COVID-19: What you need to know for November 15

The latest coronavirus updates from across the province
By TVO.org staff - Published on Nov 15, 2021

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Provincewide

  • Per today's government report, there are 552 new cases in Ontario, for a total of 607,725 since the pandemic began; 138 people are in hospital testing positive for COVID-19, while 141 are in intensive care who either previously tested positive or have currently tested positive, and 79 patients are on ventilators. To date, 9,937 people have died.
  • Per the government’s report on the province’s vaccination program, as of 8 p.m. yesterday, Ontario has administered 7,251 new doses of COVID-19 vaccines, for a total of 22,720,151 since December 2020. 415,907 people have received only one dose, and 11,152,122 people have received both doses. 88.72 per cent of Ontarians over the age of 12 have received their first dose of vaccine and 85.54 per cent have received their second.
  • As of 2 p.m. yesterday, Ontario's publicly-funded schools were reporting 77 new school-related student cases (for a total of 4,975) 9 new staff cases (for a total of 557) and new unspecified cases for a total of 94; 488 schools are reporting at least one case and 4 schools have been closed.

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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 November 12 data, Toronto reported 172 new cases of COVID-19, for a total of 181,724 since the pandemic began; 18 of them are in hospital (2 new). In total, 3,703 people have died (3 new). Data as of November 12 includes case counts and outcomes since November 10. 
  • A Catholic elementary school in Etobicoke is closed today after at least 18 COVID-19 cases were identified last week, reports CP24. On Friday, public health officials confirmed that students at Nativity of Our Lord Catholic School, located on Saffron Crescent, near Rathburn Road and Highway 427, would be temporarily dismissed from in-person learning starting today due to an outbreak of COVID-19.
  • CBC News Toronto reports that new clients outnumbered existing users at the city's network of food banks and community food programs, according to this year's Who's Hungry report from the Daily Bread and North York Harvest food banks. The report, which surveyed food bank usage across the city between April 1, 2020 and March 30, 2021, found that there were 1.45 million visits to Toronto food banks during that period. That's the most ever recorded in the city's history, representing a staggering increase of 47 per cent compared to the same period the previous year.
  • As the Hamilton Spectator reports, the City of Hamilton's count for staff who will be placed on unpaid leave for not complying with a mandatory vaccination policy has decreased from 228 to 89 employees.
  • The paper also reports that as hospitals face a backlog of 6,600 surgeries and a shortage of staff made worse by the pandemic, Hamilton Health Sciences plans to employ operating room assistants to take over some of the work of trained nurses. The union representing Ontario nurses disagrees with this program, which is also being piloted by Niagara Health, saying it will promote the hiring of unregulated care providers.
  • The St. Catharines Standard reports that Niagara Emergency Medical Services is asking the Region to call for immediate provincial intervention to address delays in offloading patients at hospitals. EMS says the amount of times it takes more than 30 minutes to off-load patients has increased past pre-pandemic records with 349 patients remaining on EMS stretchers between four and six hours. 

Indigenous

  • As of November 9, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 687 communities across Canada with vaccinations underway. 837,958 doses have been administered, of that 371,810 were second doses in individuals 12 and older.
  • As of November 11, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 1,106 active cases of COVID-19 in First Nation communities across Canada. It is also reporting 513 COVID-19 related deaths in total, across all First Nation reserves in Canada. To date, Ontario First Nation communities have had a total of 3,446 COVID-19 cases.

Eastern

  • Today is the deadline for federal government employees, as well as City of Ottawa employees, to attest to vaccination or face potential consequences, CTV Ottawa reports. As of early November, 95 per cent of federal government employees had been fully vaccinated, while 98 per cent had received at least one dose. Those who are not vaccinated could be laced on unpaid suspension.
  • A Kingston pub which has refused to abide by the rules around vaccination passports has had its doors closed by Kingston police, who hanged the locks over the weekend, the Kingston Whig-Standard reports. J.A.K.K. Tuesday's had previously had its liquor license pulled in September, and on Nov. 3, public health officials issued an order for the pub to comply with COVID-19 health and safety rules or be closed. According to a statement from KFL&A Public Health, the pub "did not comply" with the order, and it will now be closed until the matter can be heard in court.

Northern

Southwestern

  • Overwhelmed by surging local COVID-19 cases, St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital has reached capacity for critically ill patients and must begin transfers to other hospitals, the London Free Press reports. The vaccination rate for Elgin and Oxford counties is the lowest in the province at a time when the area has Ontario’s second-highest average weekly COVID-19 case rate.  
  • Region of Waterloo Public Health warns that hospitalizations and intensive-care-unit admissions are expected to rise in the near term, with many new cases occurring among the region’s unvaccinated population. "Our situation is delicate, and it can change quickly if we let our guards down,” says Hsiu-Li Wang, medical officer of health for Waterloo region, as per CBC News.  
  • As COVID-19 continues to delay surgeries across the province, a pair of Windsor locals have started a new business connecting southwestern Ontarians seeking quicker care with doctors in Michigan. “We see this as an opportunity for people to have a much better quality of life much sooner,” Martin Vrolyk, co-founder of Outpatient Ontario, tells CTV News Windsor of the endeavour.


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