It has been a busy week for the province, bearing both good and bad news for its citizens. The Ontario COVID update today covers the Freedom Convoy 2022, the number of COVID-19 cases, and what seems to be a return to normal life in Canada.
Ontario COVID Update Today: Funds for the Freedom Convoy 2022 have been Intercepted
Government officials have been on their feet with the protest on vaccination and other COVID-19 regulations that started around 2 weeks ago. But, a big win arrived today in the form of the freezing of funds accessible to the protesters. This decision was made by a court in Ontario.
The protesters initially received donations from all over the world, the majority of which seemed to come from the USA, through the GoFundMe platform. They were able to raise as much as 10 million USD through this initiative. It even ranked behind the largest crowdfunding initiative done for the 2018 Humboldt Broncos bus crash, where 15 million USD in donations were gathered.
GoFundMe did not have any problem with the protesters using their platform because it started out as a peaceful protest. However, over the course of the demonstration, protesters have become more violent and unlawful. Because of this, the fundraising activity for the protesters has violated the terms and conditions for the use of the platform. GoFundMe decided to remove the donation page from its site and stopped giving out payments to the organizers of the crowdfunding activity.
Initially, GoFundMe planned to release the funds to any donor who requested a refund. The remaining amount will be given to legitimate charities chosen by the organizers of the Freedom Convoy 2022. These chosen charities were still subject to approval by the online crowdfunding platform.
However, days after this announcement, GoFundMe decided to change regulations due to “donor feedback.” Donors do not need to request a refund anymore. This was done in order to make the process of getting a refund less complicated. The donations would be automatically returned to the individuals who made them by the online crowdfunding platform.
But, the lack of access to their GoFundMe page did not stop the organizers from starting new fundraising activities. They creatively switched to another crowdfunding platform, GiveSendGo, so that they could continue conducting the protest with ample financial resources. Donors followed suit, and with this new initiative, the organizers were able to raise 8.2 million USD.
The Superior Court of Justice officially prohibits any donations to the Freedom Convoy 2022 and Adopt-a-Trucker websites from being distributed. This “binds any and all parties with possession or control over these donations,” said Ivana Yelich, who is the spokesperson for Premier Doug Ford.
It is hoped that the lack of funds to support the protest can sway protesters to leave the streets of Ottawa so that citizens and businesses can resume their normal routine.
Ontario COVID Update Today: Number of COVID-19 cases
As of the latest, there were 3,201 new COVID-19 cases and 4,143 resolved COVID-19 cases reported. Both numbers were higher than the reported number of cases the day before. The effective reproduction number in the province decreased to 0.08 compared to the week before. This number refers to how many people one COVID-19 positive individual can transmit the virus to. With a decrease in such numbers comes a concurrent decrease in the number of COVID-19 cases.
There were 44 new deaths due to COVID-19 reported as well.
COVID-19 Cases by Vaccination Status
In terms of the aggregation of cases based on vaccination status, the highest number of cases were seen in fully vaccinated individuals, while the least number of cases were seen among those partially vaccinated. The exact figures can be seen below.
- 2,159 cases were fully vaccinated
- 425 cases were unvaccinated
- 131 cases were partially vaccinated
In addition, there were 486 COVID-19 cases where the vaccination status could not be determined.
Individuals are considered unvaccinated cases when they did not receive any dosage of the COVID-19 vaccine or when the onset of symptoms occurred less than 14 days after taking the first dose of the vaccine. Partially vaccinated cases refer to those who develop symptoms either after 14 days of receiving their first dose or before 14 days of receiving their second dose. Fully vaccinated cases are those who have completed their vaccination regimen and developed symptoms 14 days after receiving their last dose.
Where Do These Cases Come From?
The highest number of COVID-19 cases are seen in care settings, which include long-term care homes, retirement homes, and hospitals. Other settings, such as those referring to group living, educational, recreational, workplace, and others, did not account for much of the number of COVID cases.
There are 148 new COVID-19 cases in long-term care homes, which include both the residents and the staff. 17 new deaths due to the virus were also reported. These cases were only among the residents. None of the staff infected with COVID-19 succumbed to the virus.
Ontario COVID Update Today: Number of Individuals Vaccinated
Currently, 85% of the population eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine have already been fully vaccinated. These include individuals ages 5 years and older. This means that 11,860,148 citizens have received their complete vaccination regimen.
Only 10% of the eligible population remain unvaccinated.
Ontario COVID Update Today: Restrictions are Being Evaluated
Public health measures taken to curb the transmission of the Omicron variant are being reviewed because the current coronavirus wave has already reached and gone past its peak. The COVID-19 situation in the province now looks more promising compared to when the surge of cases started in December of last year. Utilization of hospitals and intensive-care units has favorably gone down. At the same time, the healthcare system is not overwhelmed anymore. As such, non-urgent surgeries will be allowed to proceed soon.
Government officials will review all the restrictions on the operations of businesses, the wearing of face masks, and the requirement to show proof of vaccination to enter certain establishments and settings.
Dr. Kieran Moore, the Chief Medical Officer of Health in Ontario, said that “I think a review of all timelines is absolutely appropriate in the face of the improving data in Ontario, in removal of all public-health measures.”
There are no final decisions yet, but changes may be seen in the weeks to come.