Ontario reported a (daily) record-breaking 4,736 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday (an increase of 1.2 per cent from the previous day), raising the total number of cases in the province to 403,571, with 357,591 resolved cases. The majority of overall cases are in adults aged 20-39 (148,085 cases) followed by adults 40-59 (116,126 cases).
The province also recorded 29 more deaths, increasing the total number of deaths from the virus to 7,639.
Of the new cases reported Thursday, the COVID hot spots fared the worst: 1,188 new cases were recorded in Toronto, 983 in Peel, 526 in York Region, 342 in Ottawa, 216 in Durham, and 215 in Niagara.
As of Thursday, 1,932 patients are hospitalized with COVID-19, with 659 total patients in ICU due to COVID-related critical illness, and 442 total patients in ICU on a ventilator due to COVID-related critical illness.
As of 7 p.m. Wednesday, 3,528,404 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered. On Tuesday, the province announced it was rolling out vaccines to COVID hot spots across Ontario, beginning in Peel and Toronto, as part of Phase Two of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan, targeting 114 highly impacted neighbourhoods (identified by postal code), using mass immunization clinics, mobile teams, and pop-up clinics.
“As we receive more vaccines from the federal government, it is vital that we continue to target our vaccination efforts on those most at risk,” Premier Doug Ford said. “We must get vaccines to the people in these hot spot regions as quickly as possible in order to stop the spread of this virus and prevent our hospitals from being overwhelmed. This pop-up clinic shows once again how our valued community partners have stepped up and are working with local public health in our collective battle against COVID-19. This is another great example of Team Ontario at work.”
According to the COVID-19 Tracker Canada, 4,852,885 vaccine doses have been delivered, with 3,528,404 doses administered, meaning 72.7 per cent of doses delivered have been administered in the province (with approximately 21.6 per cent of people in Ontario receiving at least one dose). Many are now urging the provincial government to look into “Ontario’s climbing vaccine stockpile.” On Thursday, the Ontario Liberals wrote a letter to the Auditor General requesting an investigation into all aspects of, what they deemed, a “failing vaccine rollout.”
“Over the last few weeks it has been extremely alarming to see vaccines being stockpiled in freezers in parts of Ontario while some of the hardest hit communities like Scarborough and Thorncliffe have been forced to cancel thousands of appointments,” the letter states, adding that, “it is clear that Ontario has a vaccine distribution problem.”
Doug Ford is hoarding vaccines while hotspots are begging for their fair share. Ontarians deserve answers.
— Steven Del Duca (@StevenDelDuca) April 15, 2021
Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infectious diseases physician and scientist, clarified that, on the day of vaccine delivery, for a brief period of time “there are a lot of vaccines,” but they are quickly administered throughout the week.
A few points to clarify vaccine distribution in Ontario.
1. We get ~400K doses of Pfizer weekly. It shows up like clockwork. It gets distributed throughout the province in ~1-2 days & there is very little at the end of the week. This is administered at mass vaccine clinics. https://t.co/lsOqjZmHg2
— Isaac Bogoch (@BogochIsaac) April 15, 2021
The “vaccines sitting in a freezer” tagline was dispelled in a tweet by Ford on Wednesday, who subsequently provided an explanation on how vaccine distribution works with this short video:
We aren’t letting a single vaccine sit in a freezer!
Ontario has now administered over 3.4 million doses of the #COVID19 vaccine which remains our best defence against COVID-19 & variants.
Want to know how the vaccines get from the suppliers to your arm? Watch this: pic.twitter.com/wmODK3OXAl
— Doug Ford (@fordnation) April 14, 2021
Even with a province-wide stay-at-home order in the midst of the third-wave of COVID-19, and a ramp-up in vaccinations, the medical community still doesn’t have conclusive results on how well the vaccines will work against coronavirus variants. On Thursday, Ontario reported 27,278 cases of the U.K. variant, 95 cases of the South African variant, and 191 cases of the Brazilian variant.
Click here for more COVID-19 Ontario updates.