And stay up to date on COVID-19 vaccines and boosters, Dr. Kieran Moore said today, as data shows Ontario counting 100,000 new cases a day.
Nearly a full month since he held his last official news conference, Ontario’s chief medical officer walked into the Queen’s Park media studio Monday afternoon wearing a medical mask.
That set the tone for Moore’s comments that Ontario is now neck-deep in a sixth wave of the COVID-19 virus fueled by the BA2 variant and this will continue at least until the end of the month. He said Ontario residents need to take note and act.
“In recent weeks we have seen an increase in percent positivity, an upward trend in sewage surveillance, and an increase in hospitalizations. These trends are likely to continue for the next several weeks,” Moore said.
He said there are actions Ontario residents still need to take even though they are no longer legally required.
“These include a strong recommendation to continue wearing a well-fitting three-layer mask or the use of a medical mask in all indoor public settings. And continue to adhere to ongoing mask requirements that remain in place, including in hospitals and other care facilities.” health care settings,” Moore said.
He added that there is no plan at this time to reinstate the broad mask mandate, but Moore again encouraged Ontarians not to abandon the idea of masks.
“We should all be prepared that we need to resume our requirement to wear masks in indoor public spaces,” he said.
Moore said that vaccination against COVID-19 remains an important tool for health protection at this time. He said this is especially important for anyone who qualifies for a booster shot. It was just last week that Ontario revealed that eligibility for the fourth booster dose shot was being enlarged.
Along with that, Moore said the province is expanding eligibility for antiviral treatment and PCR testing to more high-risk people. Moore said this will offer greater protection to the most vulnerable residents and ensure that hospital capacity in Ontario remains stable.
“As part of its plan to stay open and manage COVID-19 for the long term, the Ontario government is expanding eligibility for COVID-19 antiviral treatments and PCR tests on more high-risk individuals. Doing so will offer greater protection to the most vulnerable and ensure that hospital capacity remains stable,” Moore said.
“So as I said before, the pandemic is certainly not over. We are now in the sixth wave and the virus continues to circulate and evolve,” Moore continued.
When he presented his comments to the media on Monday, Moore was asked why, given that cases have increased so dramatically, as wastewater testing indicated and showed nearly 100,000 new cases per day in Ontario, why hadn’t delivered more publicly before the press conference. .
Moore said the data has been made public and all medical health officials in the province have been informed.
Also, as restrictions were lifted, Moore said people knew there would be an increase in the number of cases.
“We knew that as we remove public health measures, we would have an increase in incidents in Ontario. And that’s why we have our three-point plan: continue to wear a mask, continue to get vaccinated, and (continue) to ensure that keep up with your reinforcements,” Moore told reporters.
Moore was also pressed about why the province isn’t requiring school children to wear masks again. He said the key reason is that children are not as severely affected by the virus. Moore said there are 2.75 million children in Ontario, but only two are in an intensive care unit.
“Right now, on average, we have 30 to 60 children admitted to hospital. Some of them are also incidental hospital admissions, over a period of a week. So we haven’t seen any significant threat to children’s health.” Moore said.
In his closing statement, Moore once again urged Ontarians to update their booster shots and especially those who have not received any vaccinations to take steps to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
Len Gillis covers healthcare and mining for Sudbury.com.