Premier Ford and all of the federal and local leaders are offering condolences to the family of a child who has died from COVID-19 here in Waterloo region. The region’s top public health official calls the death a rare, tragic circumstance and a reminder of how serious the virus is. Doctor Hsiu-Li Wang says the child had underlying health conditions, and there were no school or child-care setting exposures related to the case. Wang and Ford are encouraging all eligible Ontarians to get vaccinated against COVID-19 to help protect children under 12 who don’t yet qualify for the shots.
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Absolutely gut-wrenching. My prayers are with the family at this excruciatingly difficult time. This virus knows no bounds. It’s why we need every eligible Ontarian to get vaccinated — to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and those who can’t yet get vaccinated against COVID-19. https://t.co/7RrBBOiPle
— Doug Ford (@fordnation) September 17, 2021
Ontario’s COVID Passport Kicks In On Wednesday:
Ontario’s proof-of-vaccination policy is set to take effect on Wednesday and treads into new territory since workers will be tasked with asking customers to show they are immunized against the virus. Patrons at dine-in restaurants, nightclubs, gyms, sports facilities and other venues must present a receipt of full vaccination and identification. Fines are on the table for businesses that don’t comply with the checks and for patrons who give false information. The province says enforcement will be gentle until the policy’s impact starts to play out on the ground — with much of the heavy lifting falling to businesses’ frontline staff. Details are available by clicking HERE. (You will be redirected)
A Vaccine Milestone:
Ontario’s health minister says the province has reached, or is nearing, new COVID-19 vaccination milestones. Christine Elliot says 85 per cent of eligible residents have now received an initial dose while nearly 79 per cent are fully immunized with two shots.
Over 85% of Ontarians 12+ have received at least one dose of a #COVID19 vaccine!
— Christine Elliott (@celliottability) September 19, 2021
We Will Soon Learn If The Border Is Reopening Soon:
Travellers itching to get away will be watching closely this week to see if the United States finally eases travel restrictions on land borders. Tomorrow is the deadline for the US Department of Homeland Security to declare whether it plans to ease the restrictions on non-essential travel over the Canada-US land border, or extend the prohibition for another 30-days. Toronto travel insurance broker Martin Firestone says many snowbirds are planning on getting a COVID-19 booster shot as soon as they get there.
Charges For Pandemic Fraud:
Police have charged a former provincial bureaucrat with fraud and breach of trust. The Ontario government had previously accused Sanjay Madan of embezzling 11-million-dollars in COVID-19 relief funds. Madan and his wife, Shalini, are also charged with both possession of, and laundering, the proceeds of crime. The province has sued Madan, his wife and two adult children, alleging they illegally issued and banked cheques under the Support for Families program, which aimed to offset the cost of kids learning at home. Madan is also accused of taking kickbacks in an alleged fraud worth more than 30-million-dollars.
Alberta Implements Vaccine Passports:
Albertans needing proof they’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19 were able to download cards from the province’s website on Sunday. But some residents were quick to claim they could easily edit the document. Calgary’s Dan Shugar says the card was in a PDF file which he was able to edit to say his name was “Fakus McFakeFace.” Alberta’s United Conservative government announced the availability of the cards before its restrictions exemption program launches today. The program allows businesses and venues to operate without capacity limits and other measures if they require patrons’ proof of vaccination or a negative test result. A health-ministry spokeswoman acknowledged that a motivated individual can edit the PDF, but that a more secure QR code will be available within weeks.
You can now get your card-sized proof of #COVID19AB vaccination easily and quickly without creating an online account including for children
12 + at https://t.co/oSSWr056kU #AbHealth: https://t.co/cpVafnA47O pic.twitter.com/BlZ02kO5nP
— Alberta Health (@GoAHealth) September 19, 2021
Ontario reported 715 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday and five new deaths due to the virus. The province also logged an additional death from earlier in the year that had not previously been tallied. Health Minister Christine Elliott says 540 of yesterday’s new cases are among people who are not fully vaccinated or whose immunization status is unknown. Elliott says 85 per cent of eligible residents have now received an initial dose while nearly 79 per cent are fully immunized with two shots.
Waterloo Region / WDG Numbers:
Public Health of Waterloo Region declared 22 new COVID-19 cases yesterday and 36 on Saturday. There was also another new death. Currently 9 people are hospitalized and there are 250 active cases.
Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health still does not report numbers on weekends. As of Friday there were just 5 people hospitalized and 166 active cases.
Close contact is the main source of transmission in Waterloo Region. You can limit close contact by choosing to socialize outdoors.
🍁Enjoy the September weather
🚵♂️Go for a bike ride
🏞Take a walk on a local trail
🍽Dine out at a local patio pic.twitter.com/gF5L7r3a64
— Region of Waterloo Public Health (@ROWPublicHealth) September 16, 2021
Contains files from The Canadian Press
Photo Credit: Global News Kitchener – Photographer unidentified