COVID-19 in Ontario: Nearly half of Toronto adults fully vaccinated as Waterloo expands eligibility

Toronto has reached a new milestone, with 45 per cent of adults across the city now fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

In a news release issued Wednesday, the city said reaching that point by Canada Day was a goal set by the provincial Science Table for Delta variant hot spots such as Toronto.

Toronto officials say the city has also reached its highest seven-day vaccination average, with nearly 51,900 doses administered per day.

It says some appointments at city-run clinics remain available over the weekend. 

“Thank you to all of our healthcare and community partners who are part of the Team Toronto effort to get people their first and second doses,” Toronto Mayor John Tory said in the statement. 

“By getting vaccinated, you are protecting yourself, your loved ones and helping us all bring this pandemic to an end.”

This comes as Waterloo Region is expanding access to COVID-19 vaccines.

Starting today, people seeking a first shot can walk into any vaccination clinic in the region without an appointment.

A drive-thru vaccination site is opening in Kitchener on Saturday to offer residents an accessible option. 

Most of Ontario enters Step 2 of reopening plan 

While most of Ontario entered into Step 2 of the province’s reopening plan on Wednesday, Waterloo Region isn’t reopening with the rest of the province as it responds to a surge in Delta virus variant cases.

As of Wednesday morning, the province has reported 1,909 cases of the delta variant. Those with one vaccine dose are less protected against that variant and that has contributed to local infection spikes in Grey Bruce and Waterloo Region, provincial health officials say.

For the rest of the province, the second step allows for more outdoor activities as well as indoor services like haircuts. 

Outdoor concerts, theatres, water parks, fairs, festivals and amusement parks are also allowed to reopen, with up to 25 per cent capacity.

For a full list of what is and isn’t allowed under this step, click here

Queen West Barbers regular Lewis Holloway gets his first haircut in months from stylist Deni Jahja on Wednesday, as most of Ontario entered Step 2 of the reopening plan amid a decline in cases of COVID-19 and rising vaccination rates. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

 

As of Wednesday morning, more than 39 per cent of Ontario adults had been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, while nearly 78 per cent had received at least one dose. 

Those numbers meet targets set for Step 3 of reopening, but provincial officials say they want to wait a full 21 days before rolling back restrictions further. 

“The two-to-three-week cycle is very important to maintain so that we do the opening of Ontario in a stepwise manner, always going forward and not having to take a step back,” Dr. Kieran Moore said at his first pandemic briefing since he officially took on the job as Ontario’s chief medical officer of health.

Thursday’s COVID-19 data to be released Friday

Meanwhile, the province reported 184 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday — the lowest daily case count since September 10 — and 14 new deaths. 

Health units across Ontario collectively administered 268,397 doses of vaccines on Tuesday — a new high for the second straight day.

While the province usually releases its daily COVID-19 data daily around 10 a.m., Health Minister Christine Elliott said numbers won’t be released on Canada Day.

Instead, Thursday’s data will be posted on Friday. 

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