As Ontario reports 478 new COVID-19 cases, highest increase since May, government announces flu shot campaign

'First pillar' in fall preparedness plan announced as province also reports a jump in school cases and hospitalizations

At a media conference at Queen's Park on September 22, 2020, Ontario Premier Doug Ford and health minister Christine Elliott announced "the largest and most comprehensive flu shot campaign in Canada's history" as the first element of the province's COVID-19 fall preparedness plan, entitled "Keeping Ontarians Safe: Preparing for Future Waves of COVID-19". (CPAC screenshot)
At a media conference at Queen's Park on September 22, 2020, Ontario Premier Doug Ford and health minister Christine Elliott announced "the largest and most comprehensive flu shot campaign in Canada's history" as the first element of the province's COVID-19 fall preparedness plan, entitled "Keeping Ontarians Safe: Preparing for Future Waves of COVID-19". (CPAC screenshot)

With Ontario reporting 478 new COVID-19 cases today, the highest daily increase since early May, as well as a jump in hospitalizations and school cases, the Ontario government released the “first pillar” of its COVID-19 fall preparedness plan — a flu shot campaign.

“The first pillar helps out hospitals maintain capacity through the use of the flu shot,” said Premier Doug Ford at a media conference at Queen’s Park on Tuesday (September 22) along with health minister Christine Elliott. “The flu shot helps reduce visits to our emergency rooms and doctors’ offices during this season, and this will help with keeping capacity in our health care system. That’s why we’re investing $70 million to deliver the largest and most comprehensive flu shot campaign in Canada’s history.”

The government has ordered 5.1 million flu vaccine doses so far for the entire province, including 1.3 million high-dose vaccine doses for Ontario seniors, especially those with pre-existing health conditions.

“I encourage everyone to get their flu shot this year, it’s absolutely critical,” Ford said. “We need your help. It’s the best way to protect you and your family, because the next few months will be critical. We know that a second wave is coming. We know that it will be more complicated than the first wave. We know it’ll be more challenging on the system. What we don’t know is how it bad it will be, how hard we will get, because that’s up to all of us. It starts with everyone getting their flu shot this year.”

Ford and Elliott said other elements of the plan, entitled Keeping Ontarians Safe: Preparing for Future Waves of COVID-19, will be released over the next several days. Along with the influenza vaccination campaign, Elliott said the plan focuses on five other key areas: maintaining strong public health measures, including continued expansion of testing and case and contact management; quickly identifying, managing, and preventing COVID-19 outbreaks; accelerating efforts to reduce health service backlogs; preparing for surges in COVID-19 cases; and recruiting, retaining, training and supporting health care workers, while also continuing to engage families and caregivers.

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Today’s 478 new COVID-19 cases is the largest daily increase since May 2, when 511 cases were reported. Most of the cases are in Toronto (153), Peel (95), and Ottawa (90), with smaller increases in York (27), Waterloo (27), Durham (14), Middlesex-London (12), Hamilton (12), Halton (12), Simcoe Muskoka (8), Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph (7), and Eastern Ontario (6). The remaining 22 public health units are reporting five or fewer cases. The number of health units reporting no new cases at all has decreased to 11.

The number of hospitalizations has jumped by 17 to 82, the highest number since late July, and the number of cases in Ontario schools has spiked to 51, with 26 student cases, 7 staff cases, and 18 cases among people who are not identified. In licensed child care settings, there are 15 confirmed cases, with 11 child cases and 4 staff cases.

Of today’s cases, 68% are among people under the age of 40. There have been 3 new deaths, all in long term care homes. The backlog of tests under investigation has increased by 7,299 to 39,788.

In the greater Kawarthas region, there are no new cases to report in Peterborough. Reports are unavailable today for Kawartha Lakes, Northumberland, Haliburton, or Prince Edward and Hastings counties. None of the cases reported in schools or child care settings are in the Kawarthas region.

