Ontario’s top doctor says a “proportionate and timely” schedule for the roll back of Ontario’s COVD-19 public health restrictions will be out next week.
Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore says the province will not be rolling back on measures suddenly.
Instead, he called it a slow, gradual and cautious approach that follows data, like what’s been done for the last year-and-a-half. “That schedule we’re working on and will be providing to the government next week. All of these decisions are always the final decision of the government, but we think our plan is a slow and steady approach as Ontario has always done,” he says.
Asked about what benchmarks he is looking for to ease provincial measures, Moore says he’s looking at total cases on a daily basis and any trends to see whether we’re heading in the right direction, especially going into closed spaces and close faces in winter and fall.
He says the second benchmark he looks at is the impact on the hospital sector, and then the number of people getting tested on a daily basis as well as the percentage of those tests that are positive.
“If we have a high amount of testing with low positivity that tells me that we have good surveillance, that we have good monitoring of the presence of COVID-19 in our communities,” says Moore.
Moore says right now, all of those metrics look “very, very good” in Ontario.
He says this is why he thinks it is a realistic and reasonable conversation to have with the community-at-large of what would be our vision to remove Public Health measures over time.
“Again I will state we will do this cautiously, slowly, and monitoring data,” he says.
Moore said the trends are good at present, but officials will still have to wait the next seven to 14 days to see what the impact of the Thanksgiving weekend will be.
**With files from Mo Fahim