Ontario 7th COVID wave expected to peak in 2 weeks, no mask mandate at this time: Moore

Ontario is in the midst of the seventh wave of COVID-19, with the peak expected to be reached in the next two weeks, the province’s top doctor says.

Speaking at a press conference Wednesday morning, Dr. Kieran Moore confirmed the province is in the seventh wave, but said the province is “experiencing a slower trajectory” this time.

Moore said the province has “the tools to manage” the seventh wave.

“As the virus continues to circulate and evolve, we know what steps need to be taken to protect ourselves, our communities, and our healthcare system,” he said. “The most important is to stay up to date with your vaccinations.”

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Moore said “at this time” his team is not recommending any further public health measures, such as reinstating mandatory masking.

“My goal is to prevent any impact of COVID on the healthcare system,” Moore said.

Moore said the waves of the pandemic “appear to be coming on an every 90-day basis now.”

“It may be these undulating waves will have an untoward effect on the health care system, and we’ll have to be prepared for those going forward,” he said.

Moore said as or Wednesday, roughly 70 per cent of the province’s intensive care unit (ICU) beds were being utilized.

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“We’re at roughly 119 Ontarians, in the intensive care unit today,” he said. “That will go up over the next two weeks, but it shouldn’t impede or impact any local hospitals ability to care for individuals.”

However, Moore said if the healthcare system is threatened, his team would “make recommendations to government on universal masking in multiple settings.”

“That’s a contingency plan for the fall,” he said. “It’s certainly not a contingency for the present.”

Moore also told reporters that the province will continue to provