covid cases and vaccine sign

Ontario reports fewer than 3,000 COVID-19 cases for first time in a month

Ontario reported 2,791 cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, with 25 deaths and over 33,700 tests completed. Today’s numbers are the fewest new cases reported in a single day since April 1 and the first time the provincial number was below 3,000 since April 5.

Today’s numbers include 931 new cases reported in Toronto, 653 in Peel, 275 in York Region, 147 in Durham, 128 in Hamilton 112 in Ottawa and 101 in Halton Region.

Meanwhile, 2,167 Ontario patients are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, with 886 patients in ICU due to COVID-related critical illness and 609 patients in the ICU on ventilators due to COVID-related critical illnesses.

As of Tuesday, 5,467,120 doses of approved COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in Ontario out of 6,635,725 doses delivered to the province (meaning 82.4 per cent of doses delivered have been administered). A total of 378,085 people have gotten both shots of a vaccine.

Some are seemingly confused over recommendations by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI). AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines have been linked to rare cases of blood clots and the NACI is recommending that the benefits, relative risks and consequences of vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia and COVID-19 are shared with Canadians.

 


 

On Monday, the NACI recommended “a complete series with an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine should be preferentially offered to individuals in the authorized age group without contraindications to the vaccine. If an mRNA vaccine is contraindicated, another authorized COVID-19 vaccine should be offered.”

The NACI also recommended that a complete series with a viral vector COVID-19 vaccine [i.e., AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson] be offered to individuals 30 and older, without contraindications, only if the individual prefers to receive an earlier vaccine rather than wait for an mRNA vaccine [i.e., Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna]. The following conditions apply:

  • The benefits of an earlier vaccination with a viral vector COVID-19 vaccine outweigh the risks of COVID-19 while waiting for an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine
  • The benefits, relative risks, and consequences of vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) and COVID-19 are clearly outlined to the individual, factoring in the anticipated waiting time to receive an mRNA vaccine, as well as the availability of other effective personal public health measures to mitigate risk of COVID-19
  • There will be a substantial delay to receive an mRNA vaccine.

Meanwhile, the Toronto District School Board announced that summer school programs will be fully online, and there will be at least a virtual option available for the 2021-2022 school year.

In a statement on their website, the TDSB stated that, given the unpredictability of what the status of the COVID-19 pandemic will be in the summer and the need to begin planning, “the decision has been made to offer all Summer Programs fully remote (online) for summer 2021.”

In a press conference Tuesday afternoon, Ontario’s Education Minister Stephen Lecce noted that “while we all want in-class learning to return this spring, we will not take risks with your child as we respond to high rates of COVID-19 in the community, intensive care units overwhelmed and variants seamlessly entering from our porous international borders.”

Lecce assured parents that the province will continue to work with and seek the advice of the chief medical officer of health on the best path forward.

“The arrival of vaccines means there is hope on the horizon,” Lecce said.

Also on Tuesday, the province announced that it is providing more than $2 billion to advance public education for the 2021-22 school year. The support includes more than $1.6 billion in resources to respond to COVID-19 and an $85.5 million commitment to help students across the province address the effects of learning disruptions as a result of COVID-19.

“Our government is investing more in public education than any government in Ontario history,” Lecce said.

Click here for more COVID-19 Ontario updates.

Article exclusive to TRNTO