Almost all people hospitalized in Toronto for COVID-19 over the past four months were not fully vaccinated, Mayor John Tory said today.
Citing local public health data, Tory told reporters at a news conference in Etobicoke on Monday afternoon that 98.7 per cent of hospitalized COVID-19 cases with known vaccination status since May 1 were not fully vaccinated.
“Of those who are ending up with serious illness, particularly those who have been hospitalized in the last several weeks, the vast majority of those – almost 99 per cent – are actually those who are unvaccinated,” Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health Eileen de Villa said. “I think [that data] tells us look, we have this incredibly effective protection that’s provided by vaccines. I can’t make a better case than that.”
The city’s numbers are similar to data reported by Public Health Ontario earlier this month that found more than 95 per cent of confirmed cases in the province over the past seven months were in unvaccinated people.
The province also found that unvaccinated cases accounted for 92.6 per cent of Ontario-wide hospitalizations and 92.3 per cent of deaths over the seven-month period.
There are currently 17 people hospitalized in Toronto with COVID-19. Toronto Public Health reported 371 new cases since Friday – a daily average of 124 new cases.
Toronto to mandate vaccines for city workers
Tory announced the data a day before Premier Doug Ford is expected to unveil a mandatory vaccination policy for health-care, long-term care and possibly education workers, according to media reports.
Ford is also expected to press pause on the reopening strategy now that the province is in the fourth wave and cases are rising exponentially.
Ottawa is planning to mandate vaccinations for federal employees by the fall. Asked whether Toronto will follow suit and make vaccinations mandatory for city workers, Tory said a policy announcement is coming later this week.
“We’ll have more to say about that later this week,” the mayor said. “It’s not going to be fitting, consistent or appropriate for me to say that on the one hand that I commend the federal government for the steps they’ve taken with their employees – and that I’m commending the province for some steps they’re going to be taking in the health-care and long-term care area – and not to address city workers.
“The parameters of what we will have as a city policy will be outlined later this week,” he added. “It is a complex issue – I don’t for a minute deny that. But I will also say that I take considerable lesson from the way the federal government is going to implement [their policy].”
In Toronto, 74.3 per cent of eligible people age 12 and older are fully vaccinated. The number of eligible people in the city who have received their first dose is 81.7 per cent.
Ontario reported another 526 new cases of COVID-19 today, including 353 cases in unvaccinated people and 60 in partially vaccinated people. It was the fifth straight day the daily case count remained above the 500 mark.
The provincial seven-day moving average for new cases is now 469, up from 283 last Monday, according to the Ministry of Health. No deaths were reported today.
Province-wide, there are 119 patients in intensive care units. That’s an increase from 113 last Monday.
To date, 81.5 per cent of eligible people in Ontario 12 and up have received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 73.5 per cent are fully vaccinated.
New COVID-19 cases in Ontario on August 16
The following regions reported five or more new COVID-19 cases:
Toronto = 128
Peel Region = 83
York Region = 66
Hamilton = 52
Windsor-Essex = 46
Ottawa = 20
Middlesex-London = 20
Simcoe Muskoka = 18
Durham Region = 17
Region of Waterloo = 14
Niagara Region = 11
Halton Region = 10
Southwestern = 5
Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph = 5