, has yet to receive a response to its calls for help from the Canadian military, CBC Thunder Bay reports.

  • Families in Thunder Bay who are essential workers can apply for free emergency childcare through the District of Thunder Bay Social Services Administration Board at www.thunderbaychildcare.ca, TBNewswatch reports.

  • Despite the province cancelling all ticketed events in light of rising COVID-19 numbers, organizers for the Scotties Tournament of Hearts, a curling competition set to begin on January 28 in Thunder Bay, are looking at the feasibility of doing a “bubble” which would see the tournament take place without fans in the arena, TBNewswatch reports.

Southwestern

  • London hospitalizations related to COVID-19 are inching higher, the London Free Press reports. London Health Sciences Centre is caring for 63 people with the virus as of Wednesday, an increase of four in 24 hours. Ten patients are in the ICU, unchanged from the previous day.
  • When the Sarnia Sting hit the ice on Friday for their first game after five postponements related to the OHL’s COVID-19 protocols, the stands will be empty, the Sarnia Observer reports. Under the latest provincial rules, teams can play — but spectators are barred from attending for at least three weeks.
  • The 104 City of Windsor employees who have refused to adhere to the municipality’s mandatory-vaccination policy are officially getting fired, the Windsor Star reports. The unvaccinated staffers, who had been on unpaid leave since November, will all be replaced as the city fills 43 full-time and 61 temporary roles.
  • COVID-19 has sidelined an “unusually high” number of paramedics in Essex-Windsor, but a contingency plan is in place and the local EMS chief says there’s no cause for concern, CBC News reports. “We're keeping our eye on it daily, hourly and trying to combat it so we can ensure that we have ambulances ready to respond when they're needed," says Bruce Krauter, chief of the Essex-Windsor EMS. Of the emergency service’s roughly 300 workers, 24 are unable to work as they isolate due to possible exposure to COVID-19. Among those taking time off, 12 have tested positive for the virus.


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