- Per today's government report, there are 3,166 new cases in Ontario, for a total of total of 486,223 since the pandemic began; the ministry of health advised that today's number could be an under-count due to data issues. Today 1,924 people are in hospital, 858 of them in intensive care, and 611 on ventilators. To date, 8,236 people have died.
- According to data from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, there are 50 outbreaks in long-term-care facilities, 72 confirmed active cases of positive residents, and 168 confirmed active cases of positive staff. To date, there have been 3,763 confirmed resident deaths and 11 confirmed staff deaths.
- Per the government's report on Ontario’s vaccination program, as of 8 p.m. May 6, Ontario has administered 144,724 new doses of COVID-19 vaccines, for a total of 5,885,485 since December 2020. 5,110,517 people have received only one dose, and 387,484 people have received both doses.
- Yesterday, the Ontario government announced that it is investing over $432,000 in Baycrest, a research and teaching hospital for the elderly, to help people struggling with cognitive impairment as a result of COVID-19. According to a news release, the province is making the investment through the Ontario Together Fund.
The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario, Canadian Union of Public Employees, Service Employees International Union and the Ontario Nurses Association said they’ve asked the province to accelerate second doses for health-care workers but have received no commitment, reports the Globe and Mail.
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With two weeks left under Ontario’s COVID-19 stay-at-home order, health experts say it’s too soon for Ontario to ease restrictions, warning a spike in cases from Mother’s Day gatherings could breathe new life into the third wave, reports the Toronto Star. “Certainly, we don’t want to open prematurely and end up with a fourth wave. That is the last thing we need,” said Barbara Yaffe, the province’s associate chief medical officer of health
The Toronto Star reports that as the third wave crests in Ontario, physicians warn the daily tally of COVID-19 patients in ICUs is an undercount of the true number receiving critical care for the virus. Almost 100 patients who in pre-pandemic times would qualify for the ICU are instead being treated on medical wards, according to data obtained by the Star from more than a dozen GTA hospitals.
The head of Ontario’s science advisory table says that authorities were too late in introducing measures to prevent the B.1.1.7 variant from spreading in Canada and must not repeat that mistake again, reports CP24.
Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area
- According to data as of May 7, there are 724 new cases in Toronto, for a total of 154,799 since the pandemic began; 1,140 of them are in hospital (75 new). In total, 3,163 people have died (14 new).
- Yesterday, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health Eileen de Villa issued a Section 22 Order as an additional measure to reduce community transmission. The order will limit in-person attendance of school-aged children across all educational settings, not just schools and limit in-person student attendance as much as possible, regardless of whether they qualify as “in-person teaching or instruction." According to a news release, the Order will be effective Monday, May 10 at 12:01 a.m.
- Yesterday, the City of Toronto announced that 2,430 new vaccination appointments between May 10 and 12 at the City of Toronto immunization clinic at Malvern Community Recreation Centre in Scarborough were added to the provincial vaccine booking system. In addition, more than 1,000 appointments have also been added on May 11 at the City-operated Metro Toronto Convention Centre clinic. Appointments for City-operated clinics can be booked by eligible individuals through the dark blue “Book a Vaccine” button on toronto.ca/covid-19 or by calling the provincial vaccine booking line at 1-833-943-3900.
- According to Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown, in the week leading up to May 5, Brampton Civic had to send 139 patients to other hospitals in southern Ontario including those in Toronto, Halton Region, York Region and others, reports the Brampton Guardian. “Think about that — 139 patients. More than our hospital can handle in totality have been transferred out in order to support the capacity at Brampton Civic,” said Brown.
- Tenants at Rebecca Towers, the 17-storey Hamilton building in the grips of a COVID-19 outbreak, are calling on the city to set up a mobile vaccination clinic at the property. As CBC Hamilton reports, the apartment's tenant committee says only one elevator is working in the building and common areas are not cleaned regularly. They say public health officials erred in their assessment that socializing and providing care for neighbours was the main reason for the outbreak, in which 67 people have contracted the virus and one has died.
- The Hamilton Spectator interviewed a new father who lives in that Rebecca Street apartment and just tested positive for COVID-19 along with his mother, who lives with him, his wife and their infant daughter. There are 38 active cases of the coronavirus in the building. The father, who works part time as a food-delivery driver, says he's feeling better daily, but is frustrated with the situation. He blames the elevator being out for contributing to spread, through public health has said it's not seen evidence of that.
