COVID-19: What you need to know for May 18

The latest coronavirus updates from across the province
By TVO.org staff - Published on May 18, 2021

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Provincewide

  • Per today's government report, there are 1,616 new cases in Ontario, for a total of 513,102 since the pandemic began; 1,484 people are in hospital, 764 of them in intensive care, and 559 on ventilators. To date, 8,506 people have died.
  • According to data from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, there are 35 outbreaks in long-term-care facilities, 39 confirmed active cases of positive residents, and 98 confirmed active cases of positive staff. To date, there have been 3,766 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 109,032 new doses of COVID-19 vaccines, for a total of 7,286,177 since December 2020. 6,401,973 people have received only one dose, and 442,102 people have received both doses.
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.
  • Anyone 18 and older living in Ontario is eligible to book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment starting today. The government announced yesterday that starting today, individuals aged 18 and over in 2021 across Ontario will be eligible to book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment through the provincial booking system and call centre, or directly through public health units that use their own booking system.
  • Health Minister Christine Elliott says that her government will reopen recreational amenities “on or before June 2” when the current stay-at-home order is set to expire, reports CP24. Speaking during Question Period at Queen’s Park on Monday, Elliott said that the government believes it would be “irresponsible” to reopen recreational amenities today with case counts still high but she also gave the clearest indication to date that some recreational amenities will soon reopen, perhaps even prior to the expiry of the current stay-at-home order.

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Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area 

  • According to data as of May 17, there are 1,837 new cases in Toronto, for a total of 161,904 since the pandemic began; 1,011 of them are in hospital (125 new). In total, 3,271 people have died (24 new). Data as of May 17 includes case counts and outcomes since May 14.
  • Toronto will not likely have enough vaccines for all the additional residents becoming eligible to get one this week, Mayor John Tory said Monday news conference. “I think it’s fairly clear that the capacity in terms of vaccine availability ... will likely not match the number of people seeking to get a vaccination,” Tory told reporters after a morning news conference. Despite supply concerns, Tory said, residents should still try to book vaccine appointments at city clinics through the province’s booking system and also try to book with a pharmacy and through local hospitals and health agencies until they get an appointment, reports the Toronto Star.

  • The Pointer reports that the Peel Region has administered more than its per-capita share of vaccines, a majority of eligible residents have received their first dose, and cases are beginning to decline. "Thanks to the provincial over-allocation for hotspots, we actually received significant doses that allowed us to ramp up our capacity," Lawrence Loh, Peel's medical officer of health told The Pointer on Saturday. 

  • Although Hamilton public health staff have identified close contact between residents as drivers of spread in the city's three apartment building outbreaks, residents continue to point to factors including crowding on elevators and airflow between units. TVO.org's Hamilton-Niagara reporter Justin Chandler interviewed experts and public health officials on the transmission risks tenants face in multi-unit buildings.

  • As of 8 a.m. today, Hamilton residents 18+ will all be eligible for COVID-19 vaccines. The Hamilton Spectator collected all the info one needs on where and how to book their jab.

  • As CBC Hamilton reports, public health officials told Hamilton's board of health that over the weekend 58 residents of Rebecca Towers (one of the apartment buildings grappling with a COVID-19 outbreak) received vaccines for the coronavirus at a mass vaccination clinic this weekend. Additionally, 28 people were offered shots in the building. Public health says it's finalizing details for vaccination appointments for residents in the other two buildings with outbreaks.

  • Looking ahead to the summer, the director of Hamilton's emergency operations centre says the city will be as aggressive as possible in re-opening. As CBC Hamilton reports, that includes preparing large activities in the community.

  • Niagara Region public health plans to ramp up vaccinations, getting shots into more than 2,000 people per day, acting medical officer of health Dr. Mustafa Hirji says. As the St. Catharines Standard reports, Hirji says his team is ready to go as soon as it has the supply. He urges people to register with pharmacies and primary care providers in addition to the province to help speed things along.

