The Science Table Warns Ontario Needs To Tackle The Opioid Crisis – Full COVID-19 Update

The Science Table Warns Ontario Needs To Tackle The Opioid Crisis – Full COVID-19 Update

Ontario’s science table says new strategies are needed to tackle the opioid crisis. The group of independent scientists that advises the province during the COVID-19 pandemic says fatal overdoses are up 60 per cent since March 2020. The science table says the province, service providers, researchers and those with lived experience should be collaborating on the issue. It says marginalized and racialized people have been disproportionately affected by the opioid crisis.

The School Bus Driver Shortage Is Leading To Big Delays For Students:

A school bus driver shortage is being blamed for hundreds of delays as kids head back to classes. School Bus Ontario says 199 delays were reported in York Region yesterday, some of them leading to wait times of 60 to 90 minutes. It says some of the delays stemmed from the fact that drivers had to complete more than one route. The group says the delays are the result of a provincial contract bidding system that increases driver turnover.

Toronto School Boards Pause Extracurricular Activities:

Schools may be reopening to in-person learning but the Toronto District School Board and Toronto Catholic District School Board. have paused extracurricular activities. Toronto Public Health updated its guidelines for schools, saying that activities with mixed cohorts should be paused for September. TDSB has also paused field trips and high contact sports for the first month of school. The Ontario government’s plan allowed for high- and low-contact activities, but with some restrictions including masking and social distancing.

Alberta Hospitals Reaching Capacity:

Some doctors in Alberta say the province’s health-care system is in danger of collapsing. Doctor Shazma Mithani, an emergency room physician in Edmonton, says a staffing crisis, overwhelmed intensive care units and mixed messaging from the province have created a dire situation. She says stronger restrictions need to be introduced to curb COVID cases and hospitalizations.

Westjet To Require Staff Be Vaccinated By The End Of Next Month:

WestJet says vaccinations are the best line of defence against COVID-19. The airline says it will require all of its employees to be fully vaccinated by October 30th. WestJet adds that it won’t be providing testing as an alternative. It says it will evaluate and accommodate employees who are unable to be vaccinated against COVID-19 due to medical or other exemptions.

Microsoft Delays Their Return To The Office Indefinitely:

Microsoft is telling employees that their return to US offices is delayed indefinitely until it’s safer to come back. Corporate Vice President Jared Spataro says the company has decided against attempting to forecast a new date for a full re-opening given the uncertainty of the pandemic. Microsoft had already postponed its planned return to the workplace from September to October, but now says the re-opening won’t be next month. The company says it will wait for public health guidance on when it is safe to return and give workers a 30-day transition period. Microsoft employs about 103,000 US-based workers.

Ontario Numbers:

There were 798 new cases of COVID-19 in Ontario yesterday and three more deaths linked to the virus. Health Minister Christine Elliott said 620 of those cases are in people who are not fully vaccinated or have an unknown vaccination status. Elliott says 365 people are hospitalized because of the coronavirus and 331 of them are not fully vaccinated. 185 people are in intensive care with the virus with only 11 of those patients fully vaccinated.

Waterloo Region / WDG Numbers:

Waterloo Region Public Health reported 28 new cases but no new deaths. Active cases rose again, by 7, to 183. Hospitalizations were down by 1 to a total of 6 patients.

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health announced 14 new cases yesterday but active cases dropped again, down to 107. There are still 6 people hospitalized.

Contains files from the Canadian Press

Photo Credit: CPAC via YouTube screenshot

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