Ontario reports fewer than 3,500 new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations drop

Marco Green
May 4, 2021

The Ontario government says an increase in the supply of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has allowed them to expand booking eligibility. The government has committed to divert 50 per cent of its vaccine supply to those communities for a period of at least two weeks.

Ottawa Public Health has said it also intends to expand the rollout of vaccines in its 21 identified hot spot neighbourhoods this week.

Also on Monday, Ontario's long-term care minister said the government is taking action to address problems highlighted in a report outlining the province's neglect of nursing homes in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Also eligible Thursday are people with high-risk health conditions, people in the first group of workers who can not work from home, such as education workers, and First Nations, Inuit and Métis individuals in addition to the other channels previously available to book their appointment.

Sunday's announcement confirmed a plan outlined last week appears to be proceeding as expected.

This week and next, the province plans to send half its vaccine supply to hot spot areas, based on recommendations from the government's science advisers.

Unfortunately, though the welcome news is another awesome advancement toward getting more of the population vaxxed after months of a snail's-pace immunization rollout, it appears that the online waiting lists to nab an appointment in some regions are even longer than the exasperating in-person lineups for pop-up clinics.

"Ontarians who are now eligible to book their vaccine appointment are asked to be patient, as it could take time to receive their vaccination", the government said Sunday.

If supply holds, the province expects to make those 18 and older eligible for a shot at mass sites provincewide on the week of May 24.

Thursday's planned expansion to those with high-risk health conditions include those living with obesity, developmental disabilities and treatments requiring immunosuppression among others.

Locally, there are 985 new cases in Toronto, 714 in Peel, 351 in York Region, 271 in Durham and 194 in Hamilton.

The Ministry of Health says 1,925 people are in hospital with COVID-19, but notes that more than 10 per cent of hospitals did not submit data to the province over the weekend.

Despite the uptick in cases, the province recorded a decrease in both hospitalizations and admissions to intensive care units.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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