COVID-19: What you need to know for October 28

The latest coronavirus updates from across the province
By TVO.org staff - Published on Oct 28, 2021

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Provincewide

  • Per today's government report, there are 409 new cases in Ontario, for a total of 598,840 since the pandemic began; 197 people are in hospital testing positive for COVID-19, while 132 are in intensive care who either previously tested positive or have currently tested positive, and 93 patients are on ventilators. To date, 9,865 people have died.
  • According to data from the Ministry of Long-Term Care, there are 3 outbreaks in long-term-care facilities, 12 confirmed active cases of positive residents, and 9 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 20,408 new doses of COVID-19 vaccines, for a total of 22,455,484 since December 2020. 500,340 people have received only one dose, and 10,977,572 people have received both doses. 88.03 per cent of Ontarians over the age of 12 have received their first dose of vaccine and 84.2 per cent have received their second.
  • As of 2 p.m. yesterday, Ontario's publicly-funded schools were reporting 75 new school-related student cases (for a total of 3,946) 4 new staff cases (for a total of 435) and 1 new unspecified case for a total of 73; 503 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.
  • Ontario's Ministry of Labour says it has laid the province's first COVID-19-related charges against a long-term care home in London, reports CP24. Sharon Farms & Enterprises Ltd., which runs the Kensington Village long-term care home was charged with failing to provide one or more written notices of occupational illness to a director, failing to provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker or workers to protect their health or safety, and knowingly furnishing an inspector with false information.

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

  • According to October 27 data, Toronto reported 76 new cases of COVID-19, for a total of 180,735 since the pandemic began; 29 of them are in hospital (1 new). In total, 3,694 people have died (1 new). 
  • Facing a "reduction in available workforce" due to its mandatory vaccination policy, the Toronto Transit Commission says it will be paring down services next month, particularly on its bus network, reports CP24. "No routes are being cut. All routes will continue to get service. But there may need to be some changes based on what we know today," TTC spokesperson Stuart Green told CP24 Wednesday afternoon.

  • Hamilton's public school board has indefinitely postponed its deadline to make vaccines mandatory for staff. As the Hamilton Spectator reports, the previous deadline was not specified (though said to take effect no earlier than November 30) but workers were told they would face consequences such as limited access to the workplace. A board spokesperson told the Spec trustees were satisfied with existing provincial rules imposing regular testing on unvaccinated staff and decided to stick to that.

  • The paper also reports school boards in the city are reviewing claims of medical exemption to COVID-19 vaccination. Of 59 submitted at the public board, only 27 remain active. Fewer than 10 have been validated. The Toronto Star previously reported school board staff were claiming medical exemptions at much higher rates than would be expected given the province says between one and five people per 100,000 should qualify.  The Grand Erie School Board, covering Brantford, Brant, and Haldimand and Norfolk counties, has also reviewed its staff's exemption claims and deemed a portion to be invalid.

  • Hospital leaders across the Hamilton-Niagara area and in neighbouring municipalities have asked the province to make vaccination against COVID-19 a mandatory requirement for staff and physicians, the Spectator reports. Some hospitals, such as Hamilton Health Sciences, have already put mandatory vaccination policies in place and are already in the process of reviewing exemption requests.

  • A Hamilton bar received a local record of nine tickets for COVID-19 infractions. CBC Hamilton reports Bad & Boujee allegedly did not contact trace and violated vaccine verification, screening and face-covering rules, among other things. The owner tells CBC the investigation was improper and there should have been more education on the rules prior to the charges. The city did not give CBC a response to those criticisms.

  • A local doctor tells the Spectator he can't sleep some nights worrying about pregnant people not getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Hamilton Health Sciences says it has cared for at least 25 pregnant people with the virus. While 81 per cent of all Hamiltonians are fully vaccinated against it, only 59 per cent of pregnant people in the city are. COVID-19 poses a greater health risk to pregnant people compared to the general population and shots can be administered at any point during pregnancy, health officials say. 

  • Niagara Falls city council has asked the federal government to remove the requirement for fully vaccinated travelers at the land border to show a negative COVID-19 PCR test. As the Niagara Falls Review reports, councillors say this is a challenging and costly barrier to travel. The region's acting medical officer of health Mustafa Hirji says if anything, the testing should be enhanced and travelers should have to take another test eight days after arrival, as was previously required. Hirji says there's been an average of one travel-related case per day in Niagara, most in fully vaccinated people and most who had travelled to the United States.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​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 26, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 1,654 active cases of COVID-19 in First Nation communities across Canada. It is also reporting 475 COVID-19 related deaths in total, across all First Nation reserves in Canada. To date, Ontario First Nation communities have had a total of 3,385 COVID-19 cases.

Eastern

  • The Ottawa Citizen reports that two unvaccinated people at an outdoor sporting event and an indoor social gathering triggered an outbreak that infected 26 people with COVID-19 within a couple of weeks and led to the closure of an elementary school, Ottawa Public Health says.
  • An Ottawa paramedic has been charged in connection with a fake vaccination certificate scheme, the Ottawa Citizen reports. The man is alleged to have presented a false vaccine certificate in order to keep his job. The man was charged with forgery, uttering a forged document, and obtaining by false pretence. The man is currently released on an undertaking
  • The Ottawa Police Service is being urged to rethink its vaccination policy, CBC Ottawa reports. Unlike the majority of city services, the police force does not have a vaccination mandate. Rather, it mandates testing every 72 hours. "Police come in contact literally with dozens of people every single day. And for the life of me, I can't understand why they would not follow the same rules that other public servants in Ottawa — and quite frankly, throughout the country — are following," says Mayor Jim Watson.

Northern

  • Public Health Sudbury and Districts has declared itself a hotspot after a surge of cases over the past month. With 209 cases as of October 27, PHSD says there are seven active outbreaks in Greater Sudbury: the Sudbury jail has 59 cases, the Memorial Park camp has 21, and two schools have six cases. PHSD says its seven-day rate of new cases was 82.5 per 100 000 population, compared with 17 for the province of Ontario. There are five confirmed cases in hospital and another two awaiting testing results. " Now is the time for each of us to assess our individual actions and decisions and ramp up COVID-19 precautions—layer on the protective measures such as vaccination, masking, distancing, working from home, and importantly, staying home when even mildly unwell. We have the power in our hands to turn this around," says medical officer of health Penny Sutcliffe.
  • The District of Nipissing Social Services Administration Board approved a mandatory vaccine policy for its staff, according to the North Bay Nugget. The policy mirrors that of the City of North Bay as the social service board operates in the same office building.

Southwestern

  • London Health Sciences Centre is requiring patients awaiting transplants to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before undergoing surgery, the London Free Press reports. Anyone who is unvaccinated and on the waiting list for an organ is going to be placed on hold, although exemption claims will be handled case by case.
  • Among Sarnia-Lambton residents who are eligible for the jab, nearly 80 per cent now have two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the local health unit, the Sarnia Observer reports.


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