New Vaccine Eligibility Opens Up Today In Ontario – Full COVID-19 Update

New Vaccine Eligibility Opens Up Today In Ontario – Full COVID-19 Update

Adults who live in COVID-19 hot spots will be eligible to book their vaccine appointments using the provincial system starting today, regardless of age. Residents of 114 specific postal codes designated as hot spots will be able to book online starting at 8am. Those 18 and up in some hot spots had already been able to book vaccines, but not through the provincial portal.

The province will be further expanding COVID vaccine eligibility on Thursday when online bookings open up to residents 50 and older. Others captured in that expansion include people with high-risk health conditions, those who can’t work from home including teachers and school workers. First Nation, Inuit and Metis people not previously targeted in earlier phases of the immunization drive will also be included. Health Minister Christine Elliott credited an increase in vaccine supply for the province’s accelerated inoculation efforts, particularly in virus hot spots.

Canada is Getting Lots of Pfizer This Week:

The vaccine rollout will be ramping up this week. Canada is set to begin receiving more than two-million doses of the Pfizer product each week. Demand has skyrocketed after several provinces dropped the eligible age for the vaccine. Federal Public Service and Procurement Minister Anita Anand says Canada will receive four-million total doses by the end of June, but the government lacks a detailed schedule. As of Sunday night, the provinces are reporting 173,101 new shots in arms, for a total of more than 13.8-million.

Ornge Paramedics Vote in Favour of a Strike:

The union that represents Ontario’s air ambulance paramedics says its members are prepared to go on strike if they can’t land an exemption from a provincial law capping salaries for public employees. Unifor says Ornge paramedics voted 94 per cent in favour of strike action. But it describes the move as an absolute last consideration. Unifor National President Jerry Dias says the wage-cap law dubbed Bill 124 is a foolish piece of legislation. Paramedics who work for Ornge have been without a contract since July 31.

Canada Numbers:

There were more than 7,100 new confirmed COVID-19 cases nationwide Sunday, bringing Canada’s total reported case count since the pandemic began to over 1.23-million. There were 39 new reported deaths Sunday — raising the national death toll of 24,300. The hotspots continue to be Ontario, Alberta and Quebec. Ontario logged over 3,700 new infections, Alberta more than 1,700, and Quebec just over 1,000. Yukon reported no new cases Sunday, but Northwest Territories had one and there were another 11 reported in Nunavut’s current outbreak.

Quebec Loosening Restrictions:

Quebec is about to loosen some of its restrictions. Quebec’s stabilizing case count over the past two weeks and a slow decline in hospitalizations means elementary school students in Quebec City will be allowed to return to class today. The government is also pushing the nighttime curfew in Montreal and Laval a little later — from 8pm to 9:30pm. Quebecers age 45 and up will also be able to book their vaccine appointments beginning today.

Atlantic Summary:

All four Atlantic provinces reported new COVID-19 infections Sunday. Nova Scotia logged the most at 133, though it was 15 fewer than its record high of Saturday as the province begins its second week of shutdown this morning. Newfoundland and Labrador confirmed seven new cases of COVID-19 and noted there are now 12 confirmed cases on a ship anchored in Conception Bay. One crew member is in hospital, while the rest of the infected remain onboard.

Alberta Suspending The Legislature Due to Souring Cases:

Alberta is suspending the legislature for two weeks as COVID-19 cases soar to record levels. Government House Leader Jason Nixon says the suspension is to prevent further spread of the novel coronavirus and is not due to any confirmed COVID cases among legislature members or staff. The tentative return date is May 17th. Opposition NDP Leader Rachel Notley says the legislature has critical work to do on the pandemic such as bringing in rules for paid sick leave.

New Report Into LTC:

Observers say the atrocities outlined in the Ontario Long-Term Care COVID-19 Commission’s final report must not be forgotten. The scathing report says years of neglect of the long-term care sector led to conditions where thousands of residents died of COVID-19. And it recommends sweeping reforms to update infrastructure and change who operates the homes. Tara Barrows says her grandmother died of COVID-19 in a Toronto long-term care home last year. She says the government must act to ensure the province’s most vulnerable people aren’t failed again.

Here is Premier Ford speaking on Friday:

More Than 3,400 COVID-19 Deaths in India Today:

India recorded another 368,000 coronavirus cases today, including more than 3,400 deaths, as a catastrophic surge ripples through the country. Experts caution the official COVID-19 numbers from the world’s second most populous country are likely a massive undercount. They say not enough testing is being done to give a true picture of infections — and deaths in the countryside, where people often die at home, are vastly underreported. Dr. Prabhat Jha of the University of Toronto has studied deaths in India and thinks the country could — and should — do better at tracking them.

Ontario Numbers:

Yesterday the province confirmed 3,732 new cases of COVID-19 and 23 new deaths. However, active cases have been dropping for a week straight; with more resolved cases than new. There were 3,947 more resolved cases yesterday. Hospitalizations were also down substantially thanks to a drop of 191 people receiving in-patient care. There were also 22 less in the intensive care unit. Currently there are 615 people on a ventilator.

Waterloo Region / WDG Numbers:

Waterloo Region Public Health announced 90 new cases yesterday. At least 19 of them were variants. On Saturday there were 56 new cases. Active cases now sit at 546. Heading into this week, there are 59 people hospitalized with 33 in the ICU.

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health does not report numbers on the weekend but we do know there were 51 new cases on Friday. At last check there were 477 active cases.

Contains files from The Canadian Press

Photo Credit: Government of Ontario

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