Facing a COVID-19 crisis threatening Alberta’s health system, Premier Jason Kenney has declared a state of public health emergency and reinstated restrictions he lifted on July 1st in a new attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19. His United Conservative government has reintroduced limits on gatherings, along with elements of a vaccine passport system. Alberta has over 18,000 active COVID-19 cases, which is the highest in the country. And 269 patients are in intensive care in a system set up for 173. Most of those ICU patients have COVID-19, and the vast majority are unvaccinated or partially so. Kenney says the province may run out of staff and intensive care beds within 10 days.
Over 2 Billion Dollars Didn’t Get Spent On COVID:
Ontario’s fiscal watchdog says the province didn’t spend any money from a new 2.7-billion-dollar COVID-19 response program in the first quarter. The Financial Accountability Office found that Ontario spent 2.6 billion dollars (or 6.6 per cent) less than planned between April and July. The report says health spending was 691 million dollars lower than planned in the area of population and public health because the province didn’t spend the pandemic transfer money. NDP leader Andrea Horwath says it’s disgraceful that Premier Ford is refusing to invest the dollars needed to help tackle the pandemic. A spokeswoman for Health Minister Christine Elliott says that 2.7-billion dollars was allocated for the entire fiscal year — and that some expenses were incurred in the first quarter but not yet recorded. To read the report: CLICK HERE (You will be redirected)
— FAO-ON (@InfoFAO) September 15, 2021
TDSB Staff Could Actually Lose Their Job If They Are Unvaccinated:
A staff vaccination policy announced by the Toronto District School Board takes a harder line than the minimum guidelines set by the province. It says teachers and staff who have not received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine by November 1st could lose their jobs. The board says 83 per cent of its 40,000 staff members are currently vaccinated against the virus and 94 per cent had disclosed vaccination information as required by September 7th. The province has ordered all school boards in Ontario to implement COVID-19 vaccination policies by September 27th.
Waterloo Region School Boards Update Staff Vaccination Status:
The Waterloo Region District School Board says over 66 per cent have reported their vaccination status and of those, 95.4 per cent are fully vaccinated. Staff have until September 22nd to declare their status or they will be considered unvaccinated and must take part in regular COVID-19 testing and vaccine education programs. The Waterloo Catholic District School Board says 89.2 per cent of it’s employees have declared their vaccination status and 80.9 per cent are fully vaccinated, while 0.2 per cent provided documentation for a valid medical exemption.
Toronto Launches a New Vaccination Push:
A series of pop-up COVID-19 vaccination clinics are to open in Toronto today. The so-called “Days of Vaxtion” project is set to run through Saturday. Toronto Mayor John Tory has said the campaign is part of the city’s plan to get residents fully immunized as fast as possible. The city says locations were chosen to best serve residents in areas with low vaccine coverage.
Be part of the action TOMORROW! #TeamToronto’s #DaysofVaxtion, a city-wide series of pop-up #COVID19 vaccination clinics for first and second doses, starts Sept 16. Details: https://t.co/a69fFxmqfP pic.twitter.com/qTMDkaxuyP
— City of Toronto (@cityoftoronto) September 16, 2021
Windsor School Shut Down:
A Windsor high school is closed until further notice due to a COVID-19 outbreak. Local public health officials say there are five confirmed cases at St. Joseph High School. They’re also advising all children, staff and visitors who went to the school between last Tuesday and last Thursday to get tested for the virus.
Do We Actually Need a Booster Shot Right Now?
US government advisers will debate tomorrow whether there’s enough proof that a booster dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective. It’s the first public step toward deciding which Americans may get an extra dose and when. White House officials have been previewing a booster campaign that they hoped to begin next week.
New Brunswick is Implementing a Vaccine Passport:
New Brunswick is introducing a proof of COVID-19 vaccination requirement next week. Starting just before midnight on September 21st, residents will have to be vaccinated to access services such as indoor festivals, bars, restaurants and gyms. Premier Blaine Higgs says travellers to New Brunswick or residents returning to the province will also have to pre-register and show proof of vaccination.
New regulations introduced to increase vaccination rates and slow the spread of COVID-19.https://t.co/P7yvnj2qor
— Blaine Higgs (@premierbhiggs) September 15, 2021
There were 593 new cases of COVID-19 in Ontario yesterday and four more deaths linked to the virus. Health Minister Christine Elliott says 447 of those new cases are in people who are not fully vaccinated or whose vaccine status is unknown. Elliott says 346 people are hospitalized because of the virus, 35 of whom are fully vaccinated. 188 people are in intensive care due to the coronavirus. 178 are not fully vaccinated or have an unknown vaccination status.
In Ontario, 21,247,717 vaccine doses have been administered. 84.6% of Ontarians 12+ have one dose and nearly 78.4% have two doses.
346 people are hospitalized with #COVID19. 311 are not fully vaccinated or have an unknown vaccination status and 35 are fully vaccinated.
— Christine Elliott (@celliottability) September 15, 2021
Waterloo Region / WDG Numbers:
Public Health of Waterloo Region announced 26 new COVID-19 cases yesterday and another new death. Active cases are back up to 199 and there are 8 people hospitalized. That is down by 5 patients.
In Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph, Public Health announced just 4 new cases yesterday. Active cases dropped by 9 to a total of 107. There are now 7 people hospitalized with the virus.
The WDGPH call centre is experiencing high call volumes.
For COVID-19 vaccine-related questions, speak to an experienced agent or health specialist by calling the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre: 1-833-943-3900.
Services in 300 languages, open 7 days a week, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. pic.twitter.com/tToNDyEAgO
— WDG Public Health (@WDGPublicHealth) September 14, 2021
Contains files from The Canadian Press
Photo Credit: CPAC via YouTube