Prime Minister Trudeau released a statement following a meeting yesterday with U.S. President Biden; the discussion included working together to end the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Retired General Rick Hillier, head of Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccine task force, provided an update on the province’s vaccine plan; Ontario will start booking appointments for COVID-19 vaccinations on March 15.
Premier Ford announced the Ontario government is investing over $115 million to train up to 8,200 new personal support workers (PSWs) for high-demand jobs in Ontario’s health and long-term care sectors.
The Ontario government named Frank Rochon as the first Chief Executive Officer of Supply Ontario; responsible for leveraging Ontario’s buying power, driving efficiency and creating new market opportunities for provincial businesses. The province is investing $1.2 million over three years to help young Black entrepreneurs and Black-owned tech start-ups access resources and tools to succeed in the province’s changing economy.
Residential and small business customers returned to Time-of-Use and Tiered pricing under the Regulated Price Plan (RPP) on Tuesday, February 23. York.ca/covid19vaccine provides the latest on the Provincial Vaccine Distribution Implementation Plan, York Region’s COVID-19 Mass Immunization Plan, Roles and Responsibilities and Frequently Ask Questions; a dedicated COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics web page contains information about priority groups eligible to receive vaccinations. Asymptomatic testing in York Region schools is taking place at George Street Public School in Aurora every Wednesday, until Wednesday, March 17; learn more at york.ca/safeatschool
COVID-19 IN YORK REGION:
Below is a summary of the detailed information contained in the Interactive Dashboard – Cases at york.ca/covid19data. As of February 24, 2021 at 5 p.m. there are:
28,463 total confirmed cases 109 new cases* since yesterday 107.7 average daily cases over past 7 days 62.8 total cases per 100K population** (explanation below)486 total variant cases identified 2 new hospitalizations132 confirmed cases in hospital, 19 of which are in Intensive Care 393 cases among health care workers, of which 391 cases have resolved*3 new fatalities 519 total confirmed fatalities 27,050 resolved cases 4.10% positivity rate** 47 open outbreaks under COVID-19 protocols 26 institutional (Long-Term Care/Retirement Homes/Community Care/Hospitals) 5 Child Care Centre 0 Emergency Housing 1 School; 14 Schools under surveillance 15 Workplaces 700 closed outbreaks
*Data quality is an on-going process and may result in the more/less cases reported on a day-over-day basis or other changes to how cases are classified (e.g., municipality, acquisition, etc.). These data quality activities have also resulted in the re-categorization of individuals. Data quality activities do not increase or decrease total case counts.
**The daily COVID-19 Council Update includes the 7-day average daily case numbers, cases per 100K population, new hospitalizations and positivity rate (positivity rate refers to the percentage of positive COVID-19 tests among all individuals being tested for COVID-19).
COMBINED CASE NUMBERS:
As of this morning, there are:
More than 111.7 million total cases worldwide (326,531 new) with cases in 216 countries, area or territories; more than 2.4 million related fatalities reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) 852,269 total cases (2,760 new); with 21,762 related fatalities in Canada (40 new); 799,830 resolved in Canada (as of February 23 at 7 p.m.) 296,173 total cases (1,054 new); with 6,893 related fatalities; 279,230 resolved in Ontario
2 new cases reported today and our active cases drop to 17.
Earlier today, retired General Hillier provided an update on the provincial vaccine immunization rollout which includes the following highlights:
Provincial vaccination appointment portal and online call centre or help desk will be available as of March 15
Province will mail out a flyer to homes in Ontario
Will utilize media and social media, public announcements and through Public Health units to notify residents (York Region has a robust communication plan)
Begin vaccinating adults age 80+ the third week of March
Begin vaccinating adults age 75 and older the week of April 15
Begin vaccinating adults age 70 and older starting May 1
Begin vaccinating adults age 65 and older starting June 1
Begin vaccinating adults age 60 and older starting July 1
Prioritization goes down further after this date; province to release further details later this Spring
Get vaccine close to where you live; use postal code when booking online to reveal clinics closest to where you live. Everything is dependent on vaccine supply; both lack of vaccine or additional vaccine comes online
As you know, information and direction from our senior government partners can change frequently. Vaccine supply continues to be an issue and a number of unknowns which may present challenges in our rollout.
One challenge includes the unexpected delay in the provincial vaccination appointment portal. Recognizing York Region may be able to move forward with immunizations before the provincial portal is available, an in-house appointment booking solution for our community clinics and York Region Public Health clinics is being developed. Only residents eligible at their appropriate time will be able to register, and every group will be notified when it is their turn.
York Region has developed a multifaceted communication strategy developed to support three main goals:
Increase awareness and understanding of COVID-19 vaccines.
Increase number of individuals receiving COVID-19 vaccination (goal to vaccinate 75% population).
Dispel misinformation, myths, harmful untruths which contribute to vaccine hesitancy.
More than 50 internal and external audiences have been identified and include York Region residents, Regional Council, community partners, health-care community, COVID-19 task force, municipalities, school boards, Ontario Health Teams, high priority areas and media.
Targeted messaging will be shared with these audiences via various communication tactics and activities including york.ca/COVID19Vaccine, media, social media, newspaper ads, digital toolkit for partners, fact sheets, print resources, translations and through Access York.
There has been some confusion in the community on the availability of vaccines to residents 80+. Provincial direction indicates once a health unit has made all reasonable effort to target prioritized populations in Phase One they can then move down the prioritization list. For York Region this means, once vaccine supplies are available we will be able to move forward with immunizations. However, our hospital partners may be in a position to vaccinate this group in the coming days as they continue to receive Pfizer doses. Additional information will be provided to Council as we learn more.
The roll out of vaccinations on this scale is new to all of us, and as the province has said, it will not be perfect. What is important is we get available vaccines into arms.