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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: August 31st, 2021

Premier Doug Ford met with ministers to deliberate on a vaccine passport system after an initial plan was rejected by cabinet last night.

Today’s daily update was delayed to report on a potential vaccine passport announcement from the Government of Ontario.

Ontario cabinet rejected first vaccine passport proposal: source

Premier Doug Ford met with his ministers this afternoon to deliberate on the details of a COVID-19 vaccine passport system for Ontario, a source told CBC/Radio-Canada, after an initial plan was rejected by cabinet last night.

A source with knowledge of the discussions couldn’t say specifically when a plan may be finalized, but added that it will be announced sometime in the coming days.

Click here to read more.

Niagara Health to administer third COVID-19 vaccine doses to select high-risk populations

The Province of Ontario recently announced offering third doses of a COVID-19 vaccine to select high-risk populations:

  • Transplant recipients (including solid organ transplant and hematopoietic stem cell transplants)
  • Patients with hematological cancers (examples include lymphoma, myeloma, leukemia) on active treatment (chemotherapy, targeted therapies, immunotherapy) for malignant hematologic disorders
  • Recipients of an anti-CD20 agent (e.g. rituximab, ocrelizumab, ofatumumab)
  • Residents of high-risk congregate settings including long-term care homes, higher-risk licensed retirement homes and First Nations Elder Care Lodges

Niagara Health will administer third COVID-19 vaccine doses starting Tuesday, Aug. 31 at our St. Catharines Site as walk-in only between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. (closed between 12 and 1 p.m.) on a first-come, first-served basis.

Eligibility will be verified.

Click here for more information.

Niagara Medical Officer of Health offers COVID-19 update

GO Transit bus service coming to Brock

Last week, Metrolinx announced increased weekday services across the GO Transit network to meet passenger demand as many people return to school and the workplace this fall. Included in the new services are GO buses serving Brock University. Route 18 (Lakeshore West) has been extended from Hamilton to Stoney Creek, Grimsby, Beamsville and St. Catharines.

Click here for more information.

The U.S. State Department is now urging Americans to “reconsider travel” to Canada due to what the Centers for Disease Control call “high” levels of COVID-19 infection.

The new Level 3 travel advisory, issued today, marks a quick end to a three-week period when the warning to would-be travellers to Canada had been eased to “exercise increased caution.”

That Level 2 advisory coincided with Canada’s decision to allow fully vaccinated U.S. citizens and permanent residents back into the country.

Click here for more information.

Niagara Falls and Welland’s Bridge 13 to be illuminated in remembrance of those lost to overdose

August 31 is International Overdose Awareness Day. Niagara Falls and Welland’s Bridge 13 will be illuminated in remembrance of those we have tragically lost in our community to overdose. Many local businesses are also participating in an awareness campaign geared at opening supportive dialogue on substance use, and new artwork by artist DeadWeightOne will grace the wall of Pony Mini Mart in downtown St Catharines.

In Niagara, there were 150 confirmed opioid-related deaths in 2020. That is approximately 13 deaths per month. Preliminary numbers for 2021 indicate that this year may be more fatal than ever.

For more information on Naloxone, harm reduction, and essential services to get help in Niagara, call 2-1-1, or visit

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Canadians demand to know why they can fly — but still not drive — to the U.S.

CBC News

When the United States announced it would keep its side of the Canada-U.S. land border closed to non-essential travel until at least Sept. 21, it got an earful from angry Canadians.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) broke the news earlier this month on Twitter, stating it was extending the closure “to minimize the spread of #COVID19, including the delta variant.”

That triggered dozens of complaints from Canadians — and also their American spouses — who argued the DHS explanation doesn’t add up, because Canadians can still fly into the U.S.

COVID-19 modelling: B.C.’s daily cases could approach record levels by late September

CTV News

The number of COVID-19 cases recorded daily in British Columbia could approach record levels by late September under a “moderate transmission” scenario, according to new modelling data presented Tuesday.

One projection shared by provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry indicated the number of reported COVID-19 cases could reach approximately 1,200 per day by Sept 27, depending on transmission and vaccination rates.

B.C.’s record for the most cases announced in a single day was 1,293 on April 18.

Niagara COVID-19 statistics tracker

These data show the status of the COVID-19 pandemic in Niagara. The Province of Ontario is now using a provincewide approach to reopening, and these data no longer have any influence on Niagara’s restrictions. Lower numbers are better in all metrics.

 December 18December 25January 1January 8January 15January 22January 29
Reproductive number1.
New cases per 100,000101.2267.3469.8575.8507.1295.5250.6
New cases per day (not including outbreaks)60.7178.7311.7376.9325.4182.7145.7
Percent of hospital beds occupied97%95.2%98.2%103.2%104.5%103.6%106%
Percent of intensive care beds occupied78.8%77.3%87.9%87.9%90.9%89.4%93.9%
Percentage of positive tests6.1%15.6%28.1%28.6%26.6%21.2%16.2%

Last updated: August 21, 2021

Click here for definitions of terms used in this table.

There are currently 3 patients admitted to Niagara Health with COVID-19. There is currently 1 patient with COVID-19 in a Niagara Health Intensive Care Unit.

Data are drawn from Niagara Region Public Health and Niagara Health.

Niagara COVID vaccination tracker

Niagara’s most up-to-date vaccination numbers are presented below, along with comparison data from Ontario, Canada, and G7 countries.

 Percentage of population with one dosePercentage of population fully vaccinated
United States75%64%
United Kingdom78%72%

Total doses administered in Niagara: 661,027

New daily doses administered to Niagara residents: 1,333

Last updated: August 31, 2021

Data are drawn from Niagara Region, the Government of Ontario, and Oxford University’s Our World in Data project.

Free rapid COVID-19 testing kits are now available to businesses. Visit to learn more and reserve kits for your organization.

Information on government grants, resources, and programs, policies, forms, and posters for download and use, are available here. The GNCC is here to support you. Contact us with any questions you have.

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