Ontario announces pause in first doses of AstraZeneca vaccine as it reports 2,073 new COVID-19 cases

26 new cases in greater Kawarthas, including 13 in Peterborough, with 1 new death in Northumberland

Dr. David Williams, Ontario's chief medical officer of health, announced on May 11, 2021 the province is pausing the administration of first doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine due to a higher-than-expected risk of rare blood clots. (CPAC screenshot)
Dr. David Williams, Ontario's chief medical officer of health, announced on May 11, 2021 the province is pausing the administration of first doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine due to a higher-than-expected risk of rare blood clots. (CPAC screenshot)

Here’s an update on COVID-19 cases in Ontario as well as in the greater Kawarthas region.

With Ontario reporting 2,073 new cases today, the smallest daily increase since March 19 when 1,829 cases were reported, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health Dr. David Williams announced the province will no longer be administering first doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, due to a increased “safety signal” of a rare but serious blood clot known as vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT).

“Effective today, Ontario will be pausing the rollout and administration of first doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine at this time,” Dr. Williams said during a media briefing late Tuesday afternoon, adding that the decision is being made “out of an abundance of caution.”

Recent data shows the risk of VIIT in Ontario is 1 in 60,000 people vaccinated, higher than the previously observed rate of 1 in 100,000. As of May 8, there have been 8 cases of VIIT in Ontario out of the 651,012 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine given to date.

Dr. Williams said the province’s health experts are reviewing the data before making decisions about proceeding with second doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, but noted the risk of blood clots appears to be reduced in people receiving second doses.

“Data from the UK points to a much-reduced risk of VITT in second doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine,” Dr. Williams said. “We look forward to providing more guidance in advance of people needing to receive their second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine.”

Dr. Williams said another factor in deciding to pause first doses of AstraZeneca is the increased and reliable supply of the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines and also a recent downward trend of cases.

“We’re also seeing early promising results of administering two doses of different vaccines, and have asked the National Advisory Committee on Immunization to provide direction on the interchangeability of COVID-19 vaccines,” he said, adding that people who received their first dose of AstraZenca “did absolutely the right thing to prevent illness and to protect their families, loved ones, and communities.”

Of today’s new cases, only four health units are reporting triple-digit increases — Toronto, Peel, York, and Durham — with the seven-day average of daily cases dropping below 3,000 for the first time since April 7.

Hospitalizations have increased significantly compared to yesterday, but the increase may reflect underreporting of hospitalizations over the past 2 days. There has been a two-digit decrease in the number of ICU admissions but an equivalent increase in the number of patients on ventilators. Ontario is reporting 15 deaths today, including with 3 new deaths in long-term care homes.

In the greater Kawarthas region, there has been a new COVID-related death in Northumberland, the county’s 15th death. There are 26 new cases to report across the region (including 13 in Peterborough, 10 in Hastings Prince Edward, 2 in Northumberland, and 1 in Kawartha Lakes) and an additional 26 cases resolved, with the number of active cases across the region increasing by 2 to 254. See below for detailed information from each health unit in the region.

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Most of the new cases reported today are in Toronto (685), Peel (389), York (231), and Durham (144).

There are double-digit increases reported today in Halton (84), Ottawa (77), Hamilton (72), Niagara (59), Middlesex-London (56), Waterloo (56), Simcoe Muskoka (39), Windsor-Essex (30), Brant (20), Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph (18), Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington (17), and Porcupine (15), with smaller increases in Sudbury (9), Grey Bruce (7), Southwestern (7), and Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge (6).

The remaining 14 health units are reporting 5 or fewer new cases, with 1 health unit (Thunder Bay) reporting no new cases at all.

Of today’s new cases, 60% are among people 39 and younger, with the highest number of cases (861) among people ages 20-39 followed by 572 cases among people ages 40-59 and 379 cases among people 19 and under.

With 2,898 more cases resolved since yesterday, the percentage of resolved cases has increased by 0.2% to at 92.1% — the 22nd straight day the percentage of resolved cases has increased. The average positivity rate across Ontario has decreased by 0.6% to 8.5%, meaning that 85 out of every 1,000 tests performed were positive for COVID-19 on May 10.

