COVID-19: What you need to know for July 21

The latest coronavirus updates from across the province
By staff - Published on Jul 21, 2021




  • Per today's government report, there are 135 new cases in Ontario, for a total of 548,609 since the pandemic began; 139 people are in hospital testing positive for COVID-19, while 145 are in intensive care who either previously tested positive or have currently tested positive, and 70 patients are on ventilators. To date, 9,300 people have died.
  • According to data from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, there are 5 outbreaks in long-term-care facilities, 24 confirmed active cases of positive residents, and 12 confirmed active cases of positive staff. To date, there have been 3,790 confirmed resident deaths and 13 confirmed staff deaths.
  • Per the government's report on Ontario’s vaccination program, as of 8 p.m. yesterday, Ontario has administered 140,491 new doses of COVID-19 vaccines, for a total of 18,479,003 since December 2020. 2,148,509 people have received only one dose, and 8,165,247 people have received both doses. 79.09 per cent of Ontarians over the age of 12 have received their first dose of vaccine and 62.62 per cent have received their second.
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Data from the Province of Ontario; visualizations by John Michael McGrath.


Data from the Province of Ontario; visualizations by John Michael McGrath.
Data from the Province of Ontario; visualizations by John Michael McGrath.
Data from the Province of Ontario; visualizations by John Michael McGrath.
  • During a briefing on Tuesday, Ontario's chief medical officer of health, Kieran Moore said that the more transmissible Delta variant will continue to threaten the progress that the province has made until about 90 per cent of eligible residents have been fully vaccinated, reports CP24. “Certainly I'd love Ontario to have one of the highest vaccination rates in the world. The modelling, though, tells us that once we're at around 90 per cent of the eligible population immunized that the risk of Delta will be less for us,” said Moore.
  • Moore also told reporters on Tuesday that there may not be high enough levels of immunity to COVID-19 across the province by September for kids to return to school unmasked, reports CTV News. "It may be that we have a very cautious start in September and then monitor the situation because I don't know that we'll achieve that high community immunity that we need in September," he said.
  • Experts told the Toronto Star that misinformation about mixing brands is one of the factors contributing to Ontario’s vaccination numbers trending downward and on Sunday hitting the lowest single-day vaccine total since May 24.

Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area 

  • According to July 20 data, Toronto reported 42 new cases of COVID-19 over the weekend, for a total of 170,379 since the pandemic began; 44 of them are in hospital (three new). In total, 3,595 people have died (zero new).
  • According to the City of Toronto's most recent vaccine update, there are more than 60,000 vaccination appointments available for the remainder of this week. Walk-in vaccinations will be available daily from noon to 7 p.m. for anyone age 18 or older to receive a first or second-dose mRNA vaccine at four City-run clinics. 
  • The Mississauga Board of Trade's executive committee voted to support a "COVID-19 proof-of-immunization" program on July 20, calling on the federal government to implement a national standard for showing vaccination status or for Ontario to consider its own, reports the Brampton Guardian. In a letter to federal and Ontario officials, MBOT asks that any vaccine proof passport be voluntary and "not compromise a business's operations or ability to function."
  • As Ontario's medical officer of health Kieran Moore warns of a fourth surge of COVID-19 cases come September, Hamilton's COVID-19 vaccination rates lag behind the provincial average. As the Hamilton Spectator reports, health officials say about 90 per cent of people need two doses for the province to achieve herd immunity against the coronavirus. In Ontario as of Tuesday, 79 per cent of eligible people had at least a first dose and 62 per cent had two doses. In Hamilton, 75 per cent of people had at least a first dose and 59 per cent had two. June data from Public Health Ontario shows the risk of COVID-19 for people with no shot is 4.7 times higher than someone who is fully vaccinated.

  • By late summer, the St. Catharines Standard reports, Niagara will phase out its large COVID-19 vaccination clinics and likely its rotating clinics at large centres. Instead, public health will focus on smaller clinics and hold pop-ups where vaccination rates are comparatively low. Niagara's acting medical officer of health Dr. Mustafa Hirji said that while Niagara went a long time not having enough vaccines to meet demand, those numbers are equalizing now. Niagara paramedics say about 75 per cent of identified homebound people have received COVID-19 vaccinations, and that everyone on their list who wants jabs a first dose should have at least one within two weeks.

  • Niagara's casinos will re-open Friday, the Niagara Falls Review reports. Casinos in the region, which usually employ about 4,000 people, have been closed for 16 months.


  • As of July 13, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 687 communities across Canada with vaccinations underway. 659,343 doses have been administered, of that 271,916 were second doses in individuals 12 and older.
  • As of July 20, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 239 active cases of COVID-19 in First Nation communities across Canada. It is also reporting 378 COVID-19 related deaths in total, across all First Nation reserves in Canada. To date, Ontario First Nation communities have had a total of 2,908 COVID-19 cases.


  • ​​​​​​​Confederation College says it expects students and staff to be fully vaccinated when they return to campus in the fall, but the college is not making vaccination mandatory, TBNewswatch reports.
  • The Porcupine Health Unit reported three new cases and three cases resolved Tuesday, leaving an active case count of 33. Within the health unit, the Weeneebayko Area Health Authority reported two new cases for 26 active cases in the region, including 23 in Attawapiskat and three in Kashechewan.


  • As of Tuesday, there was only a single active case of COVID-19 in the Kingston region, reports the Kingston Whig-Standard. There was also only a single active case of the virus in the Eastern Ontario Health Unit, the Cornwall Standard-Freeholder reports.
  • The Kingston region’s health unit is calling on all residents ages 12 and older to get vaccinated before its mass immunization clinics close next month, CTV News reports. There are 16,000 appointments available, the health unit said in a recent news release.
  • Similarly, in Ottawa, the public health unit is closing more than half of the city’s community vaccination clinics beginning Wednesday, as vaccination rates continue to rise, CBC News reports. Sixty-seven per cent of eligible residents are now fully vaccinated.


  • Prachi Srivastava, a Western education professor and co-author of the latest brief from the Ontario COVID-19 science advisory table, says in-person instruction is central to students’ mental health and well-being, reports the London Free Press. “School closures should not be the pandemic control lever,” Srivastava said. The brief, which can be read in full here, says "in-person learning is essential for the learning and overall well-being of children and youth" and "barring catastrophic circumstances" schools should remain open for in-person learning.
  • Medical Officer of Health for Grey-Bruce, Ian Arra, says it’s clear the recent influx of COVID-19 cases in the region is primarily in people who have not been vaccinated, reports Blackburn News. Arra says over 95 percent of the 298 total cases reported from July 1 to July 15, were not fully vaccinated.

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Correction: An earlier version of this article misstated that Confederate College is requiring students and staff to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. regrets the error. 

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