Dear OPHA Members,
Here’s your summary of some key developments, announcements and messages conveyed today by our political and public health leaders related to COVID-19. An update on cases in Ontario and across Canada is included at the end of this note.
- Record Cases:
- Ontario recorded 4,401 new COVID-19 cases today and the province-wide positivity rate hit its highest level since December at 9.5%; there were 1,646 COVID-19 hospitalizations, which represents a 22% increase over the last week and 619 patients in intensive care.
- Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Williams, indicated that the recent increase in cases and hospitalizations may be as a result of the Easter weekend and it will likely take another week to assess the full impact of that holiday.
- School Closures:
- Premier Ford announced that elementary and secondary schools will be moved online indefinitely following the April break emphasizing that “we’re at a critical point, health indicators continue to pass worst case scenarios. The situation is changing quickly and we need to proactively respond.”
- The Premier explained that “until we get the numbers in the community down to where we need them the problem is not in our schools, it is in our community and bringing our kids back to a congregate setting like school after a week in the community is a risk that I won’t take.” He noted that officials will continue to review trends to see when students can return to in-class learning.
- School boards are to make provisions for continued in-person support for students with special education needs who require additional support that cannot be accommodated through remote learning.
- Child-care for non-school aged children will remain open, but before- and after-school care will be closed. The province will continue to provide free emergency child-care for school-aged children of eligible health care and frontline workers.
- Data on Hotspots:
- In her presentation to Toronto’s Board of Health today, Medical Officer of Health, Dr. de Villa noted that the third wave of the pandemic is “wreaking havoc” with “explosive, exponential growth” in COVID-19 variants.
- She reported that Toronto is on track to see 2,500 daily cases by the end of April and the same race and income groups continue to be over-represented (i.e. 76% of cases as of February 28th were racialized and hospitalization rates in lower income population groups were three times as high as the rate of those who were not low income).
- Another 700 pharmacies are now offering vaccinations bringing the total number of pharmacies offering the vaccine to over 1,400 locations across Ontario.
- Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Tam, indicated her concern this past Sunday about younger people being increasingly affected by COVID-19 noting that “an increased number of adults [40 to 59 years old ]…were admitted to intensive care units (ICU) and received mechanical ventilation in March 2021.”
- The federal government, in partnership with Ontario government, is launching the StaySafe COVID-19 Rapid Screening Pilot program to provide free rapid antigen point-of-care tests for employees of small- and medium-sized business in the Waterloo region.
We will continue to monitor and report on key COVID-19 developments to help our members stay informed. Stay well!
Pegeen and Debola
P.S. Interested in continuing to receive updates about COVID-19 and enjoying the benefits of OPHA membership, don’t forget to renew your membership here if you haven’t already done so.
Trends and Cases in Ontario, Canada, and First Nations on Reserve:
As of April 9th, Indigenous Services Canada was aware of these confirmed cases of COVID-19 for First Nations communities:
- 25,517 confirmed positive COVID-19
- 678 active cases
- 1,149 hospitalizations
- 24,541 recovered cases
- 298 deaths
Cases in Ontario: (April 11th as of 10:30am)
- Total number of cases: 391,009; an increase of 4,401
- Most newly confirmed cases are concentrated in six public health unit regions (e.g. 1,282 new cases in Toronto, 772 in Peel, 564 in York Region, 339 in Ottawa, 224 in Durham)
- Resolved: 348,684 (89.2%); an increase of 2,445
- Deaths: sadly, 7,567 people have died; an increase of 15 people
- Hospitalizations: 1,646 people were hospitalized; 619 were in intensive care and of those, 408 were on a ventilator.
- Long-term care homes (according to iPHIS): 41 active outbreaks; 24 active cases in residents; 120 active cases in staff; 3,755 deaths among residents and 11 among staff
- Lab testing: 13,196,288 completed; 47,929 tests were completed yesterday; while 24,796 tests are currently under investigation.
- Schools: As of today, 217 more individuals in schools tested positive from COVID-19, 2,629 cases within the last fourteen days and 12,280 cases reported more than fourteen days ago resulting in a cumulative total of 14,909; 1,302 schools have reported a case; no data will be published from April 13th to 19th.
- Vaccinations: As of 8:00 p.m. yesterday, 3,214,465 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, including 74,722 yesterday; a total of 333,419 people have been fully vaccinated.
Cases in Canada: (April 8th as of 7pm)
- Total number of cases: 1,060,157; an increase of 7,621
- Deaths: 23,315
- People tested per million: 763,047
- Percent Positivity: 3.8%
- Vaccinations: 8,126,255 doses administered; more than 7,328,504 Canadians have received at least one dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine; 797,751 Canadians are fully vaccinated; 130,133 vaccine doses were administered yesterday
Ontario Public Health Association (OPHA)
199 Quetico Avenue
Oshawa, ON L1J 1E9