COVID goes critical in Ontario, as province hits hospitalization threshold

Dec 30, 2020

The number of coronavirus cases in Ontario continues to climb, reaching a new record over the past two days of nearly 4,500. There’s also been criticism of the slowness of the vaccine rollout.

 The new data shows that more than 2,550 cases were logged on Tuesday, the highest number since the pandemic began. That also brings the case total to nearly 176,000.  


Meanwhile, vaccinations for COVID-19 resumed across Ontario after they were paused for a couple of days over the holidays. That led to sharp criticism of Premier Doug Ford’s government.


Ret. Gen. Rick Hillier heads Ontario's vaccine distribution task force.
Credit Rick Hillier / Twitter

The head of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution task force in Ontario, Ret. Gen. Rick Hillier, said the pause came after it was decided to give frontline workers a break, especially in long-term care homes, where there were fewer staff over Christmas.


"So we made the decision, over those two days, we would not run the clinics and then we would go faster, as quickly as possible, and catch up, which is exactly what we’re doing today,” Hillier said.


Hillier said in hindsight, it was the wrong decision.


A spokesman for the government’s health ministry said more than 13,000 vaccine shots have been administered in Ontario so far. Officials also report that there are more than 300 COVID patients in hospital intensive care units, which is the threshold after which it becomes almost impossible to provide non-COVID-19 medical care.