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COVID-19: Latest developments in the Greater Toronto Area on April 14

Click to play video: 'Pop-up clinic for people aged 18-49 opens in north Etobicoke' Pop-up clinic for people aged 18-49 opens in north Etobicoke
WATCH ABOVE: A pop-up COVID-19 vaccination clinic held at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in north Etobicoke opened its doors and is vaccinating people aged 18 and older. Kamil Karamali has more – Apr 14, 2021

Here are the latest developments on the COVID-19 pandemic in the Greater Toronto Area for Wednesday:

Scarborough hospital cancels 10,000 vaccine appointments due to lack of supply

Scarborough Health Network says two of its mass vaccination clinics are closed due to lack of COVID-19 vaccine supply, forcing the cancellation of about 10,000 appointments.

The closure is effective from Wednesday through to Monday, and affects clinics at Centennial College and Centenary hospital.

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The hospital network said the closure will impact about 2,000 vaccine appointments a day for each day they are closed.

Read more: Scarborough hospital forced to cancel 10,000 appointments from lack of COVID-19 vaccine supply

Vaccination clinic at Seneca College to temporarily close due to vaccine supply

North York General and North York Toronto Health Partners say the COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Seneca College will temporarily close from April 17 to April 26.

The health network cited vaccine supply delays as the reason for the closure.

An update on the clinic will be announced closer to the reopening date.

It said their mobile vaccine team will continue holding clinics in high-risk neighborhoods to vulnerable groups such as seniors living in congregate settings and residents of group homes in North York.

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No appointments available at Thorncliffe Park vaccination site

The Toronto East Health Network says appointments are not currently available at the Thorncliffe Park Community Hub mass immunization clinic due to a lack of supply.

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“We look forward to administering vaccines to community members as soon as supply is available,” a tweet read.

Ontario’s vaccine rollout hampered by shipment delays, provincial government insists

Ontario government officials continue to insist the province’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout is still impacted by shipment delays amid news of clinics being shut down due to lack of supply.

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In a statement provided to Global News Wednesday afternoon by the Ontario Ministry of Health, an official said the province has been particularly affected due to delays with the Moderna vaccine.

“While we know the federal government is working hard to ensure the country’s vaccine rollout is a success, the greatest challenge to Ontario’s vaccine rollout remains a stable and reliable supply of vaccines,” a statement from spokesperson Adriana Dutkiewicz said.

Read more: Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout hampered by shipment delays, provincial government insists

Brampton mayor says he's getting 'inundated' with requests from factories to host pop-up vaccination clinics

Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown said he’s received a lot of requests from factories that want to set up on-site vaccination clinics after the province announced it was looking at employer-hosted sites to administer vaccines in hot spots.

“I am inundated with requests now from factories and constituents who want to join that queue,” Brown said, urging for more vaccine doses in hard-hit Peel Region.

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Ontario said workplaces will be selected based on being in a hot spot, having employees who cannot work from home, and those that have had a previous outbreak or are at risk of outbreaks, and workers who primarily reside in hot spots.

The province also said the employer will take on the responsibility of setting up, operating and funding the on-site vaccination clinic. The employer would also be responsible for vaccinating not only the workers, but also residents in the community.

Read more: BACKGROUND: Ontario looking at employer-hosted vaccine clinics

Cherry blossoms at Toronto’s High Park to be blocked off, but park set to stay open this year

With the looming blooms of Toronto’s cherry blossom trees, municipal officials have announced a plan to block off access to the ones at High Park again this year.

However, there is good news for those who regularly visit High Park as it’s not expected to see the same large-scale closure that occurred in 2020.

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During a news conference at Toronto city hall Wednesday afternoon, Mayor John Tory said the three main concentrations of cherry blossoms at High Park would be fenced off to “discourage” people from gathering.

Read more: Cherry blossoms at Toronto’s High Park to be blocked off, but park set to stay open this year

Group urges province to open COVID-19 vaccine pre-registration to all Ontarians

A Toronto city councillor and a group of health-care professionals are calling on the province to open COVID-19 vaccine pre-registration to all Ontarians in a bid to improve the rollout of shots.

Coun. Josh Matlow and health-care professionals from the University Health Network and the University of Toronto, posted an open letter to Premier Doug Ford, Health Minister Christine Elliott, and the co-chairs of the COVID-19 science advisory table on Wednesday.

“While the vaccine rollout offers an end in sight to the COVID-19 pandemic, too many Ontarians who have yet to be eligible for the current phase of the vaccination plan are left feeling anxious about when, and how they’ll learn that their turn will finally come,” the letter said.

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Read more: Group urges province to open COVID-19 vaccine pre-registration to all Ontarians

Status of cases in the GTA

Ontario reported 4,156 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday.

Of those:

  • 1,254 were in Toronto
  • 593 were in Peel Region
  • 476  were in York Region
  • 248 were in Durham Region
  • 192 were in Halton Region

Ontario reports more than 4,100 new COVID-19 cases, 28 deaths

Ontario is reporting 4,156 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, bringing the provincial total to 398,835.

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The death toll in the province has risen to 7,610 as 28 more deaths were recorded — the largest increase in deaths since mid-February and a third wave high.

Resolved cases increased by 3,160 from the previous day. The government said 54,211 tests were processed in the last 24 hours.

There are 1,877 people hospitalized with COVID-19 (up by 55 from the previous day) with an all-time high of 642 COVID-19 patients in intensive care units (up by 16) and 442 patients in ICUs on a ventilator (up by 20).

Ontario reported administering a total of 3,422,974 COVID-19 vaccine doses. That marks an increase of 112,817 vaccines in the last day — the highest number of vaccines administered in 24 hours yet. There are 337,206 people fully vaccinated with two doses in the province.

Read more: Ontario reports more than 4,100 new COVID-19 cases, 28 deaths

Variants of concern in Ontario

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

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The B.1.1.7 VOC is currently the dominating variant strain at 24,467 confirmed cases, which is up by 3,980 since the previous day. There have been 84 confirmed B.1.351 variant cases, which is up by three, and 176 P.1 variant cases, which is up by 33.

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

According to the Ministry of Long-Term Care, there have been 3,755 deaths reported among residents and patients in long-term care homes across Ontario, which is unchanged.

There are 41 current outbreaks in homes, which is up by five from the previous day.

The ministry also indicated there are 19 active cases among long-term care residents and 131 active cases among staff — down by two and up  by 16, respectively, in the last day.

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