COVID-19: What you need to know for September 21

The latest coronavirus updates from across the province
By TVO.org staff - Published on Sep 21, 2021

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Provincewide

  • Per today's government report, there are 574 new cases in Ontario, for a total of 580,768 since the pandemic began; 330 people are in hospital testing positive for COVID-19, while 179 are in intensive care who either previously tested positive or have currently tested positive, and 130 patients are on ventilators. To date, 9,663 people have died.
  • According to data from the Ministry of Long-Term Care, there are 10 outbreaks in long-term-care facilities, 32 confirmed active cases of positive residents, and 16 confirmed active cases of positive staff. To date, there have been 3,811 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 30,072 new doses of COVID-19 vaccines, for a total of 21,434,434 since December 2020. 780,050 people have received only one dose, and 10,327,192 people have received both doses. 85.19 per cent of Ontarians over the age of 12 have received their first dose of vaccine and 79.21 per cent have received their second.
  • As of 2 p.m. yesterday, Ontario's publicly-funded schools were reporting 265 new school-related student cases (for a total of 889) 22 new staff cases (for a total of 120) and 6 new unspecified cases for a total of 37; 593 schools are reporting at least one case and 1 school have been closed. Today's schools' data includes cases reported from Friday afternoon and the weekend.

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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 20 data, Toronto reported 388 new cases of COVID-19, for a total of 177,407 since the pandemic began; 72 of them are in hospital (4 new). In total, 3,643 people have died (2 new). 
  • CP24 reports that more than 1,000 City of Toronto employees are unvaccinated and thousands of others are yet to complete a disclosure form ahead of a new vaccination policy taking effect later this month.
  • According to a Brampton Board of Trade survey conducted in collaboration with polling firm Leger, COVID-19 health response was a top priority for 35 per cent of Brampton residents and the economy and COVID-19 economic recovery a top concern for 34 per cent, reports the Brampton Guardian
  • The Hamilton Spectator reports that in a media conference Monday, the director of Hamilton's pandemic response said bylaw officers have noticed a small uptick in businesses not complying with COVID-19 laws in recent weeks. Two businesses charged recently told the Spectator they were treated unfairly.
  • Ontario's vaccine certificate program starts tomorrow. The Hamilton Library is launching a service to help people print and laminate their vaccine receipts for free, CBC Hamilton reports.

Indigenous

  • As of September 14, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 687 communities across Canada with vaccinations underway. 760,547 doses have been administered, of that 335,392 were second doses in individuals 12 and older.
  • As of September 20, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 1,812 active cases of COVID-19 in First Nation communities across Canada. It is also reporting 411 COVID-19 related deaths in total, across all First Nation reserves in Canada. To date, Ontario First Nation communities have had a total of 3,165 COVID-19 cases.

Eastern

  • Starting Wednesday, the City of Kingston will require proof of full vaccination to enter the city’s recreational facilities, the Kingstonist reports.
  • Vera Etches, the medical officer of health for Ottawa, says she is hopeful that the city can avoid the worst of COVID-19 as the seasons turn toward fall and winter, the Ottawa Citizen reports. “The Delta variant is presenting challenges but we’ve learned a lot in these last 18 months – we have the tools, knowledge and resilience to get through the next phase,” she said Monday.
  • Some Ottawa area families are encountering long lines to get their children tested for COVID-19, CBC News reports. “We have to find a better solution because school is back. Kids will get the flu. They will get sick,” said one parent who waited more than two hours in line with her daughters. “If every time we have to come here and spend time getting them tested so they could go back to school, it's annoying.”

Northern

  • The Northwestern Health Unit currently has 12 active COVID-19 cases, nine of which are in the Rainy River region.
  • The number of COVID-19 cases in the Thunder Bay District Health Unit has fallen to two. The last time cases were this low was August 17, TBNewswatch reports.
  • Hospital wait times at the Sault Area Hospital have been made worse due to pandemic strains on staff, Soo Today reports. A report from Health Quality Ontario says the average wait time is one hour and 54 minutes, six minutes above the provincial average. A SAH spokesperson says wait times can be longer when patient demands exceed the available staffing or beds, but the spokesperson said “pandemic stress has increased compassion fatigue among nursing staff, and experienced nurses are leaving the profession at a higher rate," according to Soo Today. “In addition, patients coming to the hospital are more acutely ill as they have opted to delay their care during the pandemic, adding to workload demands in health care.”
  • The City of Sault Ste. Marie has prepared its proof of vaccination policy for city facilities. Proof of vaccination will be needed at city facilities, including event spaces and recreation facilities like GFL Memorial Gardens, the John Rhodes community centre arenas, the city's seniors centres and more. Exceptions include children under 12 who cannot be vaccinated, youth playing organized sports, and people with written doctor's notice exempting them. A full list of facilities and exceptions can be found here.

Southwestern

  • London Ward 1 Councillor Michael van Holst is vowing to apply for an exemption from a COVID-19 vaccine policy for city councillors based on his “creed,” reports the London Free Press. Van Holst couldn’t provide an answer Monday when asked if his objection applies under the provincial human rights code, or whether it was based on a specific religious belief, reports the Free Press, but said he would respond to those questions later this week.
  • Starting Wednesday, anyone over the age of 12 will need to provide proof of full vaccination and valid government identification before entering any indoor Windsor recreational venue, reports Blackburn News

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