Ontario reports 677 new COVID-19 cases as union calls for capacity limits at universities

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Transit riders walk on the platform at Victoria Park Station, in Toronto, on Aug. 24, 2021. (Evan Mitsui/CBC - image credit)
Transit riders walk on the platform at Victoria Park Station, in Toronto, on Aug. 24, 2021. (Evan Mitsui/CBC - image credit)

Ontario reported 677 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, a sizeable drop from the same day last week, when the province logged 864 infections.

The rolling seven-day average of daily cases also continued its steady decline, down to 655.

Of the 622 cases today with a known vaccination status:

  • 433, or 64 per cent, were in people unvaccinated.

  • 41, or about seven per cent, had a single dose.

  • 148, or 24 per cent, had two doses.

Ontario's new vaccine passport system went into effect on Wednesday.

According to Minister of Health Christine Elliott, 637,000 vaccine receipts — the digital or physical document required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination in Ontario — were downloaded on Wednesday.

A total 2.7-million receipts have been downloaded since the province's vaccination campaign began last December, Elliott said.

Meanwhile. here are some other key pandemic indicators and figures from the Ministry of Health's daily provincial update:

Newly reported school-related cases: 122; 106 students, 14 staff and two individuals who were not identified. About 702 schools, or 14.5 per cent of Ontario's 4,844 publicly-funded schools, currently have at least one confirmed case. No schools in the province are closed due to COVID-19.

Tests completed in the last 24 hours: 37,630.

Provincewide test positivity rate: 1.9 per cent.

Active cases: 5,845.

Patients in ICU with COVID-related illnesses: 193, with 130 needing a ventilator to breathe.

Deaths: Seven, pushing the official toll to 9,677.

Vaccinations: 44,754 doses were administered by public health units on Wednesday. More than 85.3 per cent of Ontarians aged 12 years or older have now received at least one dose of a vaccine, while 79.4 per cent have received two doses.

Ontario: New daily cases of COVID-19

Union calls for distancing, capacity limits at universities

Meanwhile, a union representing workers on university campuses in Ontario is calling for the government to put classroom capacity limits and distancing requirements in place.

Ontario announced earlier this month that it wouldn't require distancing or class caps when post-secondary institutions resume in-person learning.

CUPE Ontario represents workers — including those in administrative, food service, research, and teaching assistant positions — on 17 university campuses.

President Fred Hahn says that the universities' proof-of-vaccination and mandatory masking policies are not enough to stop the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19.

He says he's hearing from members that classrooms are packed with sometimes hundreds of people, and he calls that a "recipe for disaster."

A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Colleges and Universities said earlier that schools are able to institute their own, stricter rules.

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