Coronavirus: Latest developments in the Greater Toronto Area on Jan. 13

WATCH ABOVE: Laura Meffen’s daughter Emily has been in the ICU since November. She suffers from a rare neuromuscular degenerative disease. Her mother says she never knows how much time she will be able to visit because of COVID-19 restrictions and is begging people to follow the rules so people like her can spend time with loved ones. Katherine Ward reports.

Here are the latest developments on the coronavirus pandemic in the Greater Toronto Area for Wednesday.

Peel Region seeing ‘holiday surge at worst time,’ says public health

Peel Public Health says Brampton and the region of Peel as a whole is experiencing a COVID-19 “holiday surge at the worst time.”

Dr. Lawrence Loh, Peel Medical Officer of Health, said Brampton’s test positivity rate is at 17.4 per cent this week, up from 16.9 per cent last week. There is now 350.8 cases of coronavirus per 100,000, up from 278.9 last week.

Loh said, to put it in perspective, that the World Health Organization said positivity rates should be kept at around three per cent or less.

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Coronavirus: Peel Region seeing ‘holiday surge at worst time,’ says public health

Scarborough-Agincourt councillor by-election to proceed on Jan. 15 despite new restrictions

The by-election for councillor in Ward 22 Scarborough-Agincourt will move ahead as scheduled Jan. 15, despite requests to postpone due to the ongoing pandemic and implementation of the new stay-at-home orders from the provincial government.

“Health and safety measures for voting places, developed in consultation with Toronto Public Health, were successfully implemented during the advance vote last weekend and will be in place on January 15,” said Toronto city officials.

“The City Clerk is confident that the voting place health and safety measures will keep electors, candidates, scrutineers and election staff safe on election day.”

Beer Store employee in Scarborough tests positive for coronavirus

The Beer Store says an employee at its 3130 Danforth Avenue location in Scarborough has tested positive for the virus.

The employee’s last shift was on Sunday.

“As our team member receives care, we are sending our positive thoughts and best wishes. All potentially affected employees will symptom monitor as a precautionary measure,” Beer Store said in a statement on Wednesday.

The location was expected to reopen yesterday but remains closed as Toronto Public Health continues its contact tracing, the Beer Store said. The company said “initial indications” was the virus was contracted through community transmission and not in the workplace.

Status of cases in the GTA

Ontario reported a total of 2,961 new cases on Wednesday.

Of those:

  • 738 were in Toronto
  • 536 were in Peel Region
  • 219 were in York Region
  • 119 were in Durham Region
  • 88 were in Halton Region

Ontario reports 2,961 new coronavirus cases, 74 more deaths

Ontario is reporting 2,961 new cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, bringing the provincial total to 224,984.

The death toll in the province has risen to 5,127, after 74 more deaths were reported.

The government said 50,931 tests were processed in the last 24 hours. Resolved cases increased by 3,392 from the previous day.

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Ontario reports 2,961 new coronavirus cases, 74 more deaths

Total deaths in Ontario’s long-term care homes surpass 3,000 mark

According to the Ministry of Long-Term Care, there have been 3,029 deaths reported among residents and patients in long-term care homes across Ontario which is an increase of 34 deaths. Ten virus-related deaths in total have been reported among staff.

There are 249 current outbreaks in homes, which is unchanged from the previous day.

The ministry also indicated there are currently 1,542 active cases among long-term care residents and 1,278 active cases among staff — down by 11 cases and up by 34 cases, respectively, in the last day.

Ontario outlines when people over the age 80 can be vaccinated for COVID-19

In documents released Wednesday, the government said older adults — those aged 80 and older, and then decreasing in five-year increments to 75, 70, 65 and so on — will be prioritized in Phase 2 over the course of the three-phase vaccine rollout.

Ontario said Phase 2 could overlap with Phase 1 which is already underway and “adults 80 may begin in parallel or before low-risk health care worker vaccination.”

Read more:
Ontario outlines when people over the age 80 can be vaccinated for COVID-19

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