Ontario reports 1,691 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday

·2 min read
Ontario Premier Doug Ford is pictured at Queen's Park. The province's seven-day average for COVID-19 cases in Ontario now stands at 1,878, which is the lowest it has been since March 28. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press - image credit)
Ontario Premier Doug Ford is pictured at Queen's Park. The province's seven-day average for COVID-19 cases in Ontario now stands at 1,878, which is the lowest it has been since March 28. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press - image credit)

Ontario reported 1,691 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, down from 1,794 on Saturday. The province also reported 15 additional deaths.

The new cases include 455 in Toronto, 326 in Peel Region, and 173 in York Region. The latest case count comes as Ontario eases some restrictions with less than two weeks to go before a provincewide stay-at-home order expires on June 2.

The seven-day average for cases now stands at 1,878, which is the lowest it has been since March 28.

As of 8 p.m. on Saturday, 8,065,607 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, according to Health Minister Christine Elliott.

As Monday is a holiday, the next provincial update will be Tuesday. Despite the pause on updates, there is still a huge push for people to get vaccinated.

In Toronto, the city is encouraging residents to get vaccinated this weekend as part of its "Long Weekend Dose Drive" across its network of nine city-run clinics.

More than 22,518 people were vaccinated at city-run clinics on Friday and Saturday, the city said.

On Sunday morning, the city said there were 5,357 appointments still available on Sunday and Monday for any person 12 or older who wants to be part of its vaccination push this weekend.

"While Toronto has already surpassed 60 per cent vaccine coverage, there is a need to continue this momentum as reopening begins," the city said in a news release on Sunday.

Technical challenges arise in booking vaccines

Ontario's vaccination effort expanded to some of its youngest residents on Sunday, opening up to youths aged 12 and up. It also prompted parents to push through technical challenges in a bid to get their children registered for a shot.

Fatima De Jesus of Brantford said she spent nearly an hour on the province's portal trying to book an appointment for her 16-year-old daughter on Sunday morning.

It took multiple attempts on both her computer and cellphone before she was finally able to nail down a slot in early June.

Residents in other jurisdictions had less luck, however, receiving notices from their local public health authorities indicating access to the provincial portal would not be immediately available.

"The Health Department is aware that the province has opened eligibility for individuals 12 years and older," read a notice from the unit overseeing Durham Region.

"The Health Department is currently reviewing vaccine and booking availability to accommodate this change. We will be updating our website and appointment booking system as soon as possible."

Halton Region's public health unit posted a similar notice to its website, noting the province's eligibility criteria changed a week earlier than expected.

The Ministry of Health declined to comment on why certain public health units have not opened bookings for younger residents, saying the portal is functioning normally and urging those experiencing technical difficulties to clear their caches and keep trying.

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