Ontario is reporting 15 new COVID-19 deaths today, including 3 new deaths in long-term care homes. Ontario has averaged 28 new daily deaths over the past week, a decrease of 2 from yesterday.

Hospitalizations have increased by 150 to 1,782, but more than 10% of hospitals did not submit data for the past two reports so previous hospitalizations may have been underreported. The number of patients with COVID-19 in ICUs has decreased by 26 to 802 and the number of patients with COVID-19 on ventilators has increased by 21 to 568.

A total of 28,109 tests were completed yesterday, with the backlog of tests under investigation increasing by 12,078 to 24,915.

A total of 6,350,881 doses of vaccine have now been administered, an increase of 112,103 from yesterday, and 396,787 people have been fully vaccinated with both doses of vaccine, an increase of 2,903 from yesterday.

The number of fully vaccinated people represents 2.69% of Ontario’s population, an increase of 0.02% from yesterday, with fully and partially vaccinated people representing 43.11% of the population, an increase of 0.76% from yesterday. An estimated 70-90% of the population must be immunized to achieve herd immunity.

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In the greater Kawarthas region, there are 26 new cases to report, including 13 in Peterborough, 10 in Hastings Prince Edward, 2 in Northumberland, and 1 in Kawartha Lakes. There are no new cases in Haliburton.

An outbreak at Dairy Queen in Lindsay was declared on May 10, an outbreak at an unidentified workplace in Central Hastings was declared on May 10, and an outbreak at Helping Hands Day Care in Peterborough County was declared on May 11.

There has been 1 new COVID-19 related death in Northumberland, the county’s 15th death. There is 1 new hospitalization in Northumberland, 1 new hospitalization in Peterborough, and 1 new ICU admission in Hastings Prince Edward.

There are 33 new regional cases of variants of concern, including 19 in Hastings Prince Edward, 8 in Peterborough, 3 in Kawartha Lakes, 2 in Northumberland, and 1 in Haliburton.

An additional 26 cases have been resolved, including 11 in Hastings Prince Edward, 6 in Peterborough, 4 in Kawartha Lakes, 3 in Haliburton, and 2 in Northumberland. An outbreak at Transition House shelter in Cobourg has been declared resolved.

There are currently 254 active cases in the greater Kawarthas region, an increase of 2 from yesterday, including 80 in Hastings Prince Edward (15 in Quinte West, 40 in Belleville, 2 in Tyendinaga & Deseronto, 6 in Prince Edward County, 11 in Central Hastings, and 6 in North Hastings), 75 in Peterborough, 60 in Kawartha Lakes, 35 in Northumberland, and 4 in Haliburton.

Since the pandemic began in the greater Kawarthas region, there have been 1,315 confirmed positive cases in the Peterborough area (1,223 resolved with 17 deaths), 797 in the City of Kawartha Lakes (695 resolved with 56 deaths), 854 in Northumberland County (804 resolved with 15 deaths), 110 in Haliburton County (105 resolved with 1 death), and 1,028 in Hastings and Prince Edward counties (938 resolved with 10 deaths). The most recent death was reported in Northumberland on May 11.

The provincial data in this report is pulled from Ontario’s integrated Public Health Information System (iPHIS) at 4 p.m. the previous day, as well as from systems in Toronto, Ottawa, and Middlesex-London at 2 p.m. the previous day. Data from local health units is more current and is usually reflected in the provincial data the following day. There may be discrepancies between the Ontario data reported today (which is from yesterday) and the local health unit data reported today (which is from today).

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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.

The health unit provides daily reports, including on weekends, excluding statutory holidays.

