Today, Ontario is reporting 127 new cases of COVID-19, including 34 in Toronto. The province has entered Step Three of the reopening plan and 60.8% of all eligible Ontarians 12 years and older have been fully vaccinated and 78.9% have had at least one dose. While this is exciting news, the vaccination trend is slowly decreasing. I know that’s because many of you have already been vaccinated, and I am still encouraging everyone who can to get their doses to do so. Everyone is now eligible for expedited second doses, and this continues to be our best strategy to keep everyone safe from further outbreaks. This includes children under 12 who are currently not eligible.
On Friday, the Province of Ontario announced that we will be moving into Step Three of their Re-Opening Plan, on Wednesday, July 21, 5 days ahead of their 21-day benchmark. Step Three focuses on the resumption of additional indoor activities, and includes outdoor social gatherings and organized public events with up to 100 people with limited exceptions; indoor social gatherings and organized public events with up to 25 people (including religious services, rites, or ceremonies); Indoor dining is permitted with no limits on the number of patrons per table with physical distancing and other restrictions still in effect and much more. Read a full breakdown of changes here.
I hope each and every one of you took an opportunity over the past long weekend to relax and reflect, and hopefully got to experience some of the joys of a slowly re-opened city. It was a pleasure to walk down the streets and see patios and parks full of smiling people. A huge thank you to all of those who work in the hospitality sector, who got back to work and supported these businesses as more and more public health restrictions and closures were lifted.
As of yesterday, everyone in Toronto aged 12 and older is eligible to book an accelerated second dose COVID-19 vaccine. To accommodate this surge in demand for vital second doses, the City of Toronto immunization clinics added more than 375,000 vaccination appointments – 125,000 appointments each for the weeks of July 5, July 12, and July 19 – to the provincial booking system this morning.
As the province moves quickly through their vaccine rollout, more opportunities to book second dose appointments are becoming readily available. As of tomorrow, any individual who received their first vaccine dose before May 30 becomes eligible to book their second dose through the provincial booking system. I have been receiving a lot of questions from residents about mixing doses, and what is safe. Right now, the safest dose is the first one you can get, and that includes mixing doses for your first and second shot. Those who had Moderna or Pfizer for their first dose can now have either for their second dose, while people who had AstraZeneca for their first dose can either have the same, or opt for Moderna or Pfizer.