COVID-19: Toronto opens 17K vaccine appointments for week of May 10; Ontario reports 3,166 new cases

Ontario broke provincial vaccination records for the second consecutive day, with 144,724 doses administered in the past 24 hours


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Toronto opens new block of vaccine appointments for week of May 10

4:30 pm The city opened more than 17,000 new vaccine appointments across five city-run clinics for the week of May 10 due to additional supply.

The move means the city clinics can administer approximately 98,000 vaccine doses between May 10 and 16. Previously, appointments at city clinics had almost completely booked up through early June after the province expanded eligibility to all people 18 and up living in hot spots.

When eligibility expanded again to all Ontarians age 50 and up yesterday, the city started booking appointments for June 7-13.

The new block of appointments for next week are for the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Toronto Congress Centre, Mitchell Field Arena, The Hangar and Cloverdale Mall clinics. Eligible residents can book via the provincial booking system.

Here is the current eligibility for online COVID-19 vaccine booking:

  • People age 18 or older living in any of the 53 provincial hot spot postal codes
  • People age 50 or older
  • First Nations, Inuit and Métis individuals
  • People who are pregnant
  • People with high-risk health conditions
  • People with highest-risk health conditions
  • Employees unable to work from home listed by the Province as Group One

Toronto orders all educational settings to close down

2:47 pm The city has ordered all educational settings to close in-person learning effective May 10.

Although Ontario has closed public and private schools defined under the Education Act as part of the stay-at-home order, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health Eileen de Villa said earlier this week that Toronto Public Health has been investigating reports religious schools are continuing to operate but did not provide details.

“There are some investigations that are happening right now courtesy of the team at Toronto Public Health,” she said when asked about religious schools at a press briefing at city hall on May 5. “These are complex situations as you can well understand. With many of these investigations one does need to look into the specifics of what’s happening within the context of the school or the facility, understand whether there are applicable exemptions and then make appropriate determinations.”

The section 22 order under the Health Protection and Promotion Act “applies to all persons and businesses providing education to school-aged children, regardless of whether or not they qualify as a school within the meaning of the Education Act,” the city said in a statement on Thursday night.

The order is designed to “enhance” the provincial lockdown rules by “limiting in-person school attendances by school-aged children across all school age educational settings, not just schools within the meaning of the Education Act” and “limiting in-person student attendances as much as possible, regardless of whether they qualify as ‘in-person teaching or instruction.'”

The order outlines exceptions, which include child care, day care and special education.


Ontario lost 153,000 jobs in April: Statistics Canada

2:40 pm Measures taken this spring to halt the spread of COVID-19 have caused significant job losses across the country. This morning, Statistics Canada reported that employment dropped by 207,000 in April. That included a reduction of 129,000 full-time jobs and 78,000 part-time jobs.

In addition, another 100,000 Canadians worked from home in April, lifting that number to 5.1 million.

This came after 400,000 jobs were added across the country in February and March. The national unemployment rate now stands at 8.1 percent, up 0.6 percent from last month.

Statistics Canada also revealed that the unemployment rate rose 0.5 per cent in April to 9.9 per cent for 15- to 69-year-olds designated as visible minorities. 

For people of Southeast Asian ancestry, the unemployment rate rose 4.1 per cent to 13.6 per cent’; for Filipino Canadians, the jobless rate climbed 1.4 per cent to 6.3 per cent.

In both groups, employment in accommodation and food services is higher than the national average, according to Statistics Canada.

The survey is a snapshot of labour market conditions for the week of April 11 to 17 – just after Ontario implemented a stay-at-home order on April 8.

The province lost 153,000 jobs thanks – a decline of 2.1 per cent – to the new restrictions designed to turnaround surging COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations during the third wave. The measures include the closure of non-essential business and outdoor and indoor dining.

Canada-wide, more than two-thirds of all the jobs lost were in accommodation and food services. Areas that saw increases in employment were public administration (up 15,000); professional, scientific, and technical services (up 15,000); and finance, insurance, and real estate (up 15,000).


New tool allows Ontarians to text a number and find closest vaccination clinics

11:40 am Two software developers in Ontario have developed a tool that enables residents to text their postal code to a number and receive the locations, details and names of three nearby vaccination clinics.

Zain Manji and Ashish Yelekar saw the U.S. had launched similar vaccine clinic search tool through text messages on April 30 and figured they would try to build the same for Ontario.

Within a few hours, the number was up and running. Ontarians can now text +1 (833) 356-1683 with their postal code to receive vaccination clinic information.

Manji shared that the number received over 50,000 texts from residents in 24 hours.

The duo has since expanded the tool, creating a number for those in British Columbia and Alberta as well.


Ontario reports 3,166 new COVID-19 cases, 23 deaths

11:30 am Ontario is reporting 3,166 new cases of COVID-19 and 23 deaths on May 7.

According to Public Health Ontario, today’s case count may be underreported due to a technical issue.

The province detected 3,424 new cases on Thursday, 2,941 on Wednesday and 2,791 on Tuesday.

Ontario reached another record high for vaccination numbers for the second consecutive day, administering 144,724 doses in the past 24 hours after administering 141,038 doses the day before. That brings the provincial total to 5,885,485 doses administered, with 387,484 people fully vaccinated.

Of the deaths reported today, one was someone under the age of 19 and four were people between the ages of 40 and 59.

The province has yet to release hospitalization and testing numbers. Toronto reported 876 new cases and there are 817 new infections in Peel Region.

To date, there have been 486,223 total cases in Ontario and 8,236 deaths.


New COVID-19 cases in Ontario on May 7

The following regions reported vie or more new COVID-19 cases:

Toronto = 876

Peel = 817

York Region = 300

Durham Region = 205

City of Hamilton = 148

Halton Region = 139

Ottawa = 106

Middlesex-London = 83

Niagara Region = 65

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph = 65

Simcoe Muskoka District = 64

Region of Waterloo = 48

Brant County = 41

Windsor-Essex County = 35

Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge
District = 19

Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington = 18

Lambton = 16

Eastern Ontario = 15

Porcupine = 14

Haldimand-Norfolk = 13

Southwestern = 12

Sudbury & Districts = 11

Hastings Prince Edward = 11

Huron Perth = 9

Northwestern = 7

Peterborough = 6

Algoma = 5

North Bay Parry Sound District = 5

Renfrew County and District = 5

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