Premier Doug Ford says the stay-at-home order imposed in early April is being extended until June 2nd in an effort to, in his words, “save the summer“. Ford says it’s necessary to keep thousands of businesses and public schools closed to bring down COVID-19 cases while the province ramps up vaccinations. He says the ban on outdoor recreational facilities will also remain in place in order to limit group travel to activities such as golf, and other behaviour that could contribute to spread of the virus. Ford says the province should be able to restart outdoor recreation by early June, when it will also provide more details on a plan to carefully and safely re-open.
Doug Promises Everyone Will Be Fully Vaccinated By The End of Summer:
Premier Ford is pledging that all adults in the province will be offered their second dose of COVID-19 vaccine by the end of summer. He told reporters yesterday that a so-called one-dose summer — as promised by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau earlier this week — is not good enough. Ford’s office later told The Canadian Press that the aim is to fully immunize all willing adults in Ontario by September 22nd. The government also announced that it will start administering the Pfizer vaccine to children aged 12 to 17 starting the week of May 31st.
More AstraZeneca Linked Blood Clots:
Canada’s deputy chief public health officer says Canada has confirmed 18 cases of a rare blood-clotting condition in people who got the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. Dr. Howard Njoo says another 10 cases are under investigation. More than two-million people have received the vaccine in Canada so far. Several provinces have stopped giving out the AstraZeneca shot as a first dose — some citing concerns about blood clots. The syndrome can appear four to 28 days after vaccination, meaning many people are still in the post-vaccination risk period and more cases could still be discovered.
Trudeau Off The Hook But Morneau Guilty in WE COVID Scandal:
Canada’s ethics commissioner has cleared Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of any violations for failing to recuse himself from cabinet discussions over WE Charity. But commissioner Mario Dion found that former finance minister Bill Morneau did violate the rules and should have recused himself. The organization was to have operated a federal student-volunteer program. Last summer, Trudeau apologized for not recusing himself from talks around the program given that he and his relatives had taken part in eight WE events.
Another Trudeau minister found guilty of breaking the ethics law, this time in the WE Scandal.
— pierrepoilievre (@PierrePoilievre) May 13, 2021
Canadian COVID Vaccine Showing Promise:
A homegrown mRNA vaccine for COVID-19 shows promising results in its first small trial, and its maker is hoping to test it directly against the vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech. Calgary-based Providence Therapeutics says its vaccine produced no serious adverse events and developed good antibodies against COVID-19. The Phase 1 trial included 60 healthy adults between 18 and 64, with more than half of them receiving two doses of the vaccine, four weeks apart. The results have not yet been peer-reviewed.
Toronto Distance Circles:
One of Toronto’s most popular parks is getting a second annual pandemic makeover. The City was spray-painting physical distancing circles at Trinity Bellwoods Park yesterday. The large circles are intended to keep separate groups of parkgoers from getting too close to each other and potentially spreading COVID-19. The city first introduced the circles last year.
This morning, City crews will begin painting physical distancing circles at Trinity Bellwoods to ensure that residents can enjoy the park safely.
We continue to work to give people safe outdoor places to get outside for fresh air and exercise. pic.twitter.com/cOCTNtPrW2
— John Tory (@JohnTory) May 13, 2021
Toronto Zoo Vaccinations:
The Toronto Zoo is offering a unique vaccine experience for some Scarborough residents. There will be a pop-up vaccine clinic at the zoo tomorrow. 3,000 appointments will be available to residents of east Toronto. The zoo notes that it’s still closed to the public, so animals — quote – “will not be a part of this experience.”
See below for pop-up vaccine clinic details at #YourTorontoZoo on Saturday, May 15 🗓 Appt req'd.
Please note the Zoo remains closed to the public and access will only be granted to the Special Events Centre. Animals will not be viewable during this clinic. https://t.co/2qi8Llok7O
— The Toronto Zoo (@TheTorontoZoo) May 13, 2021
Vaccinated Americans Don’t Have to Wear a Mask:
Joe Biden is calling it a great day for America. The US president says the Centers for Disease Control’s move to clear fully vaccinated Americans from having to wear a mask outdoors in crowds and in most indoor settings is a major step toward returning to pre-pandemic life. States can still implement their own rules based on the new CDC guidance. However, some critics, including California health official Doctor Matt Willis, say they fear the move may be premature.
The CDC announced that they are no longer recommending that fully vaccinated people need to wear masks. pic.twitter.com/pFhJEtBepq
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) May 13, 2021
US Job Market Thriving:
The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell last week to 473,000, a new pandemic low. The US Labor Department says applications declined 34,000 from a revised 507,000 a week earlier. The number of weekly jobless claims — a rough measure of the pace of layoffs — has fallen significantly from a peak of 900,000 in January. Instead of cutting jobs, many American employers are now struggling to attract enough applicants for open positions.
Ontario announced 2,759 new COVID-19 cases yesterday. The province also said 31 more people have died from the virus. The data was based on 47,638 tests. There are currently 776 COVID-19 patients in intensive care across the province.
Ontario is reporting 2,759 cases of #COVID19 and over 47,600 tests completed. Locally, there are 774 new cases in Toronto, 602 in Peel, 258 in York Region, 147 in Durham and 133 in Hamilton.
— Christine Elliott (@celliottability) May 13, 2021
Waterloo Region / WDG Numbers:
Waterloo Region Public Health announced 45 new cases yesterday but no new deaths. Hospitalizations dropped by another five patients, down to 37 total. The number of active cases was down by three to 473.
In Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph, Public Health confirmed 42 new cases yesterday, and no new deaths. Active cases increased by ten to 355. Hospitalizations were down by ten patients to a total of 24 and just 10 in the ICU.
Contains files from The Canadian Press
Photo Credit: CPAC via YouTube