COVID-19: What you need to know for November 16

The latest coronavirus updates from across the province
By staff - Published on Nov 16, 2021




  • Per today's government report, there are 481 new cases in Ontario, for a total of 608,206 since the pandemic began; 301 people are in hospital testing positive for COVID-19, while 139 are in intensive care who either previously tested positive or have currently tested positive, and 82 patients are on ventilators. To date, 9,938 people have died.
  • According to data from the Ministry of Long-Term Care, there is 1 outbreak in long-term-care facilities, 1 confirmed active case of positive residents, and 4 confirmed active cases of positive staff. To date, there have been 3,824 confirmed resident deaths and 13 confirmed staff deaths.

  • Per the government’s report on the province’s vaccination program, as of 8 p.m. yesterday, Ontario has administered 13,146 new doses of COVID-19 vaccines, for a total of 22,733,297 since December 2020. 412,291 people have received only one dose, and 11,160,503 people have received both doses. 88.76 per cent of Ontarians over the age of 12 have received their first dose of vaccine and 85.6 per cent have received their second.
  • As of 2 p.m. Friday, Ontario's publicly-funded schools were reporting 222 new school-related student cases (for a total of 5,197) 18 new staff cases (for a total of 571) and 5 new unspecified cases for a total of 99; 536 schools are reporting at least one case and 3 schools have been closed.

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Data from the Province of Ontario; visualizations by John Michael McGrath.
Data from the Province of Ontario; visualizations by John Michael McGrath.
Data from the Province of Ontario; visualizations by John Michael McGrath.
Data from the Province of Ontario; visualizations by John Michael McGrath.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area

  • According to November 15 data, Toronto reported 239 new cases of COVID-19, for a total of 181,940 since the pandemic began; 16 of them are in hospital (2 new). In total, 3,708 people have died (5 new). Data as of November 15 includes case counts and outcomes since November 12. 
  • The number of active cases of COVID-19 associated with Ontario’s public schools has surpassed 1,000 for the first time in weeks, reports CP24. The Ministry of Education says that there were another 86 new school-related cases of the virus confirmed over a 24-hour period ending Friday afternoon, up from 85 during the same time period last week. On Monday, Toronto Mayor John Tory said he is hopeful that Health Canada will soon approve the COVID-19 vaccine for use in children aged five to 11, paving the way for the launch of a major campaign to vaccinate school-aged children. “We had hoped that the approvals would be forthcoming in time for us to have some fairly sort of large and widespread activities by even as early as next week,” he said. “We now understand that it is coming fairly soon, it won't be very long thereafter. So I am hopeful that by, say, the beginning of the month that we'll be able to get underway.”
  • Metrolinx acknowledged Monday that some of its contracted train drivers are not yet fully vaccinated, despite a policy that required other Metrolinx employees to be vaccinated by November 1, reports CP24. Several GO Train trips were cancelled Monday, including some trips to Barrie, Hamilton and Niagara Falls.
  • Today, Mayor John Tory announced that the City of Toronto and Team Toronto vaccination partners have now administered more than 5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses.
  • Hamilton public health shared a new forecast showing that loosening pandemic health measures between now and February could result in 973 more cases than if measures like masking and capacity limits remain. As CBC Hamilton reports, medical officer of health Elizabeth Richardson says people need to be patient as communities find the right balance between safety and resuming more pre-pandemic norms. Public health forecasts predict the effects of rolling back restrictions to various degrees. While fewer restrictions would still mean more cases and deaths, the epidemiologist presenting the forecasts said Hamilton's vaccination rate helps protect people from more severe outcomes.
  • The Hamilton Spectator reports Hamilton school immunization rates reflect the religious and socioeconomic factors affecting vaccination against COVID-19, with vaccination rates over 85 per cent at school in the wealthiest parts of the city and some below 50 per cent in the poorest. Private religious schools (mostly Christian schools) account for almost all the 10 lowest vaccination rates with coverage as low as 18 per cent.
  • As COVID-19 cases and deaths rise in Haldimand-Norfolk, acting medical officer of health Matt Strauss warned the community is experiencing a fifth surge of COVID-19. The Spectator reports four residents died in the past three weeks, bringing the pandemic toll to 52. On average, the region is adding 10 new cases per day, with the active case count at 97, double what it was two weeks ago. New cases are mostly in rural areas with low vaccination rates and Strauss warns there is a lag in vaccination for people aged 40-70. Of four people COVID-19 killed recently in the region, three were unvaccinated and one was vaccinated and had severe health conditions.
  • A job post on encrypted messaging app Telegram using the West Lincoln mayor Dave Bylsma's name and phone number solicited workers for a job noting current staff were "purebloods," a self-identifying term some unvaccinated people use. The St. Catharines Standard reports Bylsma did not reply to interview requests and the channel in which the message was posted was shut down. The pureblood term has been especially popular in the United States and is frequently used in conspiracy posts. It also has historic racist connotations and has been used to refer to people who are of one ethnic group. Niagara's acting medical officer of health Mustafa Hirji said the racist overtones struck him and noted anyone without the COVID-19 vaccine is more likely to get the virus. And if they recover, he said, they will have the same antibodies in their blood as vaccinated people. Bylsma has shared COVID-19 conspiracies and misinformation in the past and is under investigation for allegedly breaking stay-at-home rules for attending a protest against said rules.


