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

The latest coronavirus updates from across the province
By TVO.org staff - Published on Sep 15, 2021

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Provincewide

  • Per today's government report, there are 593 new cases in Ontario, for a total of 576,389 since the pandemic began; 346 people are in hospital testing positive for COVID-19, while 188 are in intensive care who either previously tested positive or have currently tested positive, and 125 patients are on ventilators. To date, 9,629 people have died.
  • According to data from the Ministry of Long-Term Care, there are 7 outbreaks in long-term-care facilities, 41 confirmed active cases of positive residents, and 23 confirmed active cases of positive staff. To date, there have been 3,806 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 35,691 new doses of COVID-19 vaccines, for a total of 21,247,717 since December 2020. 815,815 people have received only one dose, and 10,215,951 people have received both doses. 84.61 per cent of Ontarians over the age of 12 have received their first dose of vaccine and 78.35 per cent have received their second.
  • As of 2 p.m. yesterday, Ontario's publicly-funded schools were reporting 145 new school-related student cases (for a total of 394) 15 new staff cases (for a total of 66) and 8 new unspecified cases for a total of 26; 299 schools are reporting at least one case and 0 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 September 14 data, Toronto reported 157 new cases of COVID-19, for a total of 176,549 since the pandemic began; 91 of them are in hospital (13 new). In total, 3,638 people have died (3 new). 

  • According to a recently released policy document on COVID-19 vaccination procedure by the Toronto District School Board, all TDSB employees have until November 1 to have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, reports CTV News. The TDSB said roughly 94 per cent of staff responded to the survey and of those who did respond, about 83 per cent indicated that they had been fully vaccinated. Until November 1, those who are not yet fully vaccinated will have to comply with regular COVID-19 testing and provide proof of a negative result to attend a TDSB workplace. The tests will be provided to individuals at no cost, the board says.

  • The Region of Peel is set to launch the Vax Van, a mobile vaccination clinic that will travel through Peel neighbourhoods, reports the Brampton Guardian. The Vax Van will make its first stop at Westwood Square, offering inoculations on Thursday, Sept. 16 (2 to 6 p.m.) and Friday, Sept. 17 (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.).

  • A Burlington hospital executive tells CBC Hamilton that protests against public health measures outside hospitals are negatively affecting workers. "It's been really, really hard, and feels like the last 18 months for some folks have all been in vain," she says, noting that workers feel betrayed and frustrated after working so hard during the pandemic.

  • The Hamilton public school board tells the Hamilton Spectator about 18 per cent of its staff who registered their vaccination status are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Of that number, 10 per cent have a medical exemption, 30 per cent have one dose and 60 per cent say they are not vaccinated for personal reasons. About 90 per cent of workers shared their status as of September 10. Unvaccinated staff must do regular COVID-19 tests but are not reassigned. That could change after trustees voted Monday to mandate vaccines for staff and volunteers.

  • With 74 per cent of eligible people fully vaccinated, Hamilton is tied with the Chatham-Kent, Lambton, Porcupine and Renfrew County and District health units for the lowest vaccination rate in Ontario. As the Spectator reports, about 78 per cent of eligible people are vaccinated in Ontario, with the top public health units seeing 88 per cent vaccination. Hamilton's vaccination rate is dropping and public health officials say it will work with community organizations to bring vaccines to where people are using targeted mobile clinics. Health officials say 90 per cent of Ontarians need to get fully vaccinated to stunt the fourth surge of the virus. Hamilton case rate has been among the highest in Ontario and while numbers have been dropping over the past week, they're expected to rise again.

  • As the St. Catharines Standard reports, the general public will not be able to attend Brock University sports games until at least October 15. During this window of time, just vaccinated Brock students, staff and faculty (or those with approved exemptions) can go.

Indigenous

  • As of September 7, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 687 communities across Canada with vaccinations underway. 755,639 doses have been administered, of that 330,197 were second doses in individuals 12 and older.
  • As of September 14, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 1,682 active cases of COVID-19 in First Nation communities across Canada. It is also reporting 406 COVID-19 related deaths in total, across all First Nation reserves in Canada. To date, Ontario First Nation communities have had a total of 3,114 COVID-19 cases.

Eastern

  • Finlay MacDonald, 11, spoke with the Ottawa Citizen about his experience of what has come to be known as ‘long COVID,’ telling the publication that he still struggles with headaches, tinnitus and stomach pain more than a year after his infection. He called the lack of direction and support lonely and is one of the hundreds, possibly thousands, of children across Canada managing long-term symptoms.
  • The Kingston region health unit has identified a case of COVID-19 in a passenger who took a Megabus trip between Toronto and Kingston on Sept. 11, arriving in Kingston at 10 p.m., Global News reports. Health officials are asking those on the bus to monitor for symptoms and get tested if they arise.
  • More than 50 businesses in the Kingston area are part of a Facebook group, ‘Kingston and Surrounding Area Businesses Supporting Freedom of Choice,’ the Kingstonist reports. The group is meant for business owners to discuss their desire to reject public health mandates meant to protect the population from COVID-19, including mask-wearing.

Northern

  • The Sudbury Star reported that a Laurentian University student has tested positive for COVID. Laurentian president Robert Haché said in a release "“(Public Health Sudbury and Districts) has classified the case as low-risk and also confirmed that the student had limited interaction with individuals outside of their cohort." According to PHSD, there are 47 active cases in the region.
  • Thunder Bay city council passed a vaccine policy that will require all city staff, city councillors and volunteers to disclose their vaccination status, TBNewswatch reports. The policy doesn’t require vaccination, and those who are not fully vaccinated will need to complete an education and undergo regular COVID-19 testing.

Southwestern

  • The London Free Press reports that the Thames Valley District school board doubled down on its COVID-19 sports vaccination mandate Tuesday, requiring all participants in extra-curricular activities to have received two doses before hitting the field or gym this week. Only medical exceptions will be taken under consideration at this time.
  • CTV News reports that a shortage of nursing staff at Clinton Public Hospital is forcing changes to the emergency department. In a statement released on Tuesday evening by Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance (HPHA), the organization says it is changing the time the last patient is able to register to 6 p.m., to ensure the department can close daily at 8 p.m.
  • Lambton County libraries have partnered with Lambton Public Health to help people attain their proof of vaccination, reports CTV News. Darlene Coke, Library Services Manager for Lambton County, says, “Offering this service, we’re eliminating a barrier for people who, perhaps, don’t have the technology or don’t have the knowledge or the comfort level, to access the vaccination receipt through that technology.”


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