Confirmed positive: 1,315 (increase of 16)*
Total variants of concern cases: 515 (increase of 8)
Active cases: 75 (increase of 10)
Close contacts: 226 (decrease of 1)
Deaths: 17 (no change)
Resolved: 1,223 (increase of 6)
Hospitalizations (total to date): 59 (increase of 1)**
ICU admissions (total to date): 11 (no change)
Total tests completed: Over 50,900 (no change)
Outbreaks: Unidentified congregate living facility #3 in Peterborough, Unidentified workplace #5 in Peterborough, Sunshine Daycare in Peterborough, Unidentified home child care centre #1 in Peterborough County, Helping Hands Day Care in Peterborough County (increase of 1)***
Vaccine doses administered: 60,427 (increase of 4,018 as of May 7)
Number of people fully vaccinated: 4,421 (increase of 210 as of May 7)

*The health unit is reporting 13 news case in the last 24 hours. The total case count has increased by 16 because 3 cases have been added from previous days.As of May 10, Peterborough Regional Health Centre is reporting 15 patients currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (increase of 1) and a total of 70 patients transferred from other areas as a result of a provincial directive (no change).

***An outbreak at Helping Hands Day Care in Peterborough County was declared on May 11.

 

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 from Monday to Saturday, excluding Sundays and statutory holidays.

Confirmed positive: 1,761, including 797 in Kawartha Lakes, 854 in Northumberland, and 110 in Haliburton (increase of 3, including 1 in Kawartha Lakes and 2 in Northumberland)*
Total variants of concern cases: 475, including 189 in Kawartha Lakes, 261 in Northumberland, and 25 in Haliburton (increase of 6, including 3 in Kawartha Lakes, 2 in Northumberland, and 1 in Haliburton)
Active cases: 99, including 60 in Kawartha Lakes, 35 in Northumberland, and 4 in Haliburton (decrease of 7, including 3 in Kawartha Lakes, 1 in Northumberland, and 3 in Haliburton)
Probable cases: 5 in Kawartha Lakes (no change)
Hospitalizations (total to date): 64, including 33 in Kawartha Lakes, 28 in Northumberland, and 3 in Haliburton (increase of 1 in Northumberland)**
Deaths (including among probable cases): 72, including 56 in Kawartha Lakes, 15 in Northumberland, and 1 in Haliburton (increase of 1 in Northumberland)
Resolved: 1,603, including 694 in Kawartha Lakes, 804 in Northumberland, and 105 in Haliburton (increase of 9, including 4 in Kawartha Lakes, 2 in Northumberland, and 3 in Haliburton)
Tests completed: 185,748 (increase of 1,260)
Vaccine doses administered: 79,432 (increase of 7,067 as of May 10)
Number of people fully vaccinated: 4,462 (increase of 191 as of May 10)
Outbreaks: Staples and Swain Law Office in Lindsay, OPP Offender Transport Lindsay, Dairy Queen in Lindsay (no net change)*

*The health unit states that total counts and counts for individual counties may fluctuate from previously reported counts as cases are transferred to or from the health unit based on case investigation details and routine data cleaning.

**As of May 11, Ross Memorial Hospital in Lindsay reports 7 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 (increase of 1).

***An outbreak at Transition House shelter in Cobourg has been declared resolved. An outbreak at Dairy Queen in Lindsay was declared on May 10.

 

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 daily reports, including on weekends, excluding statutory holidays.

Confirmed positive: 1,028 (increase of 10)
Confirmed variants of concern cases: 394 (increase of 19)
Active cases: 80 (decrease of 1)
Deaths: 10 (no change)
Currently hospitalized: 18 (no change)
Currently hospitalized and in ICU: 9 (increase of 1)
Currently hospitalized and in ICU on ventilator: 6 (no change)
Resolved: 938 (increase of 11)
Tests completed: 136,171 (increase of 316)
Vaccine doses administered: 67,608 (increase of 845)
Number of people fully vaccinated: 4,675
Outbreaks: QHC Belleville General Hospital, Unidentified workplace in Belleville, Unidentified congregate living facility in Belleville, ICU of QHC Belleville General Hospital, Unidentified child care facility in Belleville, Unidentified workplace in Belleville, Unidentified workplace in Central Hastings (increase of 1)*

*An outbreak at an unidentified workplace in Central Hastings, involving 3 cases, was declared on May 10.

