- Per today's government report, there are 573 new cases in Ontario, for a total of 590,677 since the pandemic began; 271 people are in hospital testing positive for COVID-19, while 154 are in intensive care who either previously tested positive or have currently tested positive, and 97 patients are on ventilators. To date, 9,786 people have died.
- According to data from the Ministry of Long-Term Care, there are 14 outbreaks in long-term-care facilities, 31 confirmed active cases of positive residents, and 24 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 30,575 new doses of COVID-19 vaccines, for a total of 22,004,768 since December 2020. 636,056 people have received only one dose, and 10,684,356 people have received both doses. 86.73 per cent of Ontarians over the age of 12 have received their first dose of vaccine and 81.8 per cent have received their second.
As of 2 p.m. yesterday, Ontario's publicly-funded schools were reporting 114 new school-related student cases (for a total of 2,609) 12 new staff cases (for a total of 309) and new unspecified cases for a total of 57; 774 schools are reporting at least one case and 9 schools have been closed.
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Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area
- According to October 7 data, Toronto reported 115 new cases of COVID-19, for a total of 179,401 since the pandemic began; 53 of them are in hospital (5 new). In total, 3,674 people have died (3 new)
- The TTC has told transit union leaders it’s bracing for a labour shortage next month, when the deadline for employees to get vaccinated expires, reports the Toronto Star. In a letter sent yesterday to the union representing TTC workers, first obtained by the Star, the TTC said it was delaying the signup sheet for shifts next week due to a potential worker shortage as a result of the mandatory vaccination policy, reports CTV News.
- CTV News reports that nearly 80 employees at a Toronto long-term-care home have been suspended without pay for failing to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19. According to a letter obtained by CTV News, the long-term care home gave staff until October 4 to show proof of at least one vaccine dose. By Nov. 4 staff are expected to be able to prove they are fully vaccinated.
- Parents say that pediatricians are still not seeing patients in person even after the ministry of health encouraged all doctors to resume seeing both kids and adults in person in July. As a result, emergency departments are seeing an increase in patients with less serious or "low acuity" illnesses, reports the CBC. In August, SickKids reported its busiest month this year with close to 6,000 patients — 40 per cent more than the same month last year, and 15 per cent more than in 2019. Jason Fischer, the division head of the SickKids emergency department told CBC News that the increase is because patients have less access to community medical care, or think they have limited options.
Metrolinx says it would be difficult to mandate COVID-19 vaccines for travellers on GO Transit and Union Pearson Express trains for logistical reasons and does not plan to require passengers to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination before they ride, reports CP24.
On Thursday, Hamilton Health Sciences announced staff and physicians in the hospital network have until November 30 to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, or risk being fired. As the Hamilton Spectator reports, the CEO did not mince words, telling unvaccinated workers: "If you are relying on some manufactured and frankly simplistic legal argument about your individual right to work for a hospital while unvaccinated, you need to stop being so self-absorbed and start thinking about your duty to our patients, to your fellow workers and to our community.” HHS is the city's largest employer, with 13,250 workers. About 400 of those workers have not shared their vaccination status and some have been facing discipline for withholding that. About 680 disclosed they are unvaccinated.
The Spectator also reports that while some long-term-care workers in Hamilton quit due to mandatory vaccinations for work, facilities in the area are set to receive over $13 million this spring to hire more staff.
Niagara's acting medical officer of health tells the St. Catharines Standard it may not be worth it for Niagara to take up the province's offer of rapid antigen tests for high-risk schools and childcare centres. Dr. Mustafa Hirji says rapid tests might result in hundreds of false positives each week, and only catch about seven new cases.
The Welland Tribune reports the City of Welland is working on a vaccine policy for councillors and staff.
- As of October 5, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 687 communities across Canada with vaccinations underway. 786,893 doses have been administered, of that 348,757 were second doses in individuals 12 and older.
- As of October 7, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 1,834 active cases of COVID-19 in First Nation communities across Canada. It is also reporting 433 COVID-19 related deaths in total, across all First Nation reserves in Canada. To date, Ontario First Nation communities have had a total of 3,308 COVID-19 cases.
- 59 staff members at Kingston Health Sciences Centre have been put on indefinite unpaid administrative leave after failing to comply with the hospital’s mandatory vaccination policy, reports the Kingston Whig-Standard.
- About five per cent of the students at St. Benedict elementary school in Barrhaven have contracted COVID-19 in an outbreak that Ottawa Public Health said Wednesday had grown to 35 cases, reports the Ottawa Citizen.
- Health Sciences North has said based on the latest available data, more than 92 per cent of current employees and medical staff are fully vaccinated. Those who have only received the first dose now account for 2 per cent of employees. The Sudbury Star reports that HSN employees without full vaccinations are required to undergo rapid antigen testing and provide results twice a week. “Conversations will occur with them in the coming days. If they do not provide test results twice per week, they may eventually be deemed unfit for work and suspended without pay,” said the HSN communications office.
- HPV vaccination rates have dropped significantly in the Sudbury area during the pandemic — and the public health unit said it is focused on getting vaccination back on track, reports CBC News.
- The Windsor Regional Hospital has terminated 57 employees as its deadline for staff to get vaccinated against COVID-19 passed, the Canadian Press reports. The hospital’s vaccination policy required staff to have at least a first dose by Thursday — or provide a medical or human rights reason for declining the jab. Some 98.5 per cent of the hospital’s workforce, or 4,155 employees and professional staff, followed the policy, which was first announced last month. “I want to thank the WRH team members for recognizing the importance of the COVID-19 vaccines and leading by example for our community and province,” said David Musyj, CEO of the hospital, in a written statement.
- Another healthcare provider in the region is preparing for the possibility of dozens of terminations as its own vaccination deadline approaches at the end of the month, the Brantford Expositor reports. “What we know today, and we’re hoping it continues to change, is we have over 97 per cent of our staff fully vaccinated,” Mike Lapaine, president and CEO of Bluewater Health, which has facilities in Sarnia and Petrolia, said on October 6. However, he added that 30 to 40 employees have still yet to disclose their vaccination status: “We’re planning for that staff to not be on the schedule as of November 1.”
- More than a quarter of the COVID-19 cases in Elgin and Oxford counties as of Thursday were in one town: Aylmer. CTV News London reports that the local active-case count of 20 was down by two from Wednesday but at least some residents of the town remain worried. “Naturally it’s concerning for all the citizens of the town. It’s a lovely little town, and we’d like to get life back to normal as soon as possible,” said one resident, Louise Weverink.
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