COVID-19: What you need to know for January 7

The latest coronavirus updates from across the province
By TVO.org staff - Published on Jan 07, 2022

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Provincewide

  • Per today's government report, there are 11,899 new cases in Ontario, for a total of 853,270 since the pandemic began; 2,472 people are in hospital testing positive for COVID-19, while 338 are in intensive care who either previously tested positive or have currently tested positive, and 177 patients are on ventilators. To date, 10,315 people have died.
  • According to data from the Ministry of Long-Term Care, there are 208 outbreaks in long-term-care facilities, 1,053 confirmed active cases of positive residents, and 1,928 confirmed active cases of positive staff. To date, there have been 3,851 confirmed resident deaths and 13 confirmed staff deaths.
  • As of 8 p.m. yesterday, Ontario has administered 194,093 new doses of COVID-19 vaccines, for a total of 28,140,051 since December 2020. 806,153 people have received only one dose, and 12,260,375 people have received two doses, and 4,406,948 have had three doses. 87.48 per cent of Ontarians over the age of 5 have received their first dose of vaccine and 81.74 per cent have received their second.
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.
  • Two children in Ontario under the age of 10 have died after testing positive for COVID-19 in the past two weeks, reports CTV News. The deaths include a child under the age of four in Toronto and a child under the age of 10 in Wellington County, the respective local public health units said.

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  • Ontario is expecting to receive up to 119 million Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) this month, reports CTV News. On Thursday, the Ministry of Health held a technical briefing and laid out how many RATs the province is expecting to receive this month as the kits are in high demand amid a lack of supply.

  • The Ontario government will give education and child-care workers priority access to vaccination appointments, reports CTV News. The province announced on Thursday that it will set aside an unspecified number of appointments at a mass vaccination clinic at the International Centre in Mississauga for all education and child-care workers starting today.

Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area

  • According to January 6 data, Toronto reported 2,908 new cases of COVID-19, for a total of 240,405 since the pandemic began; 185 of them are in hospital (43 new). In total, 3,763 people have died (12 new). 
  • Four vaccination clinics, with appointments specifically for education workers, will be held in two city-run immunization clinics this Sunday and on January 16, reports the Toronto Star. “This effort will help more than 3,500 education workers get vaccinated as soon as possible,” said Mayor John Tory. School boards will be booking education workers for those appointments, according to a city spokesperson.
  • This morning from 8 a.m., eligible Toronto residents can book 8,500 new COVID-19 vaccine appointments at City-run clinics for this coming Sunday and Monday. According to a news release from the City of Toronto, these additional 8,500 appointments will be live in the provincial booking system starting today. 

  • Starting Monday, January 10, emergency child care services will be available to designated essential service workers in Toronto who are not able to accommodate their kindergarten or school-aged child’s learning or care at home during the current remote learning period. The City of Toronto announced that four City-operated child care centres and four Toronto Home Child Care Agencies have been approved by the Province of Ontario to provide emergency child care.

  • Hamilton paramedics are acting under a new directive issued Thursday that will temporarily allow them to assess COVID-19 patients with relatively mild illness at home, and provide them with guidance, resources and referrals to care outside of a hospital. As the Hamilton Spectator reports, about five per cent of staff (820 people) at Hamilton Health Sciences and St. Joseph's Healthcare were isolating due to the virus Thursday. Hospital and union leaders say they are experiencing a crisis that has resulted from the pandemic, but also long-term issues with hospital capacity.

  • The largest men's shelter in Hamilton has paused admissions due to a COVID-19 outbreak infecting five staff members. The Spectator reports other operators have temporarily stopped intake too. Kerry Beal with the Shelter Health Network, which led vaccination efforts for people without housing, says cases could rise and predicts this will be a "rough month."

  • CBC Hamilton reports McMaster University's athletics department is encouraging student athletes to call on the province to deem university athletes "elite" and allow them to use sports and recreation facilities that are otherwise closed under new pandemic restrictions. The Ontario Colleges Athletic Association and Ontario University Athletics organizations are calling for the same. A government spokesperson told CBC the rules are designed to be temporary and keep people safe.

