Ontario’s top doctor says frequent COVID-19 testing and high vaccination rates among staff and eligible students will keep schools safe when they open in two weeks. Schools are being monitored in the coming weeks, Dr. Kieran Moore says, to see if higher vaccine rates are needed among staff. Moore says he hopes the province’s vaccination policy in the education sector is effective.
Toronto Police Implements a Mandatory Vaccination Policy:
Toronto Police officers will have to show proof of their COVID-19 vaccination status by Sept. 13. The force says it’s implementing a mandatory vaccination policy for all staff. Other public health measures like social distancing and masking will continue. The service notes that the vaccine policy will adhere to accommodations required under the human rights code.
Today, we announced a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination requirement for our members, both uniform and civilian. The safety of the communities we serve, our members and our workplaces are of utmost importance. #Toronto #ToServe&Protect https://t.co/66EkzFiySS
— Toronto Police (@TorontoPolice) August 24, 2021
Ontario Still Has Not Offered Guidance to Businesses on Requiring Proof of Vaccination:
Ontario’s chamber of commerce says it’s providing guidance to businesses in developing COVID-19 proof-of-vaccination protocols. The organization has issued broad tenets for businesses trying to create their own system in the absence of a provincewide framework. That’s as a growing number of public sector organizations — including health care, transit and post-secondary institutions — say they’ll require proof of vaccination in some capacity. Premier Doug Ford has so far rejected calls to implement a provincewide vaccine certification policy.
Ontario Chamber of Commerce Releases Proof-of-Vaccination Framework
— CanadianSME Small Business Magazine (@canadian_sme) August 24, 2021
Ontario to Give Some Students Take-Home Test Kits:
Ontario has announced a pilot project that will offer COVID-19 take-home test kits to some students and staff at select high schools. The kits will be provided to those who are asymptomatic after being exposed to COVID-19 through a school outbreak or cohort. Students will not be required to disclose their vaccination status. The pilot is scheduled to run from September 7th to October 29th at targeted schools in 13 public health units across the province. Education Minister Stephen Lecce says making more low barrier testing options available is part of the province’s plan to reduce absenteeism and keep kids learning in-class.
— Stephen Lecce (@Sflecce) August 24, 2021
New Restrictions Are Popping Up Across Canada:
Delta variant fuelled infections are rising across Canada, prompting several provinces to reintroduce mandatory face coverings and vaccine requirements. Quebec elementary and high school students across nine regions — including Montreal — will have to wear masks indoors when classes resume. Manitoba is bringing back a mask mandate for all indoor public places, including schools. And starting today, BC is bringing back masks in all indoor public spaces, such as malls, grocery stores and on transit.
— Manitoba Gov News (@MBGovNews) August 24, 2021
Ontario reported 486 new COVID-19 cases yesterday. The province also recorded 18 new deaths, but says 16 of them happened more than two months ago and are just now being counted due to data cleaning. Health Minister Christine Elliott says 372 of the new cases were in people who are not fully vaccinated or whose vaccination status is unknown. She says just over 82 per cent of Ontarians 12 and older have received one dose, and slightly more than 75 per cent have gotten two.
Over 75% of Ontarians 12+ have received two doses of the #COVID19 vaccine! It’s not too late: roll up your sleeve and get vaccinated.
— Christine Elliott (@celliottability) August 24, 2021
Waterloo Region / WDG Numbers:
Waterloo Region Public Health declared just 9 new cases yesterday and no new deaths. Hospitalizations were down by 1, to 13 patients. The number of active cases sits at 138.
Public Health of Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph announced 6 new cases yesterday. Guelph had zero new cases while Wellington had 2 and Dufferin had 4. There are now 55 active cases with 3 people hospitalized.
Contains files from The Canadian Press