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Province of Ontario

Confirmed positive: 497,092 (increase of 2,073)
COVID-19 variants of concern (VOC) cases: 95,546 of B.1.1.7 UK variant (increase of 2,283); 530 of B.1.351 South Africa variant (increase of 19); 1,592 of P.1 Brazilian variant (increase of 34)
VOC R(t): 0.92 (increase of 0.03 as April 30)*
7-day average of daily new cases: 2,914 (decrease of 103)
Positivity rate: 8.5% (increase of 0.6%)
Resolved: 457,599 (increase of 2,898), 92.1% of all cases (increase of 0.2%)
Hospitalizations: 1,782 (increase of 150)**
Hospitalizations in ICU: 802 (decrease of 26)
Hospitalizations in ICU on ventilator: 568 (increase of 21)
Deaths: 8,342 (increase of 15)
7-day average of daily new deaths: 28 (decrease of 2)
Deaths of residents in long-term care homes: 3,934 (increase of 3)
Total tests completed: 14,557,725 (increase of 28,109)
Tests under investigation: 24,915 (increase of 12,078)
Vaccination doses administered: 6,350,881 (increase of 112,103), 43.11% of Ontario’s population (increase of 0.76%)***
People fully vaccinated (two doses): 396,787 (increase of 2,903), 2.69% of Ontario’s population (increase of 0.02%)***

*R(t) is a virus’s effective reproduction number, which is the average number of new infections caused by a single infected individual at a specific time (t) in a partially immunized population. To successfully eliminate a disease from a population, R(t) needs to be less than 1.

**More than 10% of hospitals did not submit data for the past two reports, so previous hospitalizations may have been underreported.

***An estimated 70-90% of the population must be immunized to achieve herd immunity.

COVID-19 cases in Ontario from April 10 - May 10, 2021. The red line is the number of new cases reported daily, and the dotted green line is a five-day rolling average of new cases. (Graphic: kawarthaNOW.com)
COVID-19 cases in Ontario from April 10 – May 10, 2021. The red line is the number of new cases reported daily, and the dotted green line is a five-day rolling average of new cases. (Graphic: kawarthaNOW.com)
COVID-19 tests completed in Ontario from April 10 - May 10, 2021. The red line is the daily number of tests completed, and the dotted green line is a five-day rolling average of tests completed. (Graphic: kawarthaNOW.com)
COVID-19 tests completed in Ontario from April 10 – May 10, 2021. The red line is the daily number of tests completed, and the dotted green line is a five-day rolling average of tests completed. (Graphic: kawarthaNOW.com)
COVID-19 hospitalizations and ICU admissions in Ontario from April 10 - May 10, 2021. The red line is the daily number of COVID-19 hospitalizations, the dotted green line is a five-day rolling average of hospitalizations, the purple line is the daily number of patients with COVID-19 in ICUs, and the dotted orange line is a five-day rolling average of patients with COVID-19 in ICUs. (Graphic: kawarthaNOW.com)
COVID-19 hospitalizations and ICU admissions in Ontario from April 10 – May 10, 2021. The red line is the daily number of COVID-19 hospitalizations, the dotted green line is a five-day rolling average of hospitalizations, the purple line is the daily number of patients with COVID-19 in ICUs, and the dotted orange line is a five-day rolling average of patients with COVID-19 in ICUs. (Graphic: kawarthaNOW.com)
COVID-19 deaths in Ontario from April 10 - May 10, 2021. The red line is the cumulative number of daily deaths, and the dotted green line is a five-day rolling average of daily deaths. (Graphic: kawarthaNOW.com)
COVID-19 deaths in Ontario from April 10 – May 10, 2021. The red line is the cumulative number of daily deaths, and the dotted green line is a five-day rolling average of daily deaths. (Graphic: kawarthaNOW.com)
COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in Ontario from April 10 - May 10, 2021. The red line is the cumulative number of daily doses administered, and the dotted green line is a five-day rolling average of daily doses. (Graphic: kawarthaNOW.com)
COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in Ontario from April 10 – May 10, 2021. The red line is the cumulative number of daily doses administered, and the dotted green line is a five-day rolling average of daily doses. (Graphic: kawarthaNOW.com)

 

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

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