Ontario sees 847 new COVID-19 cases as vaccine shipments ramp up

Ontario is reporting 847 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday and has now administered nearly 500,000 doses of vaccine.

Health Minister Christine Elliott said as of 8 p.m. last night, 489,484 doses have been administered. 

However, Elliott said the province can’t release detailed timelines for its vaccine rollout because supply of the shots has been unreliable.

The province knows which age groups it wants to prioritize, she said, but delayed deliveries and unclear future supply levels mean its tentative schedule has been changing.

The province expects to receive approximately 157,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine Wednesday. It’s not clear what shipments will look like in future weeks.

Toronto, Peel concerned about reopening plans

Toronto again saw the highest number of new infections, with 257, while Peel confirmed 170 new cases and York saw 131.

Earlier Wednesday, medical officers of health in Peel Region and Toronto — where stay-at-home orders remain in place — expressed concerns about reopening.

That order is set to continue until Feb. 22.

In Peel, Dr. Lawrence Loh said he’d like to see it extended by at least two weeks, and again called on the province to put in paid sick leave to ensure ill workers can stay home. Loh also noted there are some 200 confirmed COVID-19 cases in his region that are believed to be linked to a variant of the coronavirus.

In Toronto, Dr. Eileen de Villa said she wants to see how the pandemic will change now that coronavirus variants are spreading in the community at the same time as schools have reopened.

“We should slow things down,” she told CBC Radio’s Metro Morning.

The health leaders aren’t alone in their concerns about reopening leading to a further spread of virus.

WATCH | Dr. Samir Gupta warns coronavirus variants could drive third wave of pandemic:

Respirologist Dr. Samir Gupta says there should be more success demonstrated from lockdowns and vaccinations first before opening economies because coronavirus variants could contribute to a massive third wave. 2:13

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