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

The latest coronavirus updates from across the province
By TVO.org staff - Published on Nov 19, 2021

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Provincewide

  • Per today's government report, there are 793 new cases in Ontario, for a total of 610,222 since the pandemic began; 269 people are in hospital testing positive for COVID-19, while 128 are in intensive care who either previously tested positive or have currently tested positive, and 72 patients are on ventilators. To date, 9,959 people have died.
  • According to data from the Ministry of Long-Term Care, there are 3 outbreaks in long-term-care facilities, 2 confirmed active cases of positive residents, and 8 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 13,897 new doses of COVID-19 vaccines, for a total of 22,776,096 since December 2020. 401,404 people have received only one dose, and 11,187,346 people have received both doses. 88.88 per cent of Ontarians over the age of 12 have received their first dose of vaccine and 85.81 per cent have received their second.
  • As of 2 p.m. yesterday, Ontario's publicly-funded schools were reporting 101 new school-related student cases (for a total of 5,521) 7 new staff cases (for a total of 609) and 1 new unspecified cases for a total of 104; 599 schools are reporting at least one case and 7 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.
  • Health Canada has authorized the first COVID-19 vaccine for children, giving the regulatory green light to Pfizer-BioNTech’s two-dose vaccine, reports CTV News. Children ages five to 11 are now eligible to receive this vaccine, in a smaller dosage than has been offered to those ages 12 and above.

  • Ontario high schools will shift back to regular semesters no later than February, returning secondary students to a normal schedule for the first time since the onset of the pandemic, reports CBC News. School boards will be able to make the change sooner if they have their local public health unit's support, Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced Thursday.

  • Ontario is preparing to send a pack of five rapid antigen COVID-19 tests home with every school child in the province in time for winter break, in a massive effort to screen kids over the holidays and prevent infected kids from re-entering schools in January, reports CTV News

Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area

  • According to November 18 data, Toronto reported 106 new cases of COVID-19, for a total of 182,167 since the pandemic began; 11 of them are in hospital (2 new). In total, 3,710 people have died (0 new).
  • Team Toronto announced yesterday that it is prepared to vaccinate children ages five to 11 as quickly as possible once vaccines are approved and distributed from government partners. According to a media release, Toronto Public Health estimates that COVID-19 vaccines for children will arrive in the Ontario approximately within one week of Health Canada approval. Vaccine distribution across the city is estimated to take two to three days after the vaccine is delivered by the federal and provincial governments.
  • Students at an Islamic school in Scarborough will be temporarily dismissed from in-person classes and activities starting on Friday due to a COVID-19 outbreak, reports CP24. Toronto Public Health (TPH) said 13 coronavirus cases have been identified at Salaheddin Islamic School, including eight new infections reported Thursday.
  • As Ancaster News reports, Hamilton's medical officer of health said this week that public health is short about 100 full-time staff it needs to fight the pandemic. This is due to burnout, turnover and staff moving between jobs. Public health has had to redeploy resources for the pandemic, meaning programs such as vaccinations for hep B, meningococcal disease and HPV, and pest control have been reduced or are not occurring.
  • In an effort to increase vaccination rates at elementary schools — which data shows are widely disparate and correlate with socioeconomic status — Hamilton public health will host in-school clinics starting next week, the Hamilton Spectator reports.
  • Niagara Public Health says its attention is largely focused on preventing infections amongst children aged six to 12. That age group has the city's highest infection rate, about three or four time higher than any other group, acting medical officer of health Mustafa Hirji tells the St. Catharines Standard. He says preventing infections is important to keep children in school, noting that kids do a lot of group activities and those are driving spread. He says vaccinating children as soon as possible will be a priority.
  • Hirji also said that a St. Catharines COVID-19 outbreak in which 30 people were infected and one person died actually took place at a private apartment building catered to seniors, not a retirement home as was reported in the media.
  • Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati tells the Standard he's looking forward to border PCR testing restrictions easing (the federal government is expected to announce a plan to do so today) but that he wants more clarity about whether rapid antigen testing will be required in its place. Hirji says it's still important to think about the risks of COVID-19 positive people crossing the border.

Indigenous

  • As of November 16, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 687 communities across Canada with vaccinations underway. 857,376 doses have been administered, of that 374,479 were second doses in individuals 12 and older.
  • As of November 17, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 1,073 active cases of COVID-19 in First Nation communities across Canada. It is also reporting 527 COVID-19 related deaths in total, across all First Nation reserves in Canada. To date, Ontario First Nation communities have had a total of 3,510 COVID-19 cases.

Eastern

  • ​​​​​​​Kingston businesses worry about holiday shopping as cases continue to climb, Global News reports. "This is our season. This is where we make most of our money and last year we missed out on it because we were closed, so we’re hoping to recoup our costs this year,” says Kim Mittal, a manager at a local business. Businesseshave reported a decrease in foot traffic since the region's numbers started to climb.

Northern

  • The Thunder Bay District Health Unit reported a death due to COVID-19 yesterday. 66 people have died from COVID-19-related causes in the region since the pandemic began.
  • There are seven new cases of COVID-19 in the Thunder Bay area, according to data from the Thunder Bay District Health Unit. There are a total of 19 active cases in the region, including one person hospitalized with the virus.
  • A COVID-19 outbreak at St. Martin School in Thunder Bay continues to grow, with 9 people associated with the school infected with COVID-19, TBNewswatch reports. As of today the school is closed and students have moved to online learning, which will last until at least next week, the Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board says.
  • Public Health Sudbury and Districts reported a 37th death in its area-- the third death this week, the Sudbury Star reports. According to PHSD, the death occurred in Greater Sudbury. There are 235 active cases in the region.
  • Health Sciences North has partnered with two Sudbury long-term care homes to extend the number of beds at the overcrowded hospital, the Sudbury Star reports. The Extendicare York and Amberwood Suites have opened their doors to the hospital, which is battling a COVID outbreak. HSN CEO Dominic Giroux says the average daily occupancy over the past month has been at 550 patients, while the hospital was built to hold 440 admitted patients.

Southwestern

  • As COVID-19 cases surge in Elgin and Oxford counties, Southwestern Public Health plans to impose capacity restrictions, like those seen earlier in the pandemic, for public places as soon as next week, the London Free Press reports.
  • A new COVID-19 outbreak was declared at Bluewater Health on the same day that an earlier outbreak in the Sarnia hospital was announced over, Blackburn News reports. While the previous outbreak in the general-medicine unit was said on November 18 to be resolved, two patients in the complex-continuing-care unit have contracted COVID-19.
  • Campus police at Western University in London ousted a student from class — once led away in handcuffs and another time carried out by his hands and feet — in a dramatic showdown over the school’s enforcement of its COVID-19 vaccination mandate, reports the Toronto Star. After being repeatedly warned not to trespass on campus, and removed three times, Harry Wade, 22, was expelled November 18 and told the Star, “if a university is willing to go this far to exclude people then it’s not an institution that I want to participate in.”


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