This article was last updated on Tuesday at 4:56 p.m.
- Per today's government report, there are 2,336 new cases in Ontario, for a total of total of 347,570 since the pandemic began; 1,090 people are in hospital, 387 of them in intensive care, and 249 on ventilators. To date, 7,351 people have died.
- According to data from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, there are 50 outbreaks in long-term-care facilities, 9 confirmed active cases of positive residents, and 113 confirmed active cases of positive staff. To date, there have been 3,753 confirmed resident deaths and 11 confirmed staff deaths.
- As of March 30, in publicly funded schools in Ontario, there are 440 new school-related student cases (for a total of 9,486) 77 new staff cases (for a total of 2,100) and 1 new unspecified cases for a total of 1,164; 1,168 schools are reporting at least one case and 58 schools have been closed. These numbers include cases from Saturday, Sunday and part of Monday and are not a one-day total.
- Per the government's report on Ontario’s vaccination program, as of 8 p.m. yesterday, Ontario has administered 50,453 new doses of COVID-19 vaccines, for a total of 2,031,735 since December 2020. 1,409,240 people have received only one dose, and 311,248 people have received both doses.
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Canadian provinces suspended use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in people under age 55 on Tuesday, acting on an advisory committee's concerns about a possible link between the shot and rare blood clots, reports CP24. Shelley Deeks, the vice-chair of Canada's National Advisory Committee on Immunization, said the committee updated its recommendations amid new data from Europe that suggests the risk of blood clots is now potentially as high as one in 100,000 -- much higher than the one in one million risk believed before.
- On Monday, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Ontario government announced that it is moving Middlesex-London Health Unit to the Red-Control level in the Keeping Ontario Safe and Open Framework. According to a statement released by the government, the decision was made at the request of the local medical officer of health due to concerning trends in public health indicators in the region. From March 22 to 28, 2021, the region's case rate increased by 86.9 per cent, to 64.4 cases per 100,000 people. The public health region is also reporting an increase in cases screened as variants of concern.
- As part of the 2021 budget, the Ontario government announced that it is providing an estimated $100 million for a new one-time Ontario Tourism and Hospitality Small Business Support Grant and $100 million for a new one-time recovery program. According to a statement released by the government, the Ontario Tourism and Hospitality Small Business Support Grant will provide an estimated $100 million in one-time payments of $10,000 to $20,000 to eligible small businesses including hotels, motels, travel agencies, amusement and water parks, hunting and fishing camps, and recreational and vacation camps including children's overnight summer camps. Businesses must demonstrate they have experienced a minimum 20 per cent revenue decline and have less than 100 employees to qualify.
- A new report from Ontario's Science Table revealed that Variants of Concern now account for 67 per cent of all Ontario COVID-19 infections. According to the report, the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 is now 21 per cent higher than at the start of the province-wide lockdown, while ICU occupancy is 28 per cent higher. The full report can be found here.
- The Ontario government is floating the possibility that Ontario's already-delayed March Break for schools could be postponed yet again as the province confronts its third wave of COVID-19, reports CBC.
Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area
- According to data as of March 29, there are 781 new cases in Toronto, for a total of 112,025 since the pandemic began; 310 of them are in hospital (12 new). In total, 2,790 people have died (two new).
The city is urging people to fill up the thousands of appointments that are still available at city-run mass immunization sites as two more clinics opened in Toronto on Monday, reports CP24. According to city staff, as of 1 p.m. Monday, there were still 7,000 time slots available across all sites between then and Friday.
On Monday, Toronto Mayor John Tory said that if the COVID-19 situation continues to deteriorate, hair salons and other personal care shops in Toronto might not reopen as planned on April 12, reports the Toronto Star. “The numbers are not getting better, they’re getting worse,” said Tory, speaking from city hall on Monday. “It compels all of us to examine these things on a day-to-day basis, as we’ve done continuously.”
Three COVID-19 vaccination clinics in York Region will temporarily close at the end of this week due to a lack of supply, including the drive-thru clinic at Canada’s Wonderland that just opened Monday, reports CP24.
Despite public health restrictions, fewer Toronto restaurants, bars and cafes have cancelled their licences with the city in the year since the first COVID-19 lockdowns than in any given year for the last two decades, reports CBC.
Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger is one of eleven GTHA mayors and chairs calling on upper levels of government to send the region more COVID-19 vaccines. As CBC Hamilton reports, the group says high proportions of cases in the area necessitate a "more reliable and increased supply stream." This comes as Hamilton and Niagara residents born in 1951 or before can sign up for vaccinations.
