Here are the latest developments on the COVID-19 pandemic in the Greater Toronto Area for Wednesday:
Toronto partners with Vaccine Hunters Canada to help people book COVID-19 shots
The City of Toronto is partnering with Vaccine Hunters Canada to help residents book their COVID-19 vaccine shots.
Toronto officials will provide the volunteer organization with information and availability at the City-run clinics. Vaccine Hunters Canada uses social media and an app to help show people where they can book an appointment across the country.
“The vaccine rollout is an all hands-on deck effort,” Mayor John Tory said in a tweet.
Ontario to allow transfer of hospital patients to LTCs without consent
Ontario says hospitals will be able to transfer patients waiting for a long-term care bed to any nursing home without their consent in an effort to free up space.
Health Minister Christine Elliott says the government has issued a new emergency order to allow for such transfers in a bid to free up hospital capacity for COVID-19 patients in need of urgent care.
Elliott says hundreds of patients currently in hospital are waiting to be discharged to a long-term care home.
She says transfers without consent will only be done in the most urgent situations.
Ontario’s LTC sector not ‘sufficiently positioned, prepared’ to respond to COVID-19 in effective way: AG
Ahead of the highly anticipated release of Ontario’s independent COVID-19 long-term care commission’s findings, the province’s auditor general says years of ignoring systemic concerns impacted how government staff were able to respond to the pandemic.
“By late March 2020 when COVID-19 had begun its ravage of long-term-care homes, it became blatantly obvious that aggressive infection prevention, detection and patient care actions were needed— and needed quickly — to prevent staggering death rates from becoming the norm across Ontario’s entire long-term-care community,” Bonnie Lysyk wrote in a special report examining Ontario’s long-term care sector and its response to COVID-19.
Ontario’s COVID-19 paid sick leave program to include 3 days for workers
After Ontario Premier Doug Ford promised “one of the best” paid sick day programs in North America, the provincial government is announcing workers who have been impacted by COVID-19 will be able to access three paid sick days.
Called the Ontario COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Program, the provincial government billed it as the “most generous pandemic paid leave in the country.”
The program will be administered by the WSIB and the provincial government will reimburse employers 100 per cent of the employee’s wage for up to $200 a day.
Officials also announced the provincial government program could see a $500 top-up to the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) program conditional on federal approval.
Ontario reports 3,480 new COVID-19 cases, 24 deaths
Ontario reported 3,480 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday. The provincial total now stands at 455,606.
Wednesday’s case count is higher than Tuesday’s 3,265 new infections but is the fourth day in a row cases have been lower than 4,000.
However, the Ontario government said the numbers for the Central West Region including Hamilton and Niagara were be higher due to a data catch-up process.
The death toll in the province has risen to 7,988 as 24 more deaths were recorded.
Status of cases in the GTA
Ontario reported 3,480 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday.
- 961 were in Toronto
- 589 were in Peel Region
- 290 were in York Region
- 221 were in Durham Region
- 116 were in Halton Region
More than 116K additional vaccines administered in Ontario
As of 8 p.m. Tuesday, 4,907,203 COVID-19 vaccine doses had been administered in Ontario, marking an increase of 116,173.
So far, 365,166 people in the province are considered to be fully vaccinated.
—With files from The Canadian PressView link »