Indigenous

  • As of May 14, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 2,042 cases on First Nations reserves in Ontario.
  • As of May 14, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 690 communities across Canada with vaccinations underway. 429,506 doses have been administered.
  • All Indigenous adults age 16 and older, and members of their household, who live in Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, Hastings Prince Edward County or Kingston Frontenac Lennox and Addington County can now book their COVID-19 vaccine appointment through Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte.
  • COVID-19 vaccine appointments are available for Indigenous adults 16 years of age or older, living in Thunder Bay, through the Mindimooyenh Vaccination Clinic.
  • Appointments are available for both first and second doses at the COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Six Nations of the Grand River. Call to book.
  • First Nation, Inuit and Métis community members who are age 16+, as well as their spouses and family household members, can book an appointment to get the COVID-19 vaccine at the St. Laurent Complex, in Ottawa.
  • Tungasuvvingat Inuit has put together a list of vaccination clinics happening for Inuit living in Ontario including ones in Ottawa, Kingston, Durham, and Peel Regions.
  • The Malvern Aboriginal Child and Family Centre, in Scarborough, is offering a vaccination clinic for first and second doses of the Pfizer vaccine on May 20. Must be First Nation, Inuit or Metis to attend and over 16 years of age.

Northern

  • Public Health Sudbury and Districts is reporting one new COVID-related death, for a total of 29 deaths in the area since the start of the pandemic.
  • The Porcupine Health Unit is reporting a low exposure risk at Vet's Taxi in Timmins. Passengers who used the service in the following times are asked to self-monitor: May 12 between 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., May 13 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. or May 14 between midnight to 3 a.m. and between 6 a.m. and 5 p.m.
  • In response to the decrease in cases of COVID-19 in Thunder Bay, the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre is reassessing its restrictions as it lowers the COVID-19 response level from Grey (Lockdown) to Red (Control), TBNewswatch reports. As a result, the hospital will reassess a number of measures taken to stop the spread of COVID-19 including visitor and volunteer restrictions.

    Employees at the Lac Des Illes mine who receive a COVID-19 vaccination will also get a $100 gift card, TBNewswatch reports.

Eastern

  • As of Monday, half of all adults in the Kingston region have received their first COVID-19 vaccination, the Kingston Whig-Standard reports. “Our vaccination strategy is proceeding very well in our area, and we are on target to get the vaccine into arms of everyone who wants it by the end of July 2021,”said Kieran Moore, the local medical officer of health.
  • Health officials in eastern Ontario are warning of a record number of overdoses linked to a batch of “extremely toxic” drugs circulating in the region, CBC News reports. The Kingston region health unit noted that the illicit drug supply has become "more contaminated and unpredictable" since the pandemic began.
  • There were 22 active cases of COVID-19 on Monday in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark, which was an 11-week low, the Kingston Whig-Standard reports. There were 178 active cases in the Eastern Ontario Health Unit on Monday, which was down 11 from before the weekend. Meanwhile, in the Kingston region, there were 71 active cases on Monday, a drop by nine.
  • Ottawa-area summer camps are still waiting for more concrete news from the province about whether they will be able to open this summer, CBC News reports. “July 3 is usually the time they [summer camps] open. They're opening up this year,” Premier Doug Ford said, in a brief comment to reporters, but did not specify whether he meant day camps only or overnight camps as well. One director of communications for a camp in Ottawa said this type of information would have been helpful to have six to eight weeks ago.
  • The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), overwhelmed by a sudden and dramatic increase in young people needing mental health care, has started considering the possibility of sending older, teenage patients to adult hospitals, CBC News reports. It is the first time the hospital has had to consider such a measure. “I've been involved in mental health for over 30 years and I've never seen [demand] like this, ever,” said CHEO's vice-president of mental health and addictions.

Southwestern

  • London's medical officer of health Chris Mackie is urging the province to send more COVID-19 vaccines to the area as Ontario’s move to expand eligibility to all adults outstrips local supply five to one, reports the London Free Press

  • Chatham-Kent Public Health has announced that anyone 18+ can book their spot at all upcoming clinics offering Pfizer and Moderna vaccines beginning on May 18, 2021 at 8 a.m. Youth 12 to 17 years old, and their families, will also be able to start booking appointments on Tuesday morning for clinics starting June 14 reports Blackburn News.

  • For the third day in a row, Bluewater Health is reporting a COVID-19 death. Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 46 deaths linked to the virus at the hospital, reports Blackburn News. 


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