COVID-19: What you need to know for October 22

The latest coronavirus updates from across the province
By TVO.org staff - Published on Oct 22, 2021

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Provincewide

  • Per today's government report, there are 492 new cases in Ontario, for a total of 596,772 since the pandemic began; 261 people are in hospital testing positive for COVID-19, while 149 are in intensive care who either previously tested positive or have currently tested positive, and 94 patients are on ventilators. To date, 9,839 people have died.
  • According to data from the Ministry of Long-Term Care, there are 5 outbreaks in long-term-care facilities, 14 confirmed active cases of positive residents, and 19 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 25,770 new doses of COVID-19 vaccines, for a total of 22,338,662 since December 2020. 538,604 people have received only one dose, and 10,900,029 people have received both doses. 87.73 per cent of Ontarians over the age of 12 have received their first dose of vaccine and 83.6 per cent have received their second.
  • As of 2 p.m. yesterday, Ontario's publicly-funded schools were reporting 84 new school-related student cases (for a total of 3,590) 10 new staff cases (for a total of 414) and 1 new unspecified cases for a total of 68; 550 schools are reporting at least one case and 2 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 October 21 data, Toronto reported 66 new cases of COVID-19, for a total of 180,434 since the pandemic began; 39 of them are in hospital (6 new). In total, 3,688 people have died (zero new). 
  • Yesterday, Mayor John Tory announced that more than 83 per cent of eligible Toronto residents have now been fully vaccinated.

  • Deadlines have passed for thousands of GTA hospital workers to prove they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, with some now being placed on unpaid leave or facing termination, reports the Toronto Star

  • Peel Public Health has confirmed nine schools in the region have active COVID-19 outbreaks, reports the Brampton Guardian. Since schools reopened after Labour Day, there have been a total of 25 outbreaks.

  • CBC Hamilton reports that this week, St. Joseph's Hospital in Hamilton launched Ontario's first monoclonal antibody therapy clinic for COVID-19 outpatients. The treatment has reduced both hospitalization and deaths by about 70 per cent in high-risk COVID-19 patients in early studies. The Hamilton clinic will be by referral only and Dr. Zain Chagla, who's leading the clinic, says the drugs involved must be administered early in the illness to work. This means anyone with symptoms should get tested quickly, he says.

  • The Hamilton Spectator reports a Hamilton couple is arguing with their wedding venue, LIUNA Station because they are unvaccinated and unable to attend their wedding under provincial rules. They want their $11,000 deposit refunded but the venue says vaccination is a personal choice and does not warrant a refund for a cancelled event.

  • The paper also reports officials suspended the business licence of a restaurant in central Hamilton after alleged violations of proof-of-vaccine rules. An official says that consistent with bylaw's practices, officers warned and educated the restaurant after seeing issues, then charged it in a follow-up check.

  • Six Nations Public Health recently shared information about a new COVID-19 death in the past few days. As the Spectator reports, that's the 14th band member who died with the virus. There were four active cases on Six Nations last Friday but 17 people tested positive over the last week, including six fully vaccinated people.

  • According to a Niagara public health release, pregnant women in the region (who have an increased risk of COVID-19 illness during and immediately after pregnancy) have a low full vaccination rate: 49 per cent compared to 82 per cent of eligible residents. As the St. Catharines Standard reports, the release says pregnant women are much more likely to be hospitalized or put on ventilators than others their age, if they get the virus.

  • A temporary DriveTest centre opened in Niagara Falls Friday, but every available appointment was filled within 15 minutes of opening. The Standard reports new appointments were added Thursday, and the Ministry of Transportation says people looking to book should check the site regularly. The MTO says it's hiring new staff to reduce the backlog.

  • Niagara Regional Council voted to suspend West Lincoln mayor Dave Byslma's pay for seven days, as recommended in an integrity commissioner report. As CHCH News reports, Bylsma, who is also under investigation for breaking public health rules while protesting against them, was investigated by the commissioner for asking a woman online if her COVID-19 vaccination affected her menstruation. The commissioner deemed this unprofessional and invasive. Bylsma has publicly shared COVID-19 misinformation and questioned whether reports of the pandemic's severity were fake.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Indigenous

  • As of October 19, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 687 communities across Canada with vaccinations underway. 804,613 doses have been administered, of that 358,363 were second doses in individuals 12 and older.
  • As of October 20, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 1,560 active cases of COVID-19 in First Nation communities across Canada. It is also reporting 463 COVID-19 related deaths in total, across all First Nation reserves in Canada. To date, Ontario First Nation communities have had a total of 3,360 COVID-19 cases.

Eastern

  • Over 300 staff at the Ottawa Hospital will be placed on unpaid leave if not fully vaccinated by November 1, CTV News reports. 129 of those have received first doses, according to the hospital.
  • Winchester District Memorial Hospital will require proof of vaccination for visitors as of Monday, the Ottawa Citizen reports. The policy won't apply to patients.

Northern

  • Case counts in Sudbury continue to rise with 42 new cases reported yesterday, according to the Sudbury Star. Public Health Sudbury and Districts says 23 of the cases are related to the six outbreaks in the region: at the Overtime Sports Bar and Grill, Peddler’s Pub, Sudbury Developmental Services, Lot 88 Steakhouse and Bar, the Sudbury jail, and Memorial Park. There are now 133 active cases in the region.
  • Following social media harassment, the Porcupine Health Unit shut down comments on its page, CBC Sudbury reports. The decision to close comments comes after Timmins police received complaints of harassment from the health unit at its vaccination sites. "It's not appropriate for my staff, my team who has given up their house, their time, their family dinners, their events for the last two years to work diligently and wholeheartedly, to protect our communities, to have to see, read and respond to the types of comments that we've been seeing," said PHU medical officer of health Lianne Catton.

​​​​​​​Southwestern

  • With the US border set to reopen next month to fully vaccinated Canadians for non-essential travel, Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley says Canada’s rules for reentry are unfair to cross-border families, CTV News London reports. “They don’t understand border cities,” says Bradley of the federal government, which is requiring Canadians to test negative for COVID-19 before returning home after travelling. He estimates testing costs to be more than $200 per trip. “It’s just too prohibitive to be able to travel to the US every day,” says Bob Vansickle, a Sarnia-area resident who wants to be able to visit and care for family across the St. Clair River, in Port Huron.
  • In Windsor-Essex, the public-health unit is reporting 26 new COVID-19 infections and the area’s 462nd death on Friday, according to CTV News Windsor. Locally, there are now 199 active cases.


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