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A health-care worker administers a Moderna COVID-19 shot during a vaccination clinic at the Toronto and Region Islamic Congregation Islamic Centre in Toronto on April 1, 2021.

Cole Burston/Getty Images

Ontario says people aged 50 and older who live in COVID-19 hot spot neighbourhoods will be able to get their vaccines in the coming weeks.

The government says prioritizing those communities located in 13 public health units will help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Officials say many of the people who live in those hot spot neighbourhoods are essential workers.

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Canada vaccine tracker: How many COVID-19 doses have been administered so far?

The 13 public health units are: Durham, Halton, Hamilton, Niagara, Ottawa, Peel, Simcoe-Muskoka, Southwestern, Toronto, Waterloo, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph, Windsor-Essex and York Region.

The province says it expects to receive approximately 3.2 million doses of vaccines in April, but has the capacity to administer four million doses.

Officials say the second phase of the COVID-19 vaccination plan is starting Wednesday, when people aged 60 will be able to book their vaccine appointments.

The government says it aims to ramp up vaccinations to 100,000 shots a day, up from the current seven-day average at 73,442.

Meanwhile, the province is reporting 3,065 new cases of COVID-19 today and eight more deaths linked to the virus.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says there are 955 new cases in Toronto, 561 in Peel Region, and 320 in York Region.

She also says there are 165 new cases in Ottawa and 132 in Niagara Region.

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Ontario says 1,976 cases have been resolved since the last update.

The Ministry of Health says that 1,161 people are hospitalized due to COVID-19 but it notes that 10 per cent of hospitals did not submit data.

There are 510 people in intensive care because of the virus and 310 on a ventilator.

Today’s data is based on 37,500 completed tests.

Ontario says 76,199 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine were administered since Monday’s report.

A total of 2,621,839 vaccine doses have been administered in the province.

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Ontario Premier Doug Ford says a province-wide "shutdown" will be put in place to combat an "alarming" surge in COVID-19 infections. Ford said Thursday as intensive care admissions related to the virus surpassed those of the second wave of the pandemic. The Canadian Press

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