Ontario’s health minister says advice from the province’s chief medical officer and other medical advisers indicates there is no need to re-impose a broader mask mandate in the province, despite evidence that COVID-19 has spread.
Christine Elliott made the remarks while talking to reporters in Queens Park on Tuesday.
He acknowledged that while hospitalization and other COVID-19 numbers had increased, it was expected as soon as the province opened.
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“It’s not unexpected that this will happen,” Elliott said.
“It simply came to our notice then. But we have an extra 3,100 beds. We can afford it. We also have a high vaccination population. We also have antivirals ready. So we have the necessary measures to deal with it. “
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Quebec announced that it would extend the need for its masks in public places through the month of April as the sixth wave of the epidemic increases hospital admissions and the number of cases.
“It’s not over yet and we need to be vigilant,” said Dr. Luke Boliu, the province’s interim health director.
Quebec extends mask mandate by end of April as province faces growing COVID-19
Elliott stressed, “Ontario is in a very good place and we will be able to go through it.”
The Ontario mask mandate was lifted March 21 for most public settings.
Individuals were no longer required to wear masks by the province except in specific settings, including public transit, long-term care and leisure homes, collective care and living facilities, housing for people with developmental disabilities, other health-care settings, shelters, etc. And prisons.
All provincial COVID-19 systems will be rolled out by the end of April.
Elliott was asked if there would be a point when the mask mandate was restored.
“We rely on the recommendations of Dr. (Kieran) Moore and our medical advisers and they did not indicate at the moment that we should return to the mask mandate,” he said.
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Elliott was also asked why Moore has not spoken to the media since closing his regular briefing last month.
“It was Dr. Moore’s choice,” Elliott said.
“He felt that we were now at a stage with the epidemic that we had the tools to learn to live with it and so there was no need for frequent presentations and meetings with him if he felt the situation was changing.” And if he wants to come back and have more frequent interviews and meetings, then he is definitely free to do so.
“People want to live their lives. We want to open up our economy and that is what we need to focus on. “
– With file from Kalina Laframboise
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