The City of Toronto continues to respond to COVID-19. Today, Mayor John Tory, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa and Fire Chief and General Manager of the Office of Emergency Management Matthew Pegg provided an update on the City’s measures to combat the resurgence of the virus in Toronto and operations of the City’s proof-of-concept COVID-19 immunization clinic.
Since the start of the pandemic there have been a total of 77,327 cases of COVID-19 in the city, an increase of 892 new cases today. There are 491 people hospitalized. In total, 66,398 people have recovered from COVID-19. To date, there have been 2,206 COVID-19 deaths in Toronto. Case status data can be found on the City’s reporting platform.
Under the direction of the Ministry of Health and the Province of Ontario’s COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force, the City and Toronto Public Health today opened Ontario’s first non-hospital-operated proof-of-concept immunization clinic at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. This is an important milestone in the City’s fight against COVID-19 as this first clinic will help test and adjust immunization clinic setup in non-hospital settings, ensuring safety and increasing efficiency in advance of wider immunization.
Given the ongoing issues with the Pfizer vaccine supply, the City has been notified by the Province that the clinic will need to pause operations after Friday, January 22. As stated prior to opening, the operation of the proof-of-concept clinic depends entirely on vaccine supply – which is beyond the control of the City and Province. The Province was clear that the clinic should proceed to open this week to begin testing operations and developing a playbook for all large immunization clinics.
The City and Province are also working together to validate current registration lists and schedules for the proof-of-concept clinic. Yesterday afternoon, the City understood that there was a potential issue with the registration process for the clinic whereby some individuals who may not fall into the prioritization framework for this initial clinic were able to book an appointment.
Since the registration issue was discovered, the City has been working to review registrations and has added additional checks and verifications at the clinic’s in-person check-in as well as signage on site. Should the City determine there are people registered who do not qualify for vaccine at this time, the City will contact those people directly, reminding them that the proof-of-concept clinic’s initial clientele are frontline healthcare workers working in the city’s shelter system and in public health only.
Last week, the Province of Ontario declared its second state of emergency and a stay-at-home order came into effect in Toronto and across the province. The City is supportive of strengthened measures to stop the spread of COVID-19, protect the healthcare system and save lives. The City is asking all people to respect the goal of the new COVID-19 regulations. The intention is for people to stay home as much as possible to reduce opportunities for COVID-19 spread and save lives.
Please review the City’s simple “Dos” and “Don’ts” guide for recommended and mandatory public health measures. The guide communicates some of what is and what is not, permitted under the provincial Lockdown Regulation that remains in effect and the new stay-at-home order to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The guide can be found at toronto.ca/lockdownguide.
Toronto is home to more than 2.9 million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit the City’s website or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.