COVID-19: What you need to know for September 23

The latest coronavirus updates from across the province
By TVO.org staff - Published on Sep 23, 2021

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Provincewide

  • Per today's government report, there are 677 new cases in Ontario, for a total of 581,908 since the pandemic began; 307 people are in hospital testing positive for COVID-19, while 193 are in intensive care who either previously tested positive or have currently tested positive, and 134 patients are on ventilators. To date, 9,677 people have died.
  • According to data from the Ministry of Long-Term Care, there are 13 outbreaks in long-term-care facilities, 36 confirmed active cases of positive residents, and 20 confirmed active cases of positive staff. To date, there have been 3,813 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 44,754 new doses of COVID-19 vaccines, for a total of 21,519,784 since December 2020. 763,024 people have received only one dose, and 10,378,380 people have received both doses. 85.45 per cent of Ontarians over the age of 12 have received their first dose of vaccine and 79.6 per cent have received their second.
  • As of 2 p.m. yesterday, Ontario's publicly-funded schools were reporting 106 new school-related student cases (for a total of 1,110) 14 new staff cases (for a total of 153) and 2 new unspecified cases for a total of 43; 702 schools are reporting at least one case and 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 22 data, Toronto reported 163 new cases of COVID-19, for a total of 177,644 since the pandemic began; 59 of them are in hospital (7 new). In total, 3,648 people have died (1 new). 
  • The Ontario Ministry of Health is demanding an investigation into reports a Richmond Hill doctor drew large crowds apparently willing to pay $50 for medical exemptions for the COVID-19 vaccine at a local walk-in clinic over the weekend, reports the Toronto Star
  • Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown says the city's employee vaccine policy has been finalized and won’t require mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for city workers, reports the Brampton Guardian. Brown told reporters at a September 22 news conference that the city's policy includes a mandatory testing option for unvaccinated or partially vaccinated employees, meaning vaccination will not be a condition of employment.
  • Peel Region's medical officer of health, Lawrence Loh, told reporters that a number of large COVID-19 outbreaks have been reported at organized events in Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon in less than two months, reports the Guardian. According to Loh, 25 significant outbreaks outside of healthcare settings have been identified by public health since August 1.
  • Some businesses told CHCH News and the Hamilton Spectator that while they expect challenges and some pushback from customers, the first day of Ontario's vaccine mandate went fairly well, with most people complying.
  • Niagara's acting medical officer of health Mustafa Hirji told the St. Catharines Standard he foresees the vaccine credential program being in place until COVID-19 is endemic and not a pandemic, which could take nine to 12 months. Hirji says that when there is enough immunity in our population to avoid overpowering hospitals with cases, public health measures like this will be needed.
  • Back in Hamilton, the Spectator reports public health has shared the impacts of the COVID-19 response on its other programming. These include drops in childhood vaccinations (vaccination coverage for Hepatitis B is down to 18 per cent from 71 per cent in 2019, for example), inspection gaps and abandoned programs.
  • McMaster University researchers have found epidemic modelling can be used to determine what drives the popularity of music, CBC Hamilton

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 21, Indigenous Services Canada is aware of 1,894 active cases of COVID-19 in First Nation communities across Canada. It is also reporting 413 COVID-19 related deaths in total, across all First Nation reserves in Canada. To date, Ontario First Nation communities have had a total of 3,177 COVID-19 cases.

Eastern

  • An Ottawa Bylaw spokesperson says that they expect citizens to report businesses which are not adhering to the “vaccine passport” system implemented Wednesday, though they do not expect a large volume of calls as most Ottawans are vaccinated, CTV News reports. “We also believe this will be a tool that is welcomed in the business community because it does protect their employees and their customers from COVID-19 transmission within their workplace,” the spokesperson said.
  • Restaurant staff in the Ottawa area reported abuse from would-be customers angry about the use of public health measures implemented Wednesday, CBC News reports. A frequent customer at Benny's All Day restaurant in Rockland threatened to fill his pickup truck with bricks and come back to destroy the restaurant after being asked to see his vaccination record. “My hope is that we will not have to rely on bylaw coming to tell a grown man to stop yelling and berating an 18-year-old host or hostess at a restaurant or a gym,” Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson has said.
  • A COVID-19 outbreak has been confirmed at Our Lady Seat of Wisdom College in Barry’s Bay, with four students testing positive for the virus, 96.1 Renfrew Today reports. Two cases are also active at Trent University’s Peterborough campus, the Peterborough Examiner reports.

Northern

  • The City of Greater Sudbury has released details of its vaccine passport system for city buildings and facilities, according to the Sudbury Star. Anyone over the age of 18 entering an indoor recreation facility must provide proof of vaccination, exemption and an ID. According to the Star, proof of vaccination is not yet required to enter other municipal facilities.

Southwestern


  • The Middlesex-London Health Unit is asking anyone who was at the Paranyde Bar & Grill in London last Friday and Saturday nights to monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19, reports the London Free Press. The health unit sent out the advisory after it was notified Tuesday that someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 was at the bar then.
  • Blackburn News reports close to 100 people gathered at the Mildmay Recreation Centre on Wednesday evening, to protest vaccination certificates now mandated by the Ontario government.
  • The Windsor Star reports that 97 per cent cent of Windsor Regional Hospital staff had at least one shot of COVID-19 vaccine as a hospital-wide mandate came into effect Wednesday. However, for the almost 150 staff that haven’t yet to get the shot, Wednesday marked the start of two weeks of unpaid leave. From there, staff can be fired if they still won’t get the vaccine shot, reports the Star.
  • CBC London is reporting that while Western University is notifying affected students when there is a COVID-19 case in one of their classes, it is not making that information public, even though other post-secondary institutions maintain sites to track incidents of the virus.​​​​​​​


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