Toronto sees 1,074 new COVID-19 cases as 3rd wave rages on

·3 min read
Residents of the Jane and Finch community, in northwest Toronto’s M3N area code, form a long line outside a temporary COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Driftwood Community Centre on Apr. 19, 2021. (Evan Mitsui/CBC - image credit)
Residents of the Jane and Finch community, in northwest Toronto’s M3N area code, form a long line outside a temporary COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Driftwood Community Centre on Apr. 19, 2021. (Evan Mitsui/CBC - image credit)

Toronto reported 1,074 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday as residents 40 and up were officially allowed to register to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine at pharmacies.

Sixty-five people with COVID-19 are hospitalized including nine in the ICU, according to Toronto Public Health. The city is also reporting six more deaths.

The city announced Tuesday afternoon it is joining the Peel Region in ordering businesses with five or more cases of COVID-19 in the last two weeks to close for 10 days.

Mayor John Tory said the order is necessary to "slam on the brakes" on workplace outbreaks. He urged employers to provide impacted employees with paid sick days.

Toronto has administered more than 923,000 vaccine doses in total.

Those aged 18 and older who live in hotspots can get vaccinated at a mobile or pop-up clinic.

People aged 50 and older who live in hotspots, and those 60 and older who live elsewhere can get vaccinated at city-run immunization clinics.

These nine sites include:

  • Metro Toronto Convention Centre

  • Toronto Congress Centre

  • Scarborough Town Centre

  • Malvern Community Recreation Centre

  • Mitchell Field Arena

  • The Hangar

  • Cloverdale Mall

  • North Toronto Memorial Community Centre

  • Carmine Stefano Community Centre

The AstraZeneca vaccine will be offered 24/7 in 11 Shoppers Drug Marts in Toronto in the coming days, the province announced Tuesday. The locations can be found here.

Long waits at pop-up clinics

Residents lined up overnight at a Parkway Forest Community Centre pop-up vaccine clinic near Sheppard Avenue East and Don Mills Road, some sitting on camping chairs and braved plunging temperatures to ensure they'd get a dose Tuesday.

One woman told CBC News she'd been there since 8:30 p.m. the night before so she could get her vaccine when the clinic opened 12 hours later.

"This is what happens when there's so much demand for people to save their lives, and their loved ones and their livelihood," said Dr. Andrew Boozary, the director of the social medicine program at Toronto's University Health Network.

"It's something where communities have been choked and starved of support, resources and help and the second there's an opportunity to have a life-saving measure like a vaccine, you see the lineups."

Hundreds of people in the Jane and Finch community, in northwest Toronto’s M3N area code, lined up for hours to get their shots at a temporary COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Driftwood Community Centre on Apr. 19, 2021.
Hundreds of people in the Jane and Finch community, in northwest Toronto’s M3N area code, lined up for hours to get their shots at a temporary COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Driftwood Community Centre on Apr. 19, 2021.(Evan Mitsui)

When Ali Wazed learned Monday night that a pop-up vaccine clinic was at the Driftwood Community Centre in the hard-hit Jane-Finch, he didn't hesitate. The next morning he, along with hundreds of other people from his neighbourhood, waited in a three-hour line to get his first dose.

"I think each and everyone in Ontario needs to make a difference. Each and everyone needs to get inoculated," said Wazed. "Vaccine is the only way we can fight this whole COVID thing."

He said if he had to do it all again, he would. The line kept moving and when he got inside the clinic, staff were helpful and welcoming.

"I'm relieved," Wazed said "I hope everyone gets their vaccine as soon as possible."

The pop-up clinic at the Driftwood Community Centre will run until 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Meanwhile, a new field hospital at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre is preparing to accept 20 patients this week to help hospitals across the region cope with record COVID-19 admissions. Green tents set up in the parking lot will eventually provide 100 beds.