Ontario’s chief physician says “recommendations” are being presented to the provincial government to have “a more consistent provincial approach” in fighting the Omicron variant COVID-19.
Dr. Kieran Moore made the remarks during a briefing on Tuesday in response to a journalist’s question about the regional restrictions that public health units are putting in place, and what his advice would be for Ontario residents traveling on vacation. .
“We would like to have consistency in public health measures across Ontario,” Moore said.
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“We understood under Delta, because there was a significant difference about where Delta was happening and which communities had already gone through a third wave, a second wave, and we knew that more was happening in areas of our province that had not had a significant impact. previous third wave.
“With Omicron, that game is changing.”
Moore has previously said that any future public health measures that may be needed will likely be done at the regional level. He said Tuesday that has changed with Omicron.
“None of us have had prior exposure to this new strain and we see that we would like to have a more consistent provincial approach,” said Moore.
“We have met with our public health colleagues, our public health measure chart, and we are bringing recommendations to the government for a more consistent approach across Ontario for Omicron.”
Moore said the vaccines appear to be less effective in preventing the spread of the Omicron variant, but they probably still prevent strong protection against serious diseases, especially with a booster shot.
He said the variant appears more infectious than the Delta strain.
“This means that even if it is less severe, with so many people infected, there can be significant demands on the health care system,” he said.
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It is unclear what recommendations are being made to government officials.
But Moore said he believes there will be a discussion “in the next few days about what additional measures we may need, if any, to better protect Ontarians against Omicron.”
He hinted that collecting sizes may be a topic of discussion.
“I think this week we will have more advice on the maximum potential number of meetings. As you know, the smaller the better, ”he said.
He was also asked if capacity restrictions can be imposed on large sporting events.
“We are reviewing all directions of our policy in light of Omicron, but again they have to be proportionate, they have to be prudent, they have to be reasonable in the face of Omicron’s risk,” he said.
“That review … started as soon as we found out about Omicron and then it will be presented to the government to find out the options and I think more news will be announced later this week.”
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Moore said he is most concerned about those who are most vulnerable to COVID, including older adults, those who are immunosuppressed, have received a transplant or are receiving cancer therapy. He said that they should avoid social events and, in general, contact with others.
“For the rest of the people of Ontario, what has served us well in the last 20 months and has kept us as a world leader in being able to control Delta in our communities has been to adhere to the basic principles of good hand hygiene, physical distancing and use of an appropriate mask, “said Moore.
“Also … limit the total number of social contacts.”
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However, Moore said he is not telling Ontarians that they need to cancel Christmas gatherings.
“I think the people of Ontario have always been cautious. They have been reasonable and you should be doing a risk assessment, based on your own personal health, your risk of having an adverse event or outcome associated with Omicron, and the level of vaccination in the surrounding community. “
Omicron is on its way to becoming the dominant strain in Ontario and Moore said that all new cases should be treated like Omicron in the future, meaning all of your contacts should be isolated for 10 days, even if they are vaccinated.
Meanwhile, a government source told The Canadian Press that Ontario Prime Minister Doug Ford will make an announcement Wednesday about booster doses of COVID-19.
– With files from The Canadian Press
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