Waterloo Region Is Jumping Right To Stage 3 On Friday – Full COVID-19 Update

Waterloo Region Is Jumping Right To Stage 3 On Friday – Full COVID-19 Update

Waterloo Region says it will enter Step 3 of Ontario’s reopening plan with the rest of the province on Friday. The region delayed entering the second step of reopening due to a surge in Delta variant cases. Its top doctor says public health indicators have stabilized and vaccination rates have increased rapidly. Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang says residents are strongly encouraged to get their second dose of vaccine as soon as they can.

Younger People Are Catching COVID:

Ontario’s top doctor says unvaccinated young people are becoming infected with COVID-19 at a higher rate. COVID-19 vaccination rates are lower among people aged 12 to 39 and Dr. Kieran Moore says they will be a focus of the province’s vaccination campaign. Moore says 96 per cent of people between the ages of 19 to 29 who became infected with COVID-19 over the last three months weren’t vaccinated against the virus. For people aged 12 to 17, 99 per cent of those infected over the same period weren’t vaccinated.

Gyms Are Preparing to Reopen:

Gyms across Ontario are changing how they operate as the province prepares to move into the third step of its reopening plan on Friday. Gyms will operate at half capacity, and customers will have to answer health screening questions before working out.  The government says that masking is not mandatory during workouts but is required for staff and when clients are moving through the facility. Many gyms require appointments, but GoodLife Fitness says it will allow walk-ins.

The Feds Are Giving Toronto Small Businesses Big Money:

Toronto will receive $19 million in federal support for small businesses hit hard by the pandemic. The federal government has announced it will provide the funding over the next two and a half years. Toronto says the funding will be used for initiatiaves such as the Main Street Innovation fund and support for businesses in the city’s Little Jamaica. The city says this will allow it to support new small businesses, neighbourhoods and Business Improvement Areas.

Trudeau Admits There Is Room For Improvement:

The prime minister says there are places to improve Canada’s early pandemic alerts and response systems. But Justin Trudeau insists Canada’s top public health officials started to build a national response to COVID-19 very early on in the pandemic. He says Dr. Theresa Tam was meeting with her provincial counterparts as early as January to talk about the emergence of the novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China.

Seneca College Will Require Students to Be Vaccinated:

Seneca College is making vaccinations mandatory for students and employees coming to campus for the fall term. The college says this will include students who live in residence and employees who work there. Seneca’s president says the college is not requiring anyone to get a vaccine and will respect medical exemptions. David Agnew says fully-online and remote classes and work are not affected by the policy.

Raising the Possibility of Vaccine Passports in Ontario:

The Toronto Region Board of Trade says it’s in discussions with the premier’s office about the province introducing a vaccine passport system for non-essential business activity. Board CEO Jan De Silva says vaccine passports are the only way to safely re-open larger events like business conferences and will help revive tourism. De Silva says a digital proof-of-vaccinations system could look similar to one implemented in Europe and some Asian countries. Quebec has signalled it will require vaccine passports for non-essential activities by September and Manitoba is issuing vaccine cards to fully immunized people — but Alberta has flatly rejected the idea.

Quebec Will Now Allow Recovered COVID-19 Patients to Get a Second Shot:

Quebec residents who have recovered from COVID-19 can get a second shot of vaccine if they need to travel. The province considers people who have had COVID-19 and a single dose of vaccine to be adequately vaccinated. But the federal government requires that people receive two doses of a two-shot COVID-19 vaccine to return to Canada without having to isolate for two weeks. Quebec’s immunization committee says there isn’t any additional protection from a second dose for people who have had the disease, but there are no additional dangers.

BC is Shutting Down Their Field Hospital:

A makeshift hospital housing overflow beds for COVID-19 in BC is being shut down — without ever taking patients. Set up at the Vancouver Convention Centre, the 271-bed site was one of several alternative care facilities established as the threat of COVID-19 loomed last year. Vancouver Coastal Health got the green light from the Health Ministry to close it down. The announcement comes as COVID-19 hospitalizations trend downward in the province.

Ontario Numbers:

There were 146 new cases of COVID-19 in Ontario yesterday and seven more deaths linked to the virus. Health Minister Christine Elliott says there were 43 new cases in Toronto, 36 in the Region of Waterloo, and 13 in Peel Region. There were are also 11 in Hamilton and 10 in Middlesex-London. Elliott announced that nearly 177,000 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine were administered in the period for a total of more than 17.2 million doses.

Waterloo Region / WDG Numbers:

27 new cases were confirmed yesterday by Region of Waterloo Public Health. There were also 2 new deaths and 2 new hospitalizations, for a total of 25 patients. Active cases are down by 9 to 279.

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health announced 0 new cases yesterday. That dropped their number of active cases down to just 45. Hospitalizations are down to 5.

Contains files from The Canadian Press

Photo Credit: Global News – Kevin Neilson

 

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