Here are the latest developments on the coronavirus pandemic in the Greater Toronto Area for Wednesday.
York Region shares list of big box stores fined over violations of coronavirus restrictions
Enforcement of COVID-19 rules is ramping up in the Greater Toronto Area, with several big box retailers facing fines over alleged violations.
York Region shared a list of retailers fined over the last week for violations of Ontario’s Reopening Ontario Act, among them major pharmacy and grocery locations.
Walmart, Shoppers Drug Mart, Sobeys and Costco locations are among those ticketed.
Toronto releases details for ‘better and better’ CafeTO program from 2021
The City of Toronto released its plan on Wednesday for the expansion of the CafeTO program in Spring 2021.
The program was implemented by the city to help local restaurants and bars affected by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The Mayor John Tory-endorsed report will be viewed at Toronto’s upcoming executive committee on Jan. 27, and it includes the components city officials deemed successful and what could be built upon from the previous year.
The program allowed for local restaurants to more easily open patios in curb lanes and sidewalks, expand and provide more space to promote physical distancing.
“The space helped operators generate revenue and enliven nearby public spaces,” a press release read on Wednesday.
The report recommends for the program to restart as early as May.
Toronto shelters begin receiving COVID-19 vaccines in pilot program
People living and working in Toronto homeless shelters have begun receiving COVID-19 vaccines as part of a pilot project.
Dr. Stephen Hwang of St. Michael’s Hospital — which is helping run the project with the city — says 55 residents and 30 staff at a city-run shelter in the east end got their first dose on Friday.
121 employees test positive at Mississauga Canada Post facility
Over 100 employees have tested positive for the coronavirus at a Canada Post facility in Mississauga.
Canada Post said 121 employees have tested positive at their Dixie Road facility since Jan. 1.
Doug Ford calls president of Pfizer Canada
Premier Doug Ford called the president of Pfizer Canada on Tuesday, seeking answers as to why Canada is receiving less COVID-19 vaccine doses than other countries.
“He reiterated the serious impact these cancelled shipments will have on Ontario,” Ford spokesperson Ivana Yelich said in a statement.
“The premier will continue to do whatever he can to support the federal government in ensuring that Ontario gets the supply we need as we continue to build capacity and vaccinate as many Ontarians as quickly as humanly possible.”
The federal government announced on Tuesday that Canada will receive no new Pfizer doses next week as the company deals with temporary production delays while working to scale up its European manufacturing capacity.
A recent statement from Pfizer, however, indicated that some European countries may not be as hard-hit by delays next week as Canada is.
In an email, Pfizer Canada director of corporate affairs Christina Antoniou said they reiterated to Ford “that this is a short-term situation and our focus is on meeting quarterly commitments.”
“We listened to his concerns about the impact that this short-term disruption would have on Ontario,” Antoniou said.
“We recognized that it has made it more difficult to smoothly advance the scale up of the immunization program in Ontario and throughout Canada … We agreed to keep him and General Hillier informed of any further developments.”
Status of cases in the GTA
Ontario reported a total of 2,655 new cases on Wednesday.
- 925 were in Toronto
- 473 were in Peel Region
- 226 were in York Region
- 70 were in Durham Region
- 51 were in Halton Region
Ontario reports 89 new COVID-19-related deaths, 2,655 more cases
Ontario reported 2,655 new cases of the novel coronavirus Wednesday, bringing the total number of cases in the province to 244,932.
A total of 212,897 COVID-19 cases are considered resolved, which is up by 3,741, and is about 87 per cent of all known cases.
Eighty-nine more deaths were also reported Wednesday, bringing the provincial death toll to 5,568.
The province indicated that the positivity rate for the last day was 4.9 per cent, which is down from Tuesday’s report, when it was 6.8 per cent, and down from last Wednesday’s when it was six per cent.
60 more deaths reported by Ministry of Long-Term Care
According to the Ministry of Long-Term Care, there have been 3,239 deaths reported among residents and patients in long-term care homes across Ontario, which is an increase of 60.
There are currently 251 outbreaks in long-term care homes, down by three.
—With files from The Canadian PressView link »