Here are the latest developments on the COVID-19 pandemic in the Greater Toronto Area for Wednesday:
Ontario schools to remain closed to in-person learning until the fall
Premier Doug Ford has announced on Wednesday that schools in Ontario won’t reopen to in-person learning until the fall.
The news comes despite the Ford government repeatedly insisting in the past that schools are safe and students should be in class as much as possible.
Ford said Wednesday that modelling shows “thousands” of new cases could arise as a result of reopening schools before more teachers and students are vaccinated.
Peel Region to see Delta variant as dominant COVID-19 strain, top doctor says
Peel Region’s medical officer of health says it is expected that in a month the Delta variant will be the dominant COVID-19 strain across the region.
“Members of the science table this week have advised Peel Public Health that B.1.617 … is increasingly being detected in Ontario and that Peel Region has the highest proportion of this variant out of the entire province,” Dr. Lawrence Loh said at a briefing on Wednesday.
The B.1.617 variant was first discovered in India and has been renamed by the World Health Organization as “Delta” to avoid stigmatizing countries which detect and report variants.
Status of cases in the GTA
Ontario reported 733 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday.
- 173 were in Toronto
- 134 were in Peel Region
- 69 were in York Region
- 40 were in Durham Region
- 18 were in Halton Region
Ontario reports 733 new COVID-19 cases, 7-day average drops below 1,000
Ontario is reporting 733 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, as case counts continue to trend downward bringing the seven-day average under 1,000 for the first time in several months. The provincial total now stands at 532,891.
The death toll in the province has risen to 8,791 as 25 more deaths were recorded.
More than 9.3 million total COVID-19 vaccine doses were administered so far. That marked an increase of over 139,901 vaccines in the last day. There are more than 781,000 people fully vaccinated with two doses.
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 (now named by WHO as “Alpha” and was first detected in the United Kingdom), B.1.351 (now named by WHO as “Beta” and was first detected in South Africa), and P.1 (now named by WHO as “Gamma” and was first detected in Brazil).
“Alpha” the B.1.1.7 VOC: 127,645 variant cases, which is up by 938 since the previous day,
“Beta” the B.1.351 VOC: 952 variant cases which is up by 3 since the previous day.
“Gamma” the P.1 VOC: 2,911 variant cases which is up by 44 since the previous day.
Cases, deaths and outbreaks in Ontario long-term care homes
According to the Ministry of Long-Term Care, there have been 3,773 deaths reported among residents and patients in long-term care homes across Ontario which is unchanged since yesterday. Thirteen virus-related deaths in total have been reported among staff.
There are 28 current outbreaks in homes, which is down by one from the previous day.
The ministry also indicated there are currently 45 active cases among long-term care residents 92 active cases among staff — down by six and down by four, respectively, in the last day.
NOTE: This page will be updated throughout the day.
— With files from The Canadian PressView link »