  • 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 15, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 1,132 active cases of COVID-19 in First Nation communities across Canada. It is also reporting 518 COVID-19 related deaths in total, across all First Nation reserves in Canada. To date, Ontario First Nation communities have had a total of 3,489 COVID-19 cases.


  • ​​​​​​​Nearly 600 City of Ottawa employees will be placed on leave after failing to meet the city's deadline to attest to their vaccination status, the Ottawa Citizen reports. City manager Steve Kanellakos reported that 96 per cent of employees have been fully vaccinated. Kanellakos said there will not be major impacts to city services, but "some targeted service disruptions or delays may be experienced should a department need to implement a mitigation plan to maintain business continuity.” Of the 592 employees that have not attested to being fully vaccinated, 400 have not reported their status, 72 are partially vaccinated, and 120 are either unvaccinated or asked for a medical exemption which was later denied. Those who will be suspended have the option of using up-paid leave before needing to take unpaid leave.


  • A single case of COVID-19 was found in someone associated with St. Martin School in Thunder Bay, TBNewswatch reports. The Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board and the health unit will be contacting those affected, including a school bus cohort that is impacted by the case.
  • Algoma Public Health has issued COVID restrictions following a surge of cases over the past month. Anyone who is COVID positive or a close contact is required to self-isolate at risk of facing a $750 to $5,000 fine, businesses must re-instate capacity limits and physical distancing requirements and anyone 12 and older must show proof of vaccination to participate in organized sports. A full list of new rules and requirements for the health unit's class order can be found here.
  • Three COVID outbreaks were reported in Sudbury-area schools over the weekend, according to the Sudbury Star. Redwood Acres Public School in Hanmer declared an outbreak on November 13, and Sudbury Secondary School announced an outbreak on November 12. The Sudbury Catholic District School Board reported a new COVID-19 outbreak at St. Anne Catholic School in Hanmer on November 12. According to the Star, there are 40 active cases at local schools in the Sudbury and Manitoulin districts.


  • Grey Bruce Health Services is changing its COVID-19 vaccination policy. All staff and physicians are now required to be fully vaccinated by December 3 (unless they have a medical exemption) or face termination, the Owen Sound Sun-Times reports. A previous policy, set to take effect on November 25, would have seen these employees placed on unpaid leave.
  • Transit Windsor says bus service will be disrupted this week as a “significant number” of employees have not complied with the city’s mandatory vaccination policy, leaving the transit agency short-staffed. “Service will continue, but there will be fewer busses in rotation, and unfortunately delays should be expected,” says Tyson Cragg, Transit Windsor’s executive director, in a news release.

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