Since the pandemic began in the greater Kawarthas region, there have been 111 confirmed positive cases in the Peterborough area (103 resolved with 2 deaths), 178 in the City of Kawartha Lakes (159 resolved with 32 deaths), 41 in Northumberland County (34 resolved with 1 death), 15 in Haliburton County (15 resolved with no deaths), and 52 in Hastings County and Prince Edward County (47 resolved with 5 deaths). The most recent death was reported in Northumberland on September 8.

Province-wide, there have been 47,752 confirmed cases, an increase of 478 from yesterday, with 41,342 (86.6% of all cases) resolved, an increase of 196. There have been 2,832 deaths, an increase of 3 from yesterday, with 1,828 deaths reported in long-term care homes, an increase of 3 from yesterday. A total of 3,614,544 tests have been completed, an increase of 34,201 from yesterday, with 39,788 tests under investigation, an increase of 7,299 from yesterday.

This report is based on data supplied by the province’s integrated Public Health Information System (iPHIS), as well as any additional information supplied by health units. This information is at least 24 hours old, so it is not real-time data. Note that each health unit reports the information in a different way.

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Peterborough Public Health

Peterborough Public Health’s service area is the City and County of Peterborough and the Hiawatha and Curve Lake First Nations.

Confirmed positive: 111 (no change, last case reported September 17)
Active cases: 6 (no change)
Deaths: 2 (no change)
Resolved: 103 (no change)
Total tests completed: Over 27,650 (increase of 100)
Institutional outbreaks: Fairhaven (no change)

 

Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit

The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit’s service area is the City of Kawartha Lakes, Northumberland County, and Haliburton County.

The health unit provides reports on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, excluding statutory holidays. These numbers are from September 21.

Confirmed positive: 234, including 178 in Kawartha Lakes, 41 in Northumberland, 15 in Haliburton (no change)
Probable cases: 0 (no change)
Hospitalizations (total to date): 15 (no change)
Deaths: 33 (no change)
Resolved: 208, including 159 in Kawartha Lakes, 34 in Northumberland, 15 in Haliburton (no change)
Active cases: 6 in Northumberland (no change)
Institutional outbreaks: None (no change)

 

Hastings Prince Edward Public Health

Hastings Prince Edward Public Health’s service area is Hastings County (including Bancroft) and Prince Edward County.

The health unit provides reports on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, excluding statutory holidays. These numbers are from September 21.

Confirmed positive: 52 (no change)
Active cases: 0 (no change)
Deaths: 5 (no change)
Hospitalized: 0 (no change)
Hospitalized and in ICU: 0 (no change)
Hospitalized and in ICU on ventilator: 0 (no change)
Recovered: 47 (no change)
Total tests completed: 31,179 (increase of 2,285)
Institutional outbreaks: None (no change)

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Province of Ontario

Confirmed positive: 47,752 (increase of 478)
Resolved: 41,342 (increase of 196, 86.6% of all cases)
Hospitalized: 82 (increase of 17)
Hospitalized and in ICU: 24 (increase of 2)
Hospitalized and in ICU on ventilator: 11 (decrease of 1)
Deaths: 2,832 (increase of 3)
Deaths of residents in long-term care homes: 1,828 (increase of 3)
Total tests completed: 3,614,544 (increase of 34,201)
Tests under investigation: 39,788 (increase of 7,299)

New COVID-19 cases in Ontario from August 22 - September 21, 2020. The red line is the number of new cases reported daily, and the dotted green line is a five-day moving average of new cases. (Graphic: kawarthaNOW.com)
New COVID-19 cases in Ontario from August 22 – September 21, 2020. The red line is the number of new cases reported daily, and the dotted green line is a five-day moving average of new cases. (Graphic: kawarthaNOW.com)
COVID-19 tests completed in Ontario from August 22 - September 21, 2020. The red line is the number of tests completed daily, and the dotted green line is a five-day moving average of tests completed. (Graphic: kawarthaNOW.com)
COVID-19 tests completed in Ontario from August 22 – September 21, 2020. The red line is the number of tests completed daily, and the dotted green line is a five-day moving average of tests completed. (Graphic: kawarthaNOW.com)

 

For more information about COVID-19 in Ontario, visit covid-19.ontario.ca.

This story has been updated to include the September 22nd report from Peterborough Public Health.

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