Coronavirus Canada Updates: Ontario to begin vaccinations next week in Toronto, Ottawa

Coronavirus: Manitobans aged 12 to 17 now eligible for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine
Coronavirus: Manitobans aged 12 to 17 now eligible for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine

Ontario will administer its first COVID-19 vaccines next Tuesday at two hospitals in Toronto and Ottawa, the province confirmed Thursday as it recorded a record high number of new daily cases.

The first vaccines will go to health-care workers at long-term care homes and other high-risk places, Premier Doug Ford said in a news release.

More details are set to be provided on Friday, Ford’s statement said.

Toronto has been hard hit during the first and second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ottawa, which recorded just 56 new cases on Thursday, was selected in part to “test and validate provincial distribution networks, as well as in recognition of the challenges the region has faced with certain long-term care home outbreaks,” the premier said.

Ontario reported single-day highs of 1,983 new COVID-19 cases and nearly 62,000 tests earlier Thursday.

The additional cases include 515 in Peel Region, 496 in Toronto, 208 in York Region and 112 in Windsor-Essex.

Other public health units that saw double-digit increases were:

Hamilton: 75
Waterloo Region: 65
Middlesex-London: 61
Ottawa: 56
Durham Region: 55
Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph: 55
Simcoe Muskoka: 54
Halton Region: 51
Niagara Region: 35
Eastern Ontario: 23
Southwestern: 17
Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington: 17
Thunder Bay: 13
Brant County: 11
Renfrew County: 11

The Ministry of Education also reported 139 new cases that are school-related: 111 students and 28 staff members. Some 878 of Ontario’s 4,828 publicly funded schools, or about 18.2 per cent, have at least one case of COVID-19, while 10 schools are currently closed because of the illness.

The new cases push the seven-day average to 1,862, the highest it has been since the first instance of COVID-19 was reported in Ontario in late January.

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