- A study by McMaster University's NeuroFit Lab found many respondents who said they wanted improve their mental health via exercise also identified poor mental health as a barrier to doing so. As TVO.org's Hamilton-Niagara reporter Justin Chandler writes, the lab identified solutions for people too stressed or anxious to exercise, including scheduling workouts to relieve the stress of decision-making, lowering their intensity, and keeping in mind that some exercise is better than none.
- Niagara Region Public Health has been running mass-vaccination clinics nearly every day since mid-March, the St. Catharines Standard reports, and they may continue to the end of the year. The department has hired 208 workers (most part-time) to fill the equivalent of 99 full-time jobs and redeployed other staff. Public health's vaccination clinics are expected to cost about $13.5 million if they do run until December. Nearly 45 per cent of Niagara residents 18 and up have been vaccinated with at least one dose.
- Five Niagara food banks and social service agencies are calling on governments to help with a growing need in the region, the Welland Tribune reports. One organization, the Hope Centre in Welland, says it has experienced a 170 per cent increase in families with children turning to them for emergency food. The agencies leaders are calling on measures such as creating more affordable housing and increasing social assistance payments.
- As of May 4, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 732 active cases of COVID-19 in First Nation communities across Canada. It is also reporting 319 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 1,947 COVID-19 cases.
- As of May 4, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 687 communities across Canada with vaccinations underway. 391,983 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.
- 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
- Just over 48 per cent of adults in Public Health Sudbury and Districts' area have receieved a vaccine dose, compared a province-wide 44.1 per cent.
- Timmins mayor George Pirie urged residents to keep vigilant as COVID cases rise in the region, according to the Timmins Daily Press. "Now is not the time to give in; now is the time to persevere. I am proud of Timmins and the efforts you have made so far. Our vaccine clinics are busy and well-attended. I know that you are continuing to make sacrifices and I know that we can and will get through this by continuing to do the right thing," said Pirie in a public address.
- The Canadian Rangers are providing support in Lac Seul First Nation, where an outbreak of COVID-19 cases has led the community to declare a state of emergency earlier this week, CBC Thunder Bay reports.
- EACOM Timber Corporation, a Montreal-based company with operations in eastern and northwestern Ontario, has announced it will pay its employees $350 to get vaccinated, TBNewswatch reports. The confidential incentive program will pay employees $100 for the first dose, $250 for the second, or $350 for a single-dose vaccination.
- Teachers and education workers in Thunder Bay will be vaccinated by the end of the week, according to Mike Judge, president of the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario’s Thunder Bay branch, TBNewswatch reports.
- Toronto-area patients are no longer being transferred to the Ottawa Hospital, says its president and CEO Cameron Love. “I think we're definitely headed in the right direction. I was very concerned three weeks ago,” he said to CTV News.
- Ottawa’s weekly COVID-19 incidence rate fell to 98.1 cases per 100,000 people on Thursday, which CTV News reports is the first time the rate has fallen below 100 since April 2.
- A Kingston resident says that he witnessed construction workers on-site at the new Queen’s University residence on Albert St. not complying with COVID-19 safety protocols, the Kingstonist reports. The neighbor to the site says that he has witnessed workers not wearing masks while performing tasks that require them to be less than 2 metres apart. He also says that he has reported the action several times, to several entities, with no discernible action taken.
- The Kingston region public health unit said that an outbreak at a Kingston construction site has now spread to a total of 61 people, as of Thursday. Global News reports that 39 workers caught the virus from the site directly, in addition to 22 of their close contacts who have now tested positive. The region’s medical officer of health said Thursday that vaccination bookings have opened early for local construction workers.
- Chatham-Kent police have laid charges under the Reopening Ontario Act in connection with a gathering of more than 70 people on Sunday, CBC Windsor reports. Blackburn News reports that the municipality is considering locking or putting up fencing churches that are repeating offenders of the provincial legislation.
- An 18-year-old London youth who was among three casualties of COVID-19 reported on Thursday by the Middlesex-London Health Unit. Chris Mackie, the region's medical officer of health, tells the London Free Press that the youth "declined very quickly."
- Lack of access to sports and recreational activities because of the provincial COVID-19 shutdown is stressing London area students, CTV London reports.
- Frontline health care workers are growing concerned that they haven't yet received a second dose of COVID-19 vaccination, CTV London reports.
- The central branch of the London Public Library has temporarily closed after an outbreak of COVID-19 among staff, CBC London reports.
- Conflicts between her medication for MS and the COVID-19 vaccine leaves a Stratford woman with a difficult decision, CBC Kitchener-Waterloo reports.
- Grey County plans to use paramedics to vaccinate people throughout the rural county who lack the mobility to travel to a clinic, Blackburn News reports.
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