  • Hamilton restaurant the Harbour Diner wrote on Facebook that the business will open for indoor dining. As the Spectator reports, this is not the first time the business publicly flouted COVID-19 rules, and a person operating the Facebook page refused to comment to the reporter. A city spokesperson says bylaw officers will ticket businesses disregarding the rules after advising them on how to comply.

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

  • Ottawa hospitals are reporting severe staffing shortages, CBC Ottawa reports. 100 people at the Ottawa Hospital were off because they had tested positive for the virus yesterday, while Queensway Carleton Hospital reported 80, and Montfort Hospital 90.
  • The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board is looking at ways that it can report data on COVID-19 cases to parents after the province has suspended its own reporting on school cases, the Ottawa Citizen reports. It is considering following the Durham District School Board, which has directed its staff to report its own cases to parents.
  • Many concert venues in Kingston are abbreviating their already-shortened seasons due to provincial restrictions, the Kingston Whig-Standard reports. Although the current restrictions are sent to expire near the end of January, concerts may still be postponed further amid the uncertainty of the Omicron wave.

Northern

  • Public Health Sudbury and Districts reported two COVID deaths, bringing the total COVID deaths in the region to 51, according to Sudbury.com. Health Sciences North has 29 COVID patients in hospital, with four in ICU.
  • The Weeneebayko Area Health Authority reported 10 new cases in the James and Hudson coasts, for a total of 55 cases, including 34 in Moose Factory.
  • The Northwestern Health Unit currently has 518 active COVID-19 cases, including 226 cases in Sioux Lookout and 205 in the Kenora region.

  • Dozens of staff at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre are isolating due to COVID-19 exposure, but so far, the hospital’s ability to provide care has not been impacted, TBNewswatch reports.

  • For the second time during the pandemic, a facility-wide COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at the Thunder Bay District Jail, where 24 inmates and staff have tested positive for the virus.

  • A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at a four long term care home in Thunder Bay this week. Four individuals associated with Hogarth Riverview Manor’s Spruce Grove Resident Area have tested positive for COVID-19.

  • The Thunder Bay District Health Unit is offering dedicated vaccine clinics for education and childcare workers, TBNewswatch reports. The clinics, offering first, second, and third doses, will be offered on Tuesday January 11 and Thursday January 13 between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. at the CLE Heritage Building in Thunder Bay. Appointments are required and can be made by visiting this website.

  • The province has formally requested military support for Bearskin Lake First Nation, more than a week after the community declared a state of emergency due to rising COVID-19 cases, and five days after Chief Lefty Kamenawatamin called for military support, CBC Thunder Bay reports.

Southwestern

  • A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at the Willett urgent-care centre in the Brant County town of Paris, the Brantford Expositor reports. The Brant Community Healthcare System, also operator of Brantford General Hospital, says five people tested positive for the virus prior to the announcement.
  • A GO-VAXX mobile COVID-19 vaccination clinic is making a return trip on Saturday to London’s Pond Mills neighbourhood, CTV News London reports. The roving clinic — one of a number that the province and regional-transit agency Metrolinx are operating in retrofitted GO busses — is providing first vax doses to anyone aged five and up and second and booster shots to those eligible. Anyone attending must book in advance via the provincial website.
  • With officers increasingly testing positive for COVID-19, the Waterloo Regional Police Service is mulling staff redeployments and prioritizing calls, CTV News Kitchener reports. "We are not in a position where we have had to redeploy or reassign," says Bryan Larkin, chief of the service, which has reported 94 positive cases. "Criminal acts are a high priority, robberies, assaults, intimate partner violence, individuals in crisis where there's a threat of violence, sudden deaths — there's an obligation," he adds.
  • Patient transfers have already begun in part of southwestern Ontario due strained ICU capacity from rising COVID-19 cases, but the current pandemic wave isn’t anticipated to compromise Windsor Regional Hospital’s critical-care capacity. "I don't expect our critical-care capacity to be overwhelmed or even come close to it with this wave," Wassim Saad, the hospital’s chief of staff, tells CBC News. "We're more worried about medical beds."


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