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Coronavirus: Latest developments in the Greater Toronto Area on Jan. 21

Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Toronto Mayor Tory says city ‘will be ready’ for mass-vaccination rollout' Coronavirus: Toronto Mayor Tory says city ‘will be ready’ for mass-vaccination rollout
WATCH ABOVE: When asked about the closure of its COVID-19 immunization clinic pilot at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre due to a lack of vaccines, Mayor John Tory said Wednesday he feels the city “will be ready” to rollout vaccines outside of a hospital setting, adding that large-scale vaccination programs such as for the flu, have previously given officials some experience in mass-vaccination rollouts – Jan 20, 2021

Here are the latest developments on the coronavirus pandemic in the Greater Toronto Area for Thursday.

New ‘shadow pandemic’: How COVID-19 has contributed to a surge in eating disorders in young children

While the entire world is grappling with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, doctors and mental health experts are shedding light on what they’re calling a new “shadow pandemic” — a surge in eating disorders in young people.

According to SickKids Hospital, social isolation and limits on extra-curricular activities caused by the pandemic are taking a toll on young people, with the hospital seeing children as young as nine and 10 being diagnosed with an eating disorder (ED).

“Social isolation, a lack of routine, being disconnected from their peers, increased social media and exposure to all kinds of messages like fat-phobic messages … all of these things are contributing to the surge,” said Katzman, adding it’s not only an issue being seen in Toronto but across Ontario and Canada.

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Read more: New ‘shadow pandemic’: How COVID has contributed to a surge in eating disorders in young children

Toronto’s SickKids hospital report urges more masking, distancing for schools planning to reopen

Experts at a leading children’s hospital say schools need to ramp up COVID-19 testing and masking in order to have all kids return to the classroom as soon as possible.

The new guidelines, led by experts at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children, urge COVID-19 tests for all staff and students exposed to a confirmed case, while indoor masking be made mandatory for all those Grade 1 and up.

The report also cautions against rapid tests using molecular or antigen tests because of their lower sensitivity and less effectiveness with asymptomatic cases.

Read more: Toronto’s SickKids hospital report urges more masking, distancing for schools planning to reopen

4 workers at Eglinton Crosstown construction site contract COVID-19

Crosslinx, the construction consortium building the Eglinton Crosstown LRT line in Toronto, is reporting four people at its Caledonia Station site have tested positive for coronavirus.

A spokesperson said the site was closed until at least Monday pending the implementation of COVID-19 “protocols,” adding the consortium was “ticketing” workers not complying with safety regulations.

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“Crosslinx is working diligently to enforce public health guidelines on our sites which is why we temporarily closed Caledonia,” the spokesperson wrote.

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The statement said it’s believed three of the four cases were community-acquired and the fourth case came from the site.

The news comes two weeks after it was announced 28 workers on the massive project confirmed there were 28 new cases.

Isolation centres to open in Oshawa, Brampton

The Ontario government said it will open two new COVID-19 isolation centres in Brampton and Oshawa.

People in the centres will be provided meals, security, transportation and have access to health and social services.

The two centres already operating in Toronto after having opened in the fall, will be receiving additional beds, the Ford government said.

Ottawa, Peel and Waterloo regions already have similar centres, as well.

Toronto’s mayor speaks to Pfizer about improving COVID-19 vaccine production

Toronto’s mayor says he has spoken to Pfizer-Biotech executives to urge them to produce more COVID-19 vaccine.

Mayor John Tory says he wanted to make Canada’s case after the company said it could not fulfil next week’s order from the federal government.

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Tory follows Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ontario Premier Doug Ford, among others, in urging the manufacturer to up production.

Tory says he initiated the conversation in consultation with Ottawa.

Read more: Coronavirus: Toronto’s mayor speaks to Pfizer about improving COVID-19 vaccine production

Mississauga Canada Post facility outbreak increase to 149 cases

Canada Post says the case count in one of its Mississauga facilities has increased from 121 employees to 149 on Thursday.

A spokesperson said the company “continues proactive onsite rapid testing” at the Dixie Road facility.

“Over the last 48 hours, this effort has resulted in 27 positive tests by employees who were either asymptomatic or did not believe they were exhibiting symptoms after conducting the mandatory self-screening,” the statement read.

On Wednesday, the company said Peel Public Health confirmed they are able to continue with operations.

Read more: Coronavirus: 121 employees test positive at Mississauga Canada Post facility

Status of cases in the GTA

Ontario reported a total of 2,632 new cases on Thursday.

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Of those:

  • 897 were in Toronto
  • 412 were in Peel Region
  • 245 were in York Region
  • 92 were in Durham Region
  • 52 were in Halton Region

Ontario reports 2,632 new coronavirus cases, 46 more deaths

Ontario is reporting 2,632 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday, bringing the provincial total to 247,564.

The government noted that the technical issues from Toronto Public Health are now resolved, with 102 cases added to Thursday’s total.

The death toll in the province has risen to 5,614 after 46 more deaths were reported.

Resolved cases increased by 2,990 from the previous day. The government said 70,256 tests were processed in the last 24 hours.

Read more: Ontario reports 2,632 new coronavirus cases, 46 more deaths

Ontario long-term care homes

According to the Ministry of Long-Term Care, there have been 3,256 deaths reported among residents and patients in long-term care homes across Ontario which is an increase of 17 deaths. Ten virus-related deaths in total have been reported among staff.

There are 251 current outbreaks in homes, which is unchanged from the previous day.

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The ministry also indicated there are currently 1,441 active cases among long-term care residents and 1,185 active cases among staff — down by 56 cases and down by 38 cases, respectively, in the last day.

NOTE: This story will be updated throughout the day.

With files from The Canadian Press