The province says a fresh influx of COVID-19 vaccines will allow it to expand eligibility for shots to all adults by the end of May. Health Minister Christine Elliott says changes are being made to the vaccine rollout as the province overcomes serious supply issues. They also include sending half of the vaccine supply to 114 hot-spot postal codes in the first two weeks of May — double the current allocation of 25 per cent. The change follows a recommendation by the government’s science advisers for more targeted immunizations to address high cases rates that are stressing hospitals.
With a stable supply of vaccines, we will continue expanding access across Ontario, including to our hit hardest communities.
— Christine Elliott (@celliottability) April 29, 2021
The Sick Days Bill Has Passed:
A bill that will provide workers in Ontario three paid sick days has been passed in the Legislature. The Ford government tabled the legislation yesterday following advice from health experts who said paid sick leave would reduce COVID-19 outbreaks in workplaces. The policy — retroactive to April 19th and ending on September 25th — will reimburse employers up to $200-dollars a day for providing the sick leave.
I will not burden small businesses during this challenging time. Communities need these shops to survive the pandemic so workers have jobs to come back to. The Ontario COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Benefit reimburses employers for what they pay out, up to $200/day for 3 days.
— Monte McNaughton (@MonteMcNaughton) April 29, 2021
The Latest COVID Modeling Says The Pandemic Has Crested:
Ontario’s science advisers say the third wave of the pandemic has crested as the province remains under a stay-at-home order, but pockets of growth remain in hot spots. They say more limits are needed on essential workplaces to bring cases under control, with positivity rates still high in Peel Region and Toronto. New modelling released yesterday shows workplace mobility remains too high and that ICU occupancy remains at record highs and continues to climb. The advisory group also says 90 per cent of the province’s new COVID-19 cases are now due to more transmissible variants of concern.
Another LTC Report is Due Today:
An independent commission looking into the impact of COVID-19 on Ontario’s long-term care system is expected to submit its final report to the province today. The Long-Term Care COVID-19 Commission has already released two sets of interim recommendations. The panel has heard from officials, medical experts, long-term care residents and others. As of yesterday, 3,768 long-term care residents had died of COVID-19 in Ontario.
New York Will Fully Reopen on July 1:
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced New York City will fully reopen on July 1 as he confidently proclaimed “this is going to be the summer of New York City.” Yesterday, de Blasio said the city will operate at full capacity from July 1 during an appearance on the Morning Joe morning show. According to de Blasio, the city is ready to reopen because of “extraordinary” vaccination rates.
This is going to be the #SummerofNYC!
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) April 29, 2021
Fauci Predicts Daily Cases Will Drop Rapidly:
Dr. Anthony Fauci predicts a real change, the start of a precipitous drop in new daily COVID-19 infections now that the share of U.S. adults vaccinated against the virus is nearly 40 percent. “When you do that, that’s when people are going to be able to start doing the things they’ve been craving,” Fauci told the Wall Street Journal in an interview. As of yesterday, nearly 38 percent of American adults aged 18 or older are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Cruise Ships Can Resume Sailing:
The CDC said cruise ships can resume sailing from mid-summer if they can prove 98 percent of their crew and 95 percent of their passengers are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
There are 83,452 active cases of COVID-19 across Canada — as of Thursday evening. Officials say the overall number of infections since the start of the pandemic has grown to 1,211,083 — including 24,169 deaths. The country’s efforts to knock down the novel coronavirus continue with the provinces reporting 305,605 new vaccinations administered. More than one-million Canadians have been fully vaccinated — about 2.9 per cent of the population.
Here is yesterday’s federal briefing:
Ontario’s COVID-19 death toll has surpassed 8,000. The fatality number was announced yesterday when the province reported 41 new deaths linked to the virus, and 3,871 new infections. Health Minister Christine Elliott said there were 1,172 new cases in Toronto, 901 in Peel Region, and 392 in York Region. Hospitalizations dropped yesterday by 33 people. There are now 2,248 receiving in-patient care for COVID-19. 4,245 more cases were marked as resolved.
Ontario is reporting 3,871 cases of #COVID19 and over 56,900 tests completed. Locally, there are 1,172 new cases in Toronto, 901 in Peel, 392 in York Region, 292 in Durham and 147 in Ottawa.
— Christine Elliott (@celliottability) April 29, 2021
Waterloo Region / WDG Numbers:
Waterloo Region Public Health confirmed 62 new cases yesterday but no new deaths. Active cases rose by three to 586. Hospitalizations dropped by thirteen to a total of 58.
Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health announced 58 new cases yesterday. Half of them were in Guelph. Heading into this weekend there are now 493 active cases with 29 people hospitalized. That’s down by three from yesterday.
Contains files from The Canadian Press
Photo Credit: CPAC via YouTube screenshot