OTTAWA – The head of Ontario’s COVID-19 science advisory table is not optimistic that vaccine certification mandates will begin to expire at the start of the new year.
When the provincial government announced its roadmap for gradually reopening the province through the fall and into the spring of 2022, it called for proof of vaccination requirements for places like restaurants, sports facilities and casinos. May start to be gradually lifted around January 17th, The government said it would be based on the trend of the pandemic after Christmas and when classes return.
However, Dr. Peter Juni, Scientific Director of the COVID-19 Science Advisory Table, told “Ottawa Now with Christy Cameron” of Newstalk 580 CFRA that he does not believe this will actually happen.
“When I look at what’s happening right now and when I look at what’s happening in Europe, the chances of us leaving them in mid-January are close to zero percent,” he said. “We have just experienced the Christmas bump. We will be challenged a little. To stay longer.”
Juni has said in the past that Certificates are meant to be temporary And he still believes they will be phased out in Ontario, but it will likely be spring when that happens.
“Vaccine certificates plus masks in the spring. I’d bet on that,” he said.
The province says it wants to begin lifting remaining public health measures by the end of March 2022, including indoor mask mandates and any remaining vaccine certification requirements.
Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore said in October that by March, many of the state’s health plans would have been grounded.
“By March we hope that we have maximized our immunization strategy in Ontario to the point that we have more Ontario immunizations to the extent that this virus does not have a host in which it can reproduce. We have our third dose. The strategy will be complete. Our vaccination strategy for five to 11-year-olds will be complete, and we will have a very good point to be able to look at the data to review a safe opening for all of Ontario “
Premier Doug Ford also noted that Ontarians need to be given some reward for maintaining the behaviors that keep the worst of the pandemic at bay.
“It should be a two-way street. You know, people in Ontario should benefit to see all the hard work they put in and be able to see the difference. But let me reinforce the word cautious. We Have always been cautious; I’m going to be super cautious. If we don’t see numbers in a stable place, we’re not going to do that. It’s as simple as that,” he said.
In a statement on Wednesday, the health ministry said the province was anticipating a surge in cases this winter, with hospital capacity remaining stable and active cases lower than the national average. All these will factor into the decisions on easing restrictions.
“There is no doubt that continued vigilance will be needed in the coming months, with many jurisdictions struggling as they continue to confront the fourth wave of COVID-19. This is why Ontario strengthens public health measures such as indoor masking.” continue to take a different approach while maintaining Health and workplace safety measures continue to be taken safely,” the statement said.
Mandate kept virus away in Ontario, says Juni
Cases are increasing in Europe. there are cases Up 36 percent in the Netherlands, Italy is imposing new restrictions on illiterate people, And Germany is approaching 100,000 deaths from virus. protest has begun Virus regulations in several European countries in recent days.
Juni says Ontario has fared much better because of the mandates that remain in place, but insists the pandemic is not over and a post-Christmas bump in cases is inevitable.
“There will be a collision. It certainly is,” he said.
The key to avoiding a serious escalation, he says, is to rein in behaviors that put themselves at risk and get more people vaccinated.
“I hope we all get a little more disciplined with the masking, that even some more people have vaccinated, that the vaccine rollout goes well with the kids, so that we can have a relatively stable case count.” Let’s go early Christmas,” he said. ,
according to science tableCases in Ontario are doubling every 36 days, with an improvement in recent weeks. Earlier in November, cases were doubling almost every two weeks.
Juni is urging anyone eligible for a third dose to take one before the holidays.
“We still have a really pathetic low uptake of the third dose and it’s very important for people over 70, for example, people who are immunocompromised or people who have more than eight or nine months since the second dose. Done, they need to get the third dose now and there is still a lot of time before Christmas.”
Earlier this month, Juni suggested that capacity limits may need to be “fine-finished” in some settings. He said that it is the right strategy to deal with it at the local level on Wednesday.
“We can fix the places that are really struggling, and there are some in the province that we need to worry about,” he said. “I don’t think it’s necessary to do this at the provincial level.”