- Per today's government report, there are 2,759 new cases in Ontario, for a total of 502,171 since the pandemic began; 1,632 people are in hospital, 776 of them in intensive care, and 568 on ventilators. To date, 8,405 people have died.
- According to data from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, there are 41 outbreaks in long-term-care facilities, 66 confirmed active cases of positive residents, and 149 confirmed active cases of positive staff. To date, there have been 3,764 confirmed resident deaths and 11 confirmed staff deaths.
- Per the government's report on Ontario’s vaccination program, as of 8 p.m. yesterday, Ontario has administered 137,697 new doses of COVID-19 vaccines, for a total of 6,629,363 since December 2020. 5,814,163 people have received only one dose, and 407,600 people have received both doses.
- Yesterday, the Ontario government announced that the province has administered first doses of the COVID-19 vaccines to over 50 per cent of Ontarians aged 18 and over. Starting today, the province has expanded booking eligibility for COVID-19 vaccine appointments at mass immunization clinics to individuals aged 40 and over, through the provincial booking system and call centre or directly through public health units that use their own booking system.
- The province is now expecting to receive 250,000 more doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine next week, a shipment that will be reserved for second shots as the province has suspended use of the vaccine until further notice, reports CP24.
- A report from the Canadian Civil Liberties Association shows that provinces became more punitive in their approach to COVID-19 infractions during the second wave of the pandemic, reports the Globe and Mail. Ontario was one of the provinces that handed out the most tickets during the first wave and it surpassed that number during the second wave, the report says. Between March 2020 and August 2020, the province reported issuing 2,562 fines, compared to 3,942 fines from September 2020 to March 2021.
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Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area
- According to data as of May 12, there are 814 new cases in Toronto, for a total of 158,702 since the pandemic began; 1,081 of them are in hospital (66 new). In total, 3,244 people have died (20 new).
- The City of Toronto has added 5,000 new appointments between May 17 and 23 at City-operated immunization clinics in the provincial booking system to meet some of the demand from recent expanded eligibility and based on available vaccine supply. More than 20,000 appointments also remain open for the week of June 7.
- Hamilton Public Health Services has set up three 30-minute slots at a mass vaccination clinic for residents at Rebecca Towers, the apartment building in which a large COVID-19 outbreak has occurred. CBC Hamilton reports shots will be available at FirstOntario Centre between 7:30 and 8 p.m.on a walk-in basis. Residents have called for vaccinations at the building, saying it would be easier for tenants, but public health says it will only do that for homebound people. As of Wednesday, 109 people had been infected and one had died in the outbreak.
- Citing the apartment tower outbreaks, a doctor at an Ontario Medical Association briefing said Wednesday that making it easier for people to safely visit outside could go a long way to reducing outbreaks. The Hamilton Spectator reports doctors said the province's restrictions on outdoor recreational facilities should end. The *[St. Catharines Standard*](https://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/news/council/2021/05/12/request-to-allow-outdoor-recreational-activities-endorsed-by-st-catharines-city-council.html) reports that St. Catharines city council is making the same call. It endorsed a motion by the City of Brantford to ask Ontario to withdraw the restrictions on outdoor activities that can be enjoyed while physically distancing.
- The Spectator reports the Hamilton public school board will be dividing the high school year into four quarters again next year, with each offering two in-person classes, meaning students will take two classes at once. Starting Thursday, families can opt into remote learning for next school year.
- A report by the Social Planning and Research of Hamilton found workers aged 15-24 in the Hamilton area continue to face the highest unemployment rate, relative to other age groups. As the Spectator reports, the SPRC found workers aged 15 to 24 had a 13.5 per cent unemployment rate as of last month, compared to a 7.1 per cent rate in the 25 to 44 age group.
- An Ancaster private school is facing charges after bylaw officers alleged it was open without special approval from the province. They say students were in the building, but virtually all schools have been closed to in-person learning unless students have complex special needs. The school's principal told CBC Hamilton she does not have permission to be open, nor will she seek it, but claims it's OK for her to be open and it helps the students.