Ahead of the Easter holiday, Hamilton's medical officer of health Elizabeth Richardson is asking residents to put travel plans on hold, even if the plans are to travel in Ontario and visit family. She says Hamiltonians should stay at home and spend time with their immediate household, CBC Hamilton reports.
Niagara public health staff have instructed up to 100 people to isolate following a COVID-19 outbreak at a Brock University student residence. The St. Catharines Standard reports 31 people have tested positive for the coronavirus so far. Brock has moved all classes online and closed common areas in response. Niagara's acting medical officer of health Mustafa Hirji said this outbreak appears to be the result of a group of people engaging in many different social activities.
- As of March 29, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 931 active cases of COVID-19 in First Nation communities across Canada. They are also reporting 280 COVID-19 related deaths in total, across all First Nation reserves in Canada. To date, Ontario First Nation communities have had a total of 1,612 COVID-19 cases.
- As of March 25, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 610 communities across Canada with vaccinations underway. 235,175 doses have been administered. ISC reminds the urban Indigenous population that First Nations living off reserve, Inuit and Métis are or will receive COVID-19 vaccination through their provincial or territorial health services. ISC is aware of vaccinations already taking place in several urban centres, including Toronto, Montreal, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Whitehorse.
On Saturday, Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte announced that a positive case of COVID-19 has been confirmed at the Red Cedars Shelter. According a statement, all those deemed high risk have been tested and those deemed low risk have been tested as part of surveillance.
On Friday, March 26, the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne’s Community Health Program reported three new active cases of COVID-19 in the northern portion of the community.
- Public Health Sudbury and Districts reports three new deaths Monday, bringing the total number of deaths within the health unit's area to 19.
- Union representatives for workers at Vale's Coleman mine in Levack are concerned about the level of public information available regarding an outbreak at the mine, according to CBC Sudbury. Representatives for Steelworkers Local 6500 said the union was notified of an outbreak on March 16, but the health unit hadn't reported the outbreak until March 26. "We have concerns around exposures to our members in the workplace, and those effects will have immediate and also long-term effects on their health," Kevin Boyd, vice president of the union, tells CBC Sudbury.
- The North Bay Parry Sound Health Unit has administered 15,298 vaccine doses since the pandemic, according to the North Bay Nugget. The doses were administered to 14,708 individuals, representing 13.5 per cent of the region's population.
- In light of the approaching Easter weekend, the medical officers of health in northwestern Ontario are reminding residents that COVID-19 cases are rising across the province, and they are asking residents to avoid gatherings and travel over the holiday weekend.
- The federal government announced it will be providing $1.5 million to support Thunder Bay’s COVID-19 isolation facility. The funding will be used to add 40 rooms to the isolation shelter as well as hiring more staff, TBNewswatch reports.
- Last night Thunder Bay city council voted to renew it’s patio program for 2021, allowing businesses to expand their outdoor dining and retail space. Last year, 38 businesses participated in the program, with Mayor Bill Mauro calling it “spectacularly successful,” TBNewswatch reports.
- The Northwestern Health Unit has confirmed a case of the UK COVID-19 variant in a high school student in Dryden, and expects more variant cases to be confirmed in the coming days.
- More than 200 Queen’s University School of Medicine students are volunteering at the Kingston Health Sciences Centre giving vaccines to health care workers, the Kingston Whig-Standard reports.
- Bath Public School, Ernestown Secondary School, and Odessa Public School reopened on Tuesday, following a possible exposure of COVID-19, Global News reports. The Kingston region health unit determined the schools were not at risk before the reopening.
- All COVID-19 vaccination appointments in Ottawa are taken until April 7, after a rush of bookings when the province's vaccination eligibility was opened to those 70 years of age and older, Global News reports.
- Nearly three dozen Ottawa-area pharmacies will be joining Ontario’s vaccination pilot once the area receives additional doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, which are expected in the coming days, Global News reports.
- Waterloo Region District School Board plans to make a case to the region's council and public health officials to vaccinate special education staff as soon as possible, CTV Kitchener reports.
- The Middlesex-London, Sarnia-Lambton, Grey-Bruce and Elgin-Oxford regions are accepting bookings from people aged 70 and up at the regions' vaccine clinics, report Blackburn News, Sarnia Observer, Owen Sound Sun Times and Woodstock Sentinel-Review.
- The London region has returned to the COVID-19 red control zone as local cases of the virus continue to accumulate, the London Free Press reports. The region had previously been designated orange.
- A fifth mass COVID-19 immunization clinic will open in the Windsor–Essex County region on Wednesday. The clinic will be located in Amherstburg, the Windsor Star reports.