Ontario reports nearly 700 new COVID-19 cases with vaccine passports on the horizon

Ontario reported 694 new COVID-19 infections on Monday, a decrease from the 740 reported on Sunday, but an increase from the 639 recorded last Monday. The total number of cases in the province now sits at 565,025. Out of Monday’s new cases, 121 cases were recorded in Toronto, 104 in Peel Region, 98 in York Region, 74 in Windsor-Essex and 74 in Hamilton.

Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott stated that 527 cases are in individuals who are not fully vaccinated or have an unknown vaccination status and 167 are in fully vaccinated individuals.

There were no deaths recorded in Monday’s report, a decrease from the two deaths logged on Sunday. The overall number of COVID-19 deaths in the province now sits at 9,498.

As of Monday morning, 20,726,778 doses of approved COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in Ontario. Just under 78 per cent of people 12+ in Ontario are fully vaccinated and 83.5 per cent of people 12 and over in Ontario have received at least one dose.

There are 226 patients currently hospitalized with COVID-19, 160 patients in ICU due to COVID-related critical illness, and 74 patients currently in ICU on a ventilator with COVID-19.

Meanwhile, there are reports that Ontario will unveil a vaccine passport system this week, meaning a proof of vaccine certificate will be needed in non-essential settings (e.g. restaurants, movie theatres). If implemented, Ontario would join B.C. and Quebec, who already have smartphone-based vaccine passports. Manitoba will also require patrons to show COVID-19 vaccine proof in non-essential settings as of September 3.

Dr. Isaac Bogoch, infectious disease specialist at the University of Toronto and Toronto General Hospital, told Post City last week that Ontarians should at least be prepared for a vaccine passport of some sort.

“And we should have the infrastructure set up now. So that, if there is a change of mind, we can implement it seamlessly. And it’s something that would take a little bit of time to set up properly, in terms of documentation, in terms of communication, in terms of organization between all the stakeholders, including the general public. And you should do the heavy lifting now,” Bogoch noted.

Still, the idea of a vaccine passport is causing division among Ontarians.

Click here for more COVID-19 Ontario updates.

Article exclusive to STREETS OF TORONTO