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Province to provide “clarity” on reopening plans later this week

A glimmer of hope from Ontario’s Health Minister.  Christine Elliott says the government is starting to see signs of stabilization in the spread of the Omicron variant and admissions to hospitals.

She says because of this trend the province will announce more clarity to residents and businesses about how they will ease public health restrictions but would not provide specifics, “Well, we will have more to say about any movement with respect to restrictions later this on this week.”

Elliott says she remains hopeful that schools will remain open and safe for students, “There’s very little evidence that there’s high transmission just in schools themselves. We know that there’s [sic] high levels of community transmission right now but in schools themselves, as students go there, they have been made as safe as possible with the HEPA filters with the number of rapid tests going into the schools with the N95 masks being available for teachers and childcare workers. We are taking every step possible that when students go safely back to school they will remain healthy.”

Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Kieran Moore says he will continue to advise officials based on the medical data but reiterated any easing of public health restrictions is a government decision, “The Premier I believe will be making a statement on this. We will be continually reviewing data to inform that decision and I cannot make any foreshadowing of that statement.”

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Elliott says the Omicron wave will peak later this month with hospitalizations to follow shortly after. She says Omicron is not as severe as the Delta variant and that means people in hospitals have shorter stays.

She cautioned that February will still pose challenges to the healthcare system and encouraged everyone to get their vaccines or a booster shot.

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