After being out of the spot light for four weeks, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health made an announcement this afternoon.
Dr. Kieran Moore began his press conference by thanking Ontarians for their diligence in protecting their loved ones and communities from severe outcomes of COVID-19.
“It is clear that we are in the sixth wave of this pandemic driven by the BA.2 variant” Moore declared, referring to wastewater surveillance and a rise in hospitalizations. He went on to say that “these trends are likely to continue for several weeks but there are actions that we can take to help manage the impact of this.”
While he made no mention of seasonality, Moore encouraged everyone to continue with “the personal protective measures that we have adopted even though they may not be legally required.” Moore urged everyone to continue masking in indoor public spaces and continue to respect where mask mandates remain in place in certain health-care and congregate settings.
Dr. Moore made it clear that Ontario “will not be reinstating a broad mask mandate,” but that we should “be prepared that we may need to resume a requirement for indoor public spaces if a new variant of concern emerges, or a threat to our health-care system or potentially during the winter months when COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses are likely to circulate again.”
This was as close as Dr. Moore came to discussing seasonality.
During the press conference, it was reiterated incessantly that “vaccination is one of the most important tools to protect ourselves and our community against future waves of COVID-19 and that it is critical to stay up to date with vaccination by receiving all doses recommended. Booster doses save lives.”
Moore repeats: vaccination is your best defense against severe outcomes, hospitalization and death.
In this news release, the Ontario government is committing to expanding eligibility of high-risk individuals for PCR testing and anti-viral treatments. As further announced by Dr. Moore, Paxlovid will be provided for free to Ontarians. The Pfizer manufactured antiviral was approved under emergency-use authorization by the FDA in December 2021.
The Media Party decried his absence, and Dr. Moore illustrated that he would be happy to provide updates shall key messaging need to be further reiterated.