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

The latest coronavirus updates from across the province
By staff - Published on Oct 15, 2021




  • Per today's government report, there are 496 new cases in Ontario, for a total of 593,933 since the pandemic began; 265 people are in hospital testing positive for COVID-19, while 163 are in intensive care who either previously tested positive or have currently tested positive, and 102 patients are on ventilators. To date, 9,809 people have died.
  • According to data from the Ministry of Long-Term Care, there are 8 outbreaks in long-term-care facilities, 23 confirmed active cases of positive residents, and 23 confirmed active cases of positive staff. To date, there have been 3,822 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 29,762 new doses of COVID-19 vaccines, for a total of 22,177,830 since December 2020. 588,292 people have received only one dose, and 10,794,769 people have received both doses. 87.01 per cent of Ontarians over the age of 12 have received their first dose of vaccine and 82.27 per cent have received their second.
  • As of 2 p.m. yesterday, Ontario's publicly-funded schools were reporting 69 new school-related student cases (for a total of 3,179) 8 new staff cases (for a total of 352) and 3 new unspecified cases for a total of 65; 677 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.
  • The scientific director of the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table says the province should not rush into lifting capacity limits in more places, suggesting that the earliest further easing of restrictions should be at the end of the month, reports CP24. Peter Juni told CP24 Thursday evening that Ontario needs to see the impact of the Thanksgiving long weekend and the recent removal of capacity limits for sports arenas and other large venues on COVID-19 case counts.

  • Ontario has launched its COVID-19 vaccine verification app and QR code system, both of which are now available for download, reports CTV News. Premier Doug Ford's office confirmed to CTV News Toronto that the app was launched on Thursday ahead of an announcement on Friday. 

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

  • According to October 14 data, Toronto reported 80 new cases of COVID-19, for a total of 189,009 since the pandemic began; 50 of them are in hospital (11 new). In total, 3,685 people have died (1 new).
  • This weekend, clinics across Toronto will be offering first and second COVID-19 vaccination doses at local malls and shopping centres as part of Shop And Vax 2.0. A full list of clinic locations and hours can be found on the City’s COVID-19: How to Get Vaccinated webpage.

  • The University Health Network, which runs the largest organ transplant centre in Canada, has decided patients must be fully vaccinated before being put on a waitlist for a solid organ transplant, including a heart, lungs or liver, reports the Toronto Star. Hospital leaders say the policy — the first to be implemented in Canada — is needed to protect vulnerable patients and ensure the donated organ goes to those with the best chance of survival.

  • Peel Regional Police have confirmed they are working on implementing a COVID-19 vaccine policy with the first step being to collect and assess data on vaccination status among members of the force, reports the Brampton Guardian. As a result, the force has requested all members to disclose their vaccination status by October 25.

  • Hamilton is extending its emergency rent bank established in December to help people facing evictions during the pandemic, CBC Hamilton reports. The $500,000 put into the program is nearly gone. The city will now put $1 million in unspent money from another program to extend it to the end of the year. About 270 people have used the rent fund, with an increase last month, Hamilton's director of housing says.

  • Niagara Regional Police officers do not have a mandatory vaccination policy and have not asked members to disclose vaccination against COVID-19, but the St. Catharines Standard reports that could change. Police chief Bryan MacCulloch is making a report on a possible mandate for a board meeting on October 28.


  • As of October 12, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 687 communities across Canada with vaccinations underway. 795,121 doses have been administered, of that 352,424 were second doses in individuals 12 and older.
  • As of October 14, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 1,889 active cases of COVID-19 in First Nation communities across Canada. It is also reporting 451 COVID-19 related deaths in total, across all First Nation reserves in Canada. To date, Ontario First Nation communities have had a total of 3,331 COVID-19 cases.


  • Today is the day employees at most Ottawa and area hospitals must be vaccinated, CBC News reports. (The Ottawa Hospital's deadline is November 1.) Area hospitals say most of their staff have risen to the challenge, though they still need to review the information submitted by staff.
  • Queen's University's homecoming is this weekend, and university officials say they're worried about large parties that would contravene Ontario's rules on gatherings, CTV News reports. In September, thousands of students attended such parties, and the university had to pay the City of Kingston $350,000 to cover the costs.


  • Public health officials and volunteers who work with the homeless in Sudbury are hoping an outbreak of COVID-19 at Memorial Park won’t spread further among the vulnerable people who have made this location a temporary home, reports the Sudbury Star
  • The Northwestern Health Unit is letting residents know that calls from the Ministry of Health to unvaccinated people are legitimate, TBNewswatch reports. The ministry will be calling people with an Ontario health card who’ve yet to receive a COVID-19 vaccine to let them know their options for getting a vaccine and to answer any questions.
  • The Thunder Bay District Health Unit is reporting one new active COVID-19 case today. There are a total of two COVID-19 cases in the region.


  • More than one major employer in southwestern Ontario is introducing a mandatory vaccination policy next month, CTV News London reports. General Motors Canada, which has an assembly plant in Ingersoll, says that all employees must receive two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine by December 12. “Exemptions and accommodations will be rare and will be evaluated on an individual basis,” reads a release from the company. Stellantis, a global automaker with a plant in Windsor, is implementing similar rules effective December 17.
  • The Sarnia Police Service is taking a different approach than local automakers. Police announced Thursday that a “standing order” — rather than a mandatory-vax policy — is being issued to all officers, the Sarnia Observer reports. As per the order, officers will need to prove their vaccination status by Halloween. Those who aren’t vaccinated must then pay out of pocket for weekly viral testing.

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