- A downtown Tim Hortons is closed after workers banded together and decided not to come to work. They told the Spectator staff heard Tim Hortons head office recommended the store close following an employee's positive COVID-19 test, so when the owner opted not to, they took collective action. Tim Hortons head office did not say if it gave such a direction.
- A Niagara Region survey of 354 businesses found the respondent companies lost an average of $1.1 million because of the pandemic last year. In total, the businesses reported nearly $389 million in lost revenue, CBC Hamilton reports. Businesses reported needing help with marketing, training, hiring, sourcing supplies and financial assistance going forward.
- As of May 7, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 841 active cases of COVID-19 in First Nation communities across Canada. It is also reporting 320 COVID-19 related deaths in total across all First Nation reserves in Canada. To date, First Nations communities in Ontario have had a total of 1,989 COVID-19 cases.
- As of May 6, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 687 communities across Canada with vaccinations underway. 394,801 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, and Whitehorse.
- The Weeneebayko Area Health Authority confirms that one recent case was a variant of concern. As of Wednesday, there are two active cases in the region.
- An outbreak at Kirkland Lake Gold has been declared over, according to the Timiskaming Health Unit.
- The Porcupine Health Unit reports 29 new cases in its area, and six resolved cases. Twenty-seven of the new cases are in Timmins, where there are currently 150 active cases.
- While whether the province will extend the stay-at-home order or not remains to be seen, the medical officer of health at the Thunder Bay District Health Unit, Janet DeMille, says she supports a regional approach to reopening. “I just think there are issues in the Toronto area that we don’t experience here. We can do better than Toronto most times. I would very much support a regional approach and have indicated that when I’ve had opportunities to provide that input,” DeMille told TBNewswatch.com.
- The Northwestern Health Unit says it will issue fines to workplaces that allow employees to come into work while they have symptoms of COVID-19 or while they should be self-isolating. “We have seen an increase in the number of workplace-related COVID-19 cases and outbreaks in our area over the past few weeks. Upon investigation, we have learned that some individuals are attending work with symptoms of COVID-19,” Kit Young Hoon, medical officer of health at Northwestern Health Unit said in a media release.
- On Wednesday, for the second day in a row, a new COVID-19 death has been reported in Northumberland county, the Peterborough Examiner reports.
- A Napanee woman, 46, chronicled her experience with COVID-19 at the Kingston General Hospital in a video diary, the Kingstonist reports. “I was admitted yesterday, thank God, after two weeks of being really, really sick and short of breath. It’s unbelievable how crazy this virus is and scary. And that’s really hitting home,” says the woman, Cindy Mitchell, in one video. She has since been released from hospital.
- Ottawa health officials are acknowledging their vaccine strategy needs some fine-tuning, Global News reports, after several people in the Merivale area were turned away from a pop-up clinic that their neighbors had been vaccinated at earlier that week.
- Ottawa’s medical officer of health, Vera Etches, said in a press conference this week that Ottawa Public Health and local officials have been involved in discussions with the province about the possibility of a regional reopening of schools, which if successful, could see Ottawa’s children back in classrooms in three weeks, Global News reports.
- Windsor-Essex residents who are 30 years old and over can now book an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine, CTV Windsor reports.
- As the most recent COVID-19 lockdown continues, the chief of staff at Cambridge Memorial Hospital tells CTV Kitchener that the measure is helping the hospital to manage beds in its ICU.
- The University of Waterloo has announced a return to in-person classes in September, with the anticipation that these will be at 50 per cent capacity, CBC Kitchener-Waterloo reports.
- As of today, the London-Middlesex Health Unit will allow adults 40 years old and older to book appointments for COVID-19 vaccination, the London Free Press reports.
- The Huron Perth region has seen a surge in COVID-19 cases, the area's public health unit's director and incident manager tells Blackburn News.
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