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COVID-19: Latest developments in the Greater Toronto Area on March 22

Click to play video: 'Toronto expanding mass vaccination effort while experiencing some setbacks' Toronto expanding mass vaccination effort while experiencing some setbacks
WATCH ABOVE: Toronto is ramping up its efforts to inoculate people who qualify for their mass vaccination clinics. But there have been some growing pains which officials are committing to address. Matthew Bingley reports. – Mar 22, 2021

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

York Region expands vaccine eligibility to 70 and older

Region of York officials have announced people 70 and older will be eligible to book vaccines.

According to a statement issued Monday afternoon, people will be able to book vaccine appointments as of 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday.

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Vaccines will be available at the following locations: Aaniin Community Centre and Cornell Community Centre in Markham, Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital and Maple Community Centre in Vaughan, Georgina Ice Palace in Georgina, Ray Twinney Recreation Complex in Newmarket, and Richmond Green Sports Centre in Richmond Hill.

Click here to access the booking website.

Click to play video: 'Pink Cars helping seniors in York Region get to COVID vaccine appointments' Pink Cars helping seniors in York Region get to COVID vaccine appointments
Pink Cars helping seniors in York Region get to COVID vaccine appointments – Mar 22, 2021

Toronto to open its 10th mass COVID-19 immunization clinic

Toronto Mayor John Tory announced the city will be opening its 10th COVID-19 mass immunization clinic on Wednesday.

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The site, located in the East York Town Centre, is already vaccinating 200 people per day but with the full opening tomorrow, will have the capacity to administer up to 10,000 shots per day.

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus: Toronto to open 10th mass immunization site in East York' Coronavirus: Toronto to open 10th mass immunization site in East York
Coronavirus: Toronto to open 10th mass immunization site in East York – Mar 22, 2021

Mississauga elementary school closes due to COVID-19 cases

René-Lamoureux Catholic Elementary School says it will be closed from Monday, March 22 until April 6 due to COVID-19.

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According to its website, one student tested positive for coronavirus on March 18, two students on March 17 and another student on March 14.

The decision to close the Mississauga elementary school was made by Peel Public Health and the Csc MonAvenir Catholic School Board.

2 additional cases confirmed at Oakville restaurant

Halton Region Public Health says two additional COVID-19 cases have been confirmed involving staff at an Oakville restaurant.

In a news release issued Monday, officials said two more staff cases have been confirmed at Oliver’s Steakhouse bringing the total number of infected staff to seven. All seven cases involve a variant of concern.

“As a result, Halton Region Public Health is extending the exposure period to up to and including Thursday, March 18,” the news release said.

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“We are asking all patrons who dined at Oliver’s Steakhouse between March 8 and March 18 to self-isolate for 14 days after their visit, and to get tested for COVID-19.”

It is believed that more than 200 people were possibly exposed, officials said.

Read more: More than 200 patrons at Oakville restaurant possibly exposed to COVID-19 variant

Ontarians 75 and older can now book COVID-19 vaccines online

Ontario residents who are 75 or older can start booking their COVID-19 vaccines through the government’s online system starting Monday.

People in that age group were initially set to become eligible by the first week of April, but the province announced last week it was moving up the date, saying vaccinations are ahead of schedule.

Also starting Monday, certain pharmacies and family physicians in some regions will be allowed to administer the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot to anyone 60 or older.

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Read more: Ontarians 75 and older can now book COVID-19 vaccines online

Pharmacies in Ontario hot spots next to offer vaccines

Ontario’s solicitor general says pharmacies in virus hot spots will be next to offer COVID-19 vaccinations to people aged 60 and older.

Sylvia Jones says Peel Region will be “absolutely” prioritized next for the pharmacy vaccine program based on high rates of COVID-19 there.

Read more: Ontario opens COVID-19 vaccines to more people, expands pharmacy pilot amid supply uncertainty

Status of cases in the GTA

Ontario reported a total of 1,699 new coronavirus cases on Monday.

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Of those:

  • 500 were in Toronto
  • 318 were in Peel Region
  • 155 were in York Region
  • 79 were in Durham Region
  • 57 were in Halton Region
Click to play video: 'Another Toronto LGBTQ2 bar at risk of closing amid pandemic' Another Toronto LGBTQ2 bar at risk of closing amid pandemic
Another Toronto LGBTQ2 bar at risk of closing amid pandemic – Mar 22, 2021

Ontario reports nearly 1,700 new COVID-19 cases, 3 deaths

Ontario is reporting 1,699 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, bringing the provincial total to 330,573.

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The death toll in the province has risen to 7,244 as three more deaths were recorded — the lowest number of deaths in a single day since October.

Resolved cases increased by 1,175 from the previous day. The government said 31,089 tests were processed in the last 24 hours.

As of 8 p.m. on Sunday, the provincial government reported administering 1,553,040 COVID-19 vaccine doses, representing an increase of 31,335 in the last day. There are 299,297 people fully vaccinated with two doses.

Read more: Ontario reports nearly 1,700 new COVID-19 cases, 3 deaths

Variants of concern in Ontario

Officials have listed breakdown data for the new VOCs (variants of concern) which consist of the B.1.1.7 (first detected in the United Kingdom), B.1.351 (first detected in South Africa), and P.1 (first detected in Brazil) mutations.

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The B.1.1.7 VOC is currently the dominating known strain at 1,340 variant cases, which is up by 53 since Sunday’s report, 48 B.1.351 variant cases, which is up by one, and 36 P.1 variant cases, which is unchanged.

The cumulative case count for a mutation that was detected but the lineage was not determined was 13,228, an increase of 597, the government indicated.

Cases, deaths and outbreaks in Ontario long-term care homes

According to the Ministry of Long-Term Care, there have been 3,753 deaths reported among residents and patients in long-term care homes across Ontario which is unchanged.

There are 56 current outbreaks in homes, which is up by four from the previous day.

The ministry also indicated there are currently 12 active cases among long-term care residents and 110 active cases among staff — up by one and up by nine, respectively, in the last day.

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Cases among students and staff at Ontario schools, child care centres

Government figures show there have been a total of 11,025 school-related COVID-19 cases in Ontario to date. This is an increase of 140 more cases in the last day — 120 student cases, 19 staff cases and one individual was not identified.

The COVID-19 cases are currently from 921 out of 4,828 schools in the province. Forty-four schools in Ontario are currently closed as a result of positive cases, the government indicated.

There have been a total of 3,195 confirmed cases within child care centres and homes — an increase of 29 (17 new child cases and 12 staff cases). Out of 5,275 child care centres in Ontario, 212 currently have cases and 52 centres are closed.

— With files from The Canadian Press

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