COVID-19: What you need to know for September 16

The latest coronavirus updates from across the province
By TVO.org staff - Published on Sep 16, 2021

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Provincewide

  • Per today's government report, there are 864 new cases in Ontario, for a total of 577,253 since the pandemic began; 348 people are in hospital testing positive for COVID-19, while 191 are in intensive care who either previously tested positive or have currently tested positive, and 120 patients are on ventilators. To date, 9,632 people have died
  • According to data from the Ministry of Long-Term Care, there are 7 outbreaks in long-term-care facilities, 33 confirmed active cases of positive residents, and 19 confirmed active cases of positive staff. To date, there have been 3,807 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 35,463 new doses of COVID-19 vaccines, for a total of 21,283,180 since December 2020. 810,894 people have received only one dose, and 10,236,143 people have received both doses. 84.72 per cent of Ontarians over the age of 12 have received their first dose of vaccine and 78.51 per cent have received their second.
  • As of 2 p.m. yesterday, Ontario's publicly-funded schools were reporting 98 new school-related student cases (for a total of 479) 8 new staff cases (for a total of 68) and 3 new unspecified cases for a total of 23; 348 schools are reporting at least one case and 1 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 15 data, Toronto reported 178 new cases of COVID-19, for a total of 176,708 since the pandemic began; 83 of them are in hospital (11 new). In total, 3,638 people have died (0 new). 
  • Yesterday, Mayor John Tory announced #DaysofVaxtion — a city-wide series of pop-up vaccination clinics starting today and running through this weekend. According to a news release, the campaign is part of Team Toronto’s continued efforts to help residents get fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as quickly as possible if they have not already done so. A full list of mobile clinics can be found here
  • The Toronto Star reports that COVID-19 contact tracing measures implemented earlier this month by Durham Region’s medical officer of health, Robert Kyle, require anyone who hosts a social gathering to compile information for those in attendance – and provide the information to the region on demand, under threat of hefty fines. According to the Star, the rules apply to homeowners, tenants and business operators. They require “all persons responsible for hosting a social gathering” to create a list of names and contact information for all persons in attendance, regardless of age, and provide the information to the region within 24 hours of a request being made.
  • According to a new report, TTC ridership will remain below pre-pandemic levels for at least the next two years as a reduced number of workers commuting downtown continues to wreak havoc on the transit system’s bottom line, reports CP24. The report suggests that while ridership is expected to rise to 50 per cent of pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2021, it could take years until it fully recovers.
  • According to Peel Region medical officer of health Lawrence Loh, roughly 29 cases of the new COVID-19 Mu variant, also known as B.1.621, have been confirmed across the region, reports the Brampton Guardian. 
  • CTV News took viewers inside the ICU at Hamilton General Hospital, where most COVID-19 patients on life support are unvaccinated, young, otherwise healthy people. The day CTV was at the hospital, 30 per cent of the 45 ICU beds were occupied by COVID-19 patients in life-threatening conditions. Doctors say they're tired and frustrated, knowing these illnesses could largely have been avoided.
  • CBC Hamilton reports that despite attempts at recruitment, hospitals in Hamilton say they have a "massive" demand for nurses. Hamilton Health Sciences' spokesperson tells CBC the network is short on respiratory therapists, specialized medical radiation technologists and pharmacy technicians too. The president of the Canadian Nurses Association says the pandemic is burning out workers all over the country, exacerbating the shortage. He says rural areas are particularly vulnerable to shortages. Norfolk General Hospital closed its labour and delivery ward Monday due to a staff shortage.
  • Haldimand-Norfolk's board of health approved the hiring of Matt Strauss as the region's acting medical officer of health despite criticism of his opposition to public health measures, and inflammatory statements he's made, seeming to downplay COVID-19. For TVO.org, John Michael McGrath writes that Strauss's hiring is also notable because he does not meet the qualifications to be a permanent medical officer of health (as opposed to acting). That said, there is no time limit on how long someone can be in the acting role and Strauss will still be in a position to change local rules that had been in effect in his region, such as rules around migrant farmworkers.

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 15, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 1,755 active cases of COVID-19 in First Nation communities across Canada. It is also reporting 408 COVID-19 related deaths in total, across all First Nation reserves in Canada. To date, Ontario First Nation communities have had a total of 3,122 COVID-19 cases.

Eastern

  • Four Kingston area schools have tracked cases of COVID-19, though remain open, Global News reports. The children were infected from close contacts, not at school, said Dr. Hugh Guan, associate medical officer of health for the region.
  • Three schools in Ottawa have also seen cases of COVID-19, the Ottawa Citizen reports, with 55 cases active across Ottawa’s four school boards as of Wednesday evening.
  • Ottawa area businesses that have teamed up with the public health unit to provide locations for vaccination clinics say that they are receiving negative reviews and threats of boycott, CTV News reports. “I've been called a Nazi in the last week, we've had negative reviews, we've been threatened with a boycott, and many other expletives. But thankfully it's a small minority of the people out there,” said one business owner.

Northern

  • More than 75 per cent of people in northwestern Ontario are fully vaccinated, according to public health unit data. The Northwestern Health Unit has administered 118,195 COVID-19 vaccines, and as of September 15, 75.7 per cent of people aged 12 and up are fully vaccinated, while 84 per cent of people have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Meanwhile the Thunder Bay District Health Unit has administered 225,937 vaccines. As of September 11, 82 per cent of people in the Thunder Bay District, 12 and up, are fully vaccinated, while 89.2 per cent of people aged 12 and over have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine.
  • R.L. Beattie Public School in Sudbury has reported an outbreak with two confirmed cases among students. A statement from the Rainbow District Schoolboard says the affected teachers and students have been notified. According to the Sudbury Star, nine new cases were recorded within the Public Health Sudbury and Districts' area, for an active total of 52 cases.
  • The North Bay Nugget reports of a second case linked to a Nipissing First Nation school bus route. Two youth, one between age 12 to 17 from Yellek and another under 12 tested positive from Duchesnay, both took the Nbisiing Bus Lines Route 4 to 5 between September 7 and 10. The community health nurse has reached out to all high-risk contacts, the North Bay Nugget says. There are 22 cases within the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit.

Southwestern

  • La Noisette Bakery, in London, took to Twitter on Thursday to say it will eliminate its indoor seating and switch to takeout only to avoid further customer hostility over Ontario’s new vaccine program, reports the London Free Press
  • St. Joseph’s Catholic High School in Windsor was shut down indefinitely Wednesday after a COVID-19 outbreak, reports the Windsor Star. St. Joseph’s is one of 10 schools in the Catholic board with confirmed COVID-19 cases. The other nine schools remain open, but some classes have been dismissed, reports the Star
  • The Windsor Star reports just over 70,000 people ages 12 and up have not received any COVID-19 vaccine doses, according to the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit.
  • Late Wednesday evening, the Thames Valley District School Board (TVDSB) reported positive cases of the virus at five of its schools, reports Blackburn News. School officials say individuals identified as close contacts will receive a letter notifying them to stay home and quarantine for 10 days.


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