TORONTO – Ontario is reporting 3,424 new cases of COVID-19 today and 26 more deaths linked to the virus.
Health Minister Christine Elliott says there are 958 new cases in Toronto, 900 in Peel and 291 in York Region
She also says there are 175 new cases in Durham Region and 155 in Hamilton.
Today’s data is based on more than 54,100 tests completed.
The Ministry of Health says 1,964 people are hospitalized because of the novel coronavirus, with 877 in intensive care and 600 on a ventilator.
Ontario says that 141,038 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine were administered since Wednesday’s report, for a total of more than 5.7 million.
Meanwhile, groups representing thousands of health-care workers say their members need to be prioritized for full immunization from COVID-19 as they work with patients hospitalized with the virus.
The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario, Canadian Union of Public Employees, and Service Employees International Union say they have asked the province to accelerate second doses for the workers but have received no commitment.
Health-care workers were amongst the initial groups to be prioritized for a first dose of the shot.
Since Ontario’s vaccine effort began, however, the province has extended dosing intervals for COVID-19 shots from 21 days to four months due to supply shortages.
The group representing the health-care workers say the government needs to ensure the employees get second doses soon because they remain at risk when working with patients who have more transmissible COVID-19 variants.
A spokeswoman for the health minister says as the province receives more vaccines it may eventually be able to shorten the dosing interval for all Ontarians.
Ontario says it expects 65 per cent of adults to have their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of May.
Starting Thursday, people aged 50 and older across Ontario were among a number of new groups able to book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment provincewide.
The government announced Wednesday that the 50-and-older age group, in addition to those with high-risk health conditions, and a number of employees who cannot work from home are now eligible to get the shot.
The newly eligible workers include those in the education, child-care, food and manufacturing sectors.