COVID-19: What you need to know for June 23

The latest coronavirus updates from across the province
By TVO.org staff - Published on Jun 23, 2021

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Provincewide

  • Per today's government report, there are 255 new cases in Ontario, for a total of 543,019 since the pandemic began; 295 people are in hospital testing positive for COVID-19, while 305 are in intensive care who either previously tested positive or have currently tested positive, and 190 patients are on ventilators. To date, 9,093 people have died.
  • According to data from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, there are 9 outbreaks in long-term-care facilities, 16 confirmed active cases of positive residents, and 14 confirmed active cases of positive staff. To date, there have been 3,782 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 227,318 new doses of COVID-19 vaccines, for a total of 13,096,628 since December 2020. 6,409,140 people have received only one dose, and 3,343,744 people have received both doses. 76.5 per cent of Ontarians over the age of 18 have received their first dose of vaccine and 27.48 per cent have received their second
  • Yesterday, the Ontario government announced that it is investing $3.7 million in a partnership with the Ontario Community Support Association to help people with disabilities, including seniors with mobility issues, get to and from vaccination sites so they can get their shot and help stop the spread of COVID-19.
  • More Ontarians living in designated hot spots for the Delta COVID-19 variant are eligible to book earlier second vaccine doses starting today, reports CP24. Health units covering Toronto, Peel, Halton, Porcupine, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph, Waterloo and York, Hamilton, Simcoe-Muskoka and Durham are considered hot spots for the more infectious virus variant.

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  • Some Ontario residents are refusing to take a shot of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. And as the need for second doses becomes urgent with the spread of the highly infectious Delta variant, pharmacists worry vaccine shopping could slow efforts to immunize the population, reports the Toronto Star. "Some were cancelling appointments at pharmacies and I heard people turning out of the lineups at mass immunization clinics when they heard it was Moderna being offered and not Pfizer," said Justin Bates, CEO of the Ontario Pharmacists Association. 

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.

Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area 

  • According to June 22 data, there are 70 new cases in Toronto, for a total of 169,387 since the pandemic began; 555 of them are in hospital (five new). In total, 3,498 people have died (two new). 
  • Today, Mayor John Tory announced that more than 21,000 people have now booked Toronto Vaccine Day COVID-19 vaccination appointments at the “Our Winning Shot” clinic taking place this Sunday, June 27 at Scotiabank Arena. According to a news release, Mayor Tory also announced that in support of Toronto Vaccine Day, on Sunday, the TTC will be offering free rides to and from booked appointments at any vaccination clinic in Toronto. Riders taking transit will be asked to show proof of booking on the trip to their appointment and the confirmation of their shot will be their return ticket. 
  • As the Hamilton Spectator reports, Hamilton public health warned that as 102,000 residents become eligible to book second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine today, there will be a crunch for bookings. Only 45,000 appointments were added to the provincial booking portal this week, meaning 55,000 people will need to wait, go outside Hamilton, or book through a different source like a pop-up, pharmacy or clinic.

  • COVID-19 has killed three people in Niagara this week, bringing the pandemic death toll to 425, the St. Catharines Standard reports.

  • A Brock University Ph.D. student writes in The Conversation, that as the pandemic has isolated international students from families and friends, a toolkit of emotional intelligence could help.

Indigenous

  • As of June 18, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 687 communities across Canada with vaccinations underway. 588,916 doses have been administered, of that 227,408 were second doses in individuals 12 and older.
  • As of June 21, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 789 active cases of COVID-19 in First Nation communities across Canada. It is also reporting 355 COVID-19 related deaths in total, across all First Nation reserves in Canada. To date, Ontario First Nation communities have had a total of 2,662 COVID-19 cases.

Northern

  • Mass-immunization clinics in Espanola have been moved to a new location according to Public Health Sudbury and Districts. All clinics in Espanola, including today's clinic, will be held at Espanola High School on 147 Spruce Avenue. If you have any questions about your appointment by calling 705-674-2299.
  • An outbreak at the North Bay jail has 33 active cases according to the North Bay Parry Sound Health Unit. Thirty-two of the cases are among people in custody and one case is present among staff. There are 70 active cases within the health unit's area.
  • Three new cases were reported within the Porcupine Health Unit for a total of 143 active cases in the region. Two of the cases are from the James Bay, while one case is in Timmins. The Timmins case has been confirmed as a Delta variant case.
  • Over 106,000 individuals or 65.3 per cent of the population within the Thunder Bay District Health Unit’s catchment has received at least one COVID-19 vaccine, while 22.2 per cent of the population is fully immunized. Active COVID-19 cases within the Thunder Bay District have dropped to 9, with no new cases reported for two days straight, TBNewswatch reports.

  • More than 82,500 COVID-19 vaccines have been administered within the Northwestern Health Unit’s catchment, where 73.1 per cent of the population aged 18 and up has received at least one dose, and 46.7 per cent of people 18 or older are fully vaccinated. The health unit is reporting 6 active COVID-19 cases.

Eastern

  • The City of Ottawa has launched a new online tool to allow residents to book last-minute, same-day appointments for COVID-19 vaccines at city-run community clinics reports the Ottawa Citizen. 
  • Ottawa's medical officer of health, Vera Etches, says preventing another COVID-19 outbreak inside Ontario jails needs to be a priority due to the large population of inmates, as well as limits on how to isolate those who become sick, reports CBC Ottawa. Etches sent a letter on Monday, the same day a month-long outbreak ended at the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre, to Ontario Solicitor General Sylvia Jones where she referenced challenges while managing a COVID-19 outbreak once a jail is exposed

  • In a statement shared with the Kingston Whig-Standard on Tuesday, the Greater Kingston Chamber of Commerce expressed frustration and confusion with Ontario’s Roadmap to Reopening Plan, which they argue is unclear in the restrictions of each phase and provides inadequate guidelines to support businesses in the reopening process. “As we look to these next two phases of reopening, there is still a fair amount of confusion and uncertainty among business owners, especially surrounding capacity restrictions that are not well-defined in the official reopening plan,” wrote Chamber of Commerce CEO Karen Cross, in a statement to the Whig-Standard.

Southwestern

  • Citing first-dose vaccination rates in certain Windsor neighbourhoods that fall 15 percentage points below the rates in Tecumseh and LaSalle, Mayor Drew Dilkens is calling for “new tactics and strategies” to reach marginalized populations, reports the Windsor Star
  • The Ontario Summer Games have been postponed again, because of the pandemic, and will now be held in London, in 2024 reports CBC London. ​​​​​​​

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