The City of Toronto continues to respond to COVID-19. Today, Mayor John Tory, 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 measures to stop Toronto’s third wave of the pandemic and intensified vaccination efforts across the city.
Since the start of the pandemic there have been a total of 142,702 cases of COVID-19 in the city, an increase of 1,101 new cases today. There are 1,085 people hospitalized. To date, there have been 3,023 COVID-19 deaths in Toronto. In total, 126,202 people have recovered. Case status data can be found on the Toronto Public Health’s reporting dashboard.
The City and Toronto Public Health continue to work with Team Toronto immunization partners to ensure vaccines are getting into the arms that need them most. Today, Toronto Public Health is reporting encouraging progress in the 13 hot spot areas prioritized in Team Toronto’s new Sprint Strategy. Hot spot areas, identified by the first half of postal codes, are neighbourhoods with ongoing and historic high rates of COVID-19 transmission, hospitalization and death where the City and health partners are prioritizing vaccine access and directing mobile and pop-up vaccination resources.
Vaccination coverage in the 13 prioritized postal codes is steadily improving. Since the start of April, vaccination coverage has increased 28.3 per cent across the 13 neighbourhoods. The increase in coverage rate started to pickup in mid-April and, by the time the Sprint Strategy was initiated, the coverage in the combined hot spot communities went from being lower than all of Toronto (10.8 per cent in the 13 hot spots, 13.8 per cent for all of Toronto) to exceeding the coverage rate for all of Toronto (28.3 per cent in the 13 hot spots, 26.7 per cent for all of Toronto).
Coverage in the M3N hot spot has improved the most out of the neighbourhoods prioritized in the Sprint Strategy. Vaccination coverage (at least one dose) for those with a postal code starting with M3N grew from 8.3 per cent as of April 1 to 35.8 per cent as of April 22. The M3N improvement is across all eligible age groups, but particularly in people age 16 to 24, 60 to 64 and 80 and older. The neighbourhoods with the highest net gains (per cent increase in coverage) are Black Creek (23.6 per cent gain), Glenfield-Jane Heights (20.9 per cent gain) and York University Heights (19.9 per cent gain).
Vaccination at community mobile or pop-up clinics is available to anyone age 18 or older living in one of the 13 hot spot areas. All people age 60 or older and people age 50 and older living in hot spot neighbourhoods are eligible for vaccination at a City-operated clinic. There are a number of other groups (professions, medical conditions, and living situations) also currently eligible for vaccination at City-operated immunization clinics:
A full list of eligible groups with information on how to register for appointments is available on the City’s COVID-19: How to Get Vaccinated webpage.
Toronto is in the Shutdown Zone of the Province of Ontario’s COVID-19 response framework and subject to a provincial Stay-at-Home order. Everyone in the city should be staying home except for essential reasons such as going out for groceries or exercise and being sure to stay as close to home as possible. Please review the City’s COVID-19: Guide for Residents for information on what is and is not permitted under provincial regulations and City bylaws.
“We are making progress and that progress must continue so thank you to our hospital and healthcare partners, our pharmacies, our doctors, and all the community agencies working with us to get shots in arms across the city and making sure through our Team Toronto Sprint Strategy that we are getting shots in arms in our hottest of hot spots. That’s why we brought in the Sprint Strategy to help get thousands more people vaccinated each week in the neighbourhoods where we know COVID-19 is raging disproportionately. We are seeing an improvement in vaccine rates in these postal codes and this is exactly the progress we want to continue to see in these neighbourhoods.”
– Mayor John Tory
“Right now, it’s critical that we get shots into the arms of our most vulnerable residents, as quickly as possible. The increase in vaccination rates in Toronto’s hardest-hit neighbourhoods over the past few weeks shows that our Team Toronto Sprint Strategy is working. By allocating vaccines to mobile and pop-up clinics in hot-spot areas, we’re helping to protect essential and frontline workers from the devastating impacts of COVID-19. And as our available supply increases, we’ll be able to expand to more areas, scaling up until every Torontonian has access to a vaccine.”
– Councillor Joe Cressy (Spadina-Fort York), Chair of the Toronto Board of Health
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.