COVID-19: What you need to know for July 29

The latest coronavirus updates from across the province
By TVO.org staff - Published on Jul 29, 2021

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Provincewide

  • Per today's government report, there are 218 new cases in Ontario, for a total of 549,952 since the pandemic began; 105 people are in hospital testing positive for COVID-19, while 121 are in intensive care who either previously tested positive or have currently tested positive, and 79 patients are on ventilators. To date, 9,328 people have died.
  • According to data from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, there are 4 outbreaks in long-term-care facilities, 14 confirmed active cases of positive residents, and 4 confirmed active cases of positive staff. To date, there have been 3,791 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 89,157 new doses of COVID-19 vaccines, for a total of 19,293,701 since December 2020. 1,590,187 people have received only one dose, and 8,851,757 people have received both doses. 80.08 per cent of Ontarians over the age of 12 have received their first dose of vaccine and 67.89 per cent have received their second.
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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.
  • Calls for the Ontario government to take leadership on vaccine credentials or so-called “vaccine passports” are increasing from both business and health advocates, who say the province needs to either create its own program or at least give clear direction on dealing with customers and employees as the province reopens, reports the Toronto Star

Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area 

  • According to July 28 data, Toronto reported 45 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday, for a total of 170,659 since the pandemic began; 20 of them are in hospital (two new). In total, 3,605 people have died (one new).
  • Yesterday, Mayor John Tory announced that more than 70 per cent of Toronto adults are fully vaccinated and 80 per cent of all eligible residents (age 12 and up) have received at least their first dose. In total, more than 4.2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Toronto. 
  • Toronto will close five of its mass immunization clinics and redeploy hundreds of staff to mobile teams in an effort to reach residents in areas of the city with lower vaccination rates, reports CP24. 

  • The City of Toronto has announced a new program aimed at supporting local restaurants hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, reports CP24. According to a news release, the two-week program will run from Friday, September 17 to Sunday, October 3, and will showcase the breadth and diversity of Toronto’s restaurants and encourage residents to patronize local eateries through a feature menu available by takeout, delivery, patio dining and/or indoor dining.

  • Peel Public Health is directing schools resuming in-person learning next week to follow the June 28, 2021 update of the Ministry of Education's “Guide to reopening Ontario’s schools", as the ministry has yet to provide an updated guide for the 2021-22 academic year, reports the Brampton Guardian

  • As of yesterday, the Hamilton Spectator reports, people getting COVID-19 jabs can choose the brand they want at Hamilton's city-run pop-up clinics, or at FirstOntario Centre or St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton’s West 5th campus. While experts say Pfizer and Moderna's shots are interchangeable, Ontario has seen a fair number of people turning down the former in favour of the latter.

  • Niagara Health's leadership says it hasn't decided if unvaccinated staff will have to undergo regular testing like Toronto's University Health Network is planning for its workers. The St. Catharines Standard reports Niagara health's vaccination rate is higher than the general population, and that staff and the public are screened before entering its hospitals. Staff who can't be vaccinated for medical reasons must show proof and people who object for non-health-related reasons must complete an education module about vaccination.

  • Brock University will require COVID-19 vaccination for students living in residence this fall, making that a consistent policy across post-secondary institutions in Niagara now, the Standard reports.

Indigenous

  • As of July 20, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 687 communities across Canada with vaccinations underway. 674,189 doses have been administered, of that 281,188 were second doses in individuals 12 and older.
  • As of July 26, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 325 active cases of COVID-19 in First Nation communities across Canada. It is also reporting 379 COVID-19 related deaths in total, across all First Nation reserves in Canada. To date, Ontario First Nation communities have had a total of 2,923 COVID-19 cases.

Northern

  • CBC Sudbury reports that while Elliot Lake city council members want to start holding council meetings and community advisory committee meetings in person this fall, they aren't sure they can force people to show proof of vaccination. "I don't have a right to ask you if you've had the vaccine, I don't believe, but I'd sure like to know," said Elliot Lake councillor Sandy Finamore. 
  • Public Health Sudbury and Districts health officials celebrated a milestone on Wednesday with 80 per cent of eligible individuals in Sudbury and districts having at least their first dose of the vaccine, reports the Sudbury Star. 
  • Public health authorities are cautioning passengers on one flight to Thunder Bay, and one flight that originated in Thunder Bay, about their possible exposure to COVID-19, reports TBNewswatch. One flight was Air Canada 7934, from Thunder Bay to Toronto, on July 16. The advisory is directed at passengers who were seated in rows 15 to 21. The other flight was Westjet 3219 from Toronto to Thunder Bay on July 19. Passengers in rows 6 to 12 may have been exposed to the virus.

Eastern

  • With the COVID-19 outbreak now considered over at Kingston Health Sciences Centre’s Kingston General Hospital, the hospital network says it is taking stock of its unvaccinated and partially vaccinated staff, Global News reports. About half of the staff and patients involved in the outbreak were unvaccinated.
  • In Ottawa, second doses continue to tick upward, sitting at 70 per cent of residents ages 12 and up as of Wednesday, while first doses remain more stagnant; first dose rates are at 83 per cent, a mark first reached on July 18, reports Global News.
  • CBSA employees marched in Cornwall on Wednesday, demanding that their employer return to the bargaining table to set a contract, citing additional difficulties during COVID-19, including staff shortages, the Ottawa Citizen reports.
  • Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) Medical Officer of Health Paul Roumeliotis said that residents have the right to choose whether they wish to mix vaccines, saying that if a clinic offers both Moderna and Pfizer, residents can request the manufacturer they had for their first dose, the Review reports.

Southwestern

  • The Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) says that they have 21,300 doses of the Moderna vaccine that need to be used by August 12, before they expire, reports CBC London. "We don't want this vaccine to go to waste, so we are asking people who aren't fully vaccinated to join us in the fight against COVID-19 and consider receiving a first or second dose of Moderna," said Chris Mackie, medical officer of health. 
  • On Wednesday, Windsor Regional Hospital chief of staff Wassim Saad warned that there will likely be a fourth wave if vaccination rates remain the same, reports the Windsor Star. "There is virtually zero chance we’re going to be able to avoid a fourth wave if our vaccination rates stall where they are right now,” said Saad. The warning came as the region’s top five doctors, led by Medical Officer of Health Wajid Ahmed, wrote an open letter to the community begging everyone ages 12 and older to get vaccinated, reports the Star


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