COVID-19: Ontario reports 3,369 new cases; Health Canada pauses Johnson & Johnson distribution

The province's daily case numbers are slowly declining but ICU occupancy hits 900

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Forty per cent of eligible Torontonians are now vaccinated: city

11:20 am Forty per cent of eligible Torontonians have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, city officials said on Saturday.

To date, 1,171,398 COVID-19 vaccine shots have been administered in Toronto. Of those people, more than 1,016,400 have received a first dose.

Some more numbers:

  • 20 per cent of doses have been administered by city-run immunization clinics
  • 80 per cent of doses were administered by the Team Toronto network of more than 300 vaccination partners
  • Across the 13 postal codes prioritized in the strategy, 36.6 per cent of adults have now received a first dose of vaccine

On Friday, Premier Doug Ford said he expected 40 per cent of all adults in the province would have received a first dose by the end of the day – a week ahead of schedule.

Ontario reports 3,369 new COVID-19 cases, 29 deaths

11 am Ontario is reporting 3,369 new COVID-19 cases and 29deaths on May 1, as intensive care unit admissions hit the 900 mark.

The province confirmed 3,887 new cases on Friday, 3,871 on Thursday, 3,480 on Wednesday and 3,265 on Tuesday. The seven-day average for new infections is now 3,618, down from 4,094 last Saturday.

Another 29 people have died in the past 24 hours, bringing the provincial death toll to 8,079. Of today’s deaths, four people were between ages 40 and 59.

Labs in the province completed nearly 49,000 tests, making for a percent positivity rate of 7.3 per cent. That’s down slightly from 7.8 per cent this time last week.

Intensive care unit admissions are continuing to rise in Ontario. Overall hospitalizations dropped to 2,152, but ICU occupancy rose by 17 to 900 in the past day. Of those patients, 637 are on ventilators.

“Locally, there are 1,050 new cases in Toronto, 819 in Peel, 286 in York Region, 158 in Ottawa and 157 in Durham,” Health Minister Christine Elliott said on Twitter.

The number of confirmed active cases in the province is now 37,438. Ontario’s reproductive number – or R – has dropped below one and is now 0.93. The R estimates the average number of people that a single COVID-19 case will infect.

Johnson & Johnson vaccine on hold: Health Canada

10:30 am Health Canada has paused a plan to distribute the first 300,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after learning the shots are connected to a Maryland plant that is under scrutiny from U.S. officials over over unsanitary conditions and quality control issues.

On Friday, federal regulators said in a statement said the vaccine doses are being reviewed to ensure they are high quality. The doses were manufactured by Baltimore-based Emergent BioSolutions, which spoiled 15 million Johnson & Johnson shots in March due to a production error.

Health Canada previously gave a green light to 1.5 million shots of the AstraZeneca vaccine made at the same plant. Since then, the agency said it has learned “that a drug substance produced at the Emergent site was used in the manufacturing” of Canada’s Johnson & Johnson shipment.

“As with all vaccines imported into Canada, the Janssen vaccines will only be released for distribution once Health Canada is satisfied that they meet the Department’s high standards for quality, safety and efficacy,” the statement reads. “Health Canada has rigorous processes in place to continually monitor the quality of vaccines that are administered to Canadians.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was not factored into Ontario’s recently accelerated vaccination timeline. The shots arrived in Canada on Wednesday are being held in a storage facility near Pearson Airport.

Emergent is now the subject of a lawsuit from investors accusing executives of inflating the company’s stock price and covering up problems at the Baltimore plant.

New COVID-19 cases in Ontario on May 1

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

Toronto = 1,050

Peel Region = 819

York Region = 286

City of Hamilton = 204

Ottawa = 158

Durham Region = 157

Niagara Region = 156

Halton = 123

Middlesex-London = 85

Simcoe Muskoka = 62

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph = 54

Region of Waterloo = 49

Windsor-Essex = 46

Brant County = 37

Eastern Ontario = 27

Haldimand-Norfolk = 22

Southwestern = 17

Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge = 16

Hastings Prince Edward = 13

Peterborough = 13

Northwestern = 12

Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington = 10

Lambton = 10

Porcupine = 9

Subury & Districts = 9

Algoma = 6

Grey Bruce = 6

Huron Perth = 6

Renfrew County = 5


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