OHSWEKEN — Six Nations of the Grand River reported two new cases of COVID-19 — after marking a month of zero cases and the community moving into Green Level alert.
With the increasing risk of the new, more contagious Delta variant that was first identified in India — health officials are getting even more strict about public health guidance and vaccine awareness.
Ontario’s top doctor says the risk of getting COVID-19 is 6.4 times higher for unvaccinated people, which highlights the effectiveness of vaccines.
Chief medical officer of health Dr. Kieran Moore says it is complicated work to tie individual cases to vaccination status, but he will try to update the public weekly with numbers showing the benefits of vaccines.
Ontario reports new case numbers, hospitalizations and deaths daily, but does not provide the vaccination status of those people.
Public Health Ontario releases biweekly reports that detail many of those numbers, but the totals are cumulative back to December, when very few people had received shots, making it difficult to get an accurate picture of recent cases.
Family physician Dr. Jennifer Kwan looked at the numbers in the two most recent reports to calculate percentages of vaccinated and unvaccinated people that have been hospitalized or died in the previous month.
She found that between June 12 and July 10, 95.8 per cent of COVID-19 deaths in Ontario were in unvaccinated people and 99.5 per cent of people admitted to intensive care due to the virus had not been vaccinated.
Ontario reported 129 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday and five more deaths. There were 37 new cases in Toronto, 22 in Peel Region and 12 in Hamilton. Those numbers are based on more than 13,600 tests completed over the previous day.
There were 127 patients in intensive care due to COVID-related critical illness and 81 patients on ventilators.
More than 92,000 doses of vaccines were administered in the previous day, for a total of more than 19.1 million.
Meanwhile, Canada’s largest airport is no longer splitting arriving international passengers into different customs lines based on their vaccination status.
Toronto’s Pearson International Airport announced last week it may be sorting travellers arriving from the U.S. or other international locations into vaccinated and partially or non-vaccinated queues.
But a spokesperson for the Greater Toronto Airports Authority said the practice has been discontinued as of Monday.
Beverly MacDonald said in a statement that the airport has determined separating vaccinated and partially or non-vaccinated travellers into different customs lines “results in minimal operational efficiencies.”
She said entry requirements related to vaccination status will now be enforced once a passenger reaches a customs officer.
Fully vaccinated Canadian citizens and permanent residents are now able to forgo a 14-day quarantine when arriving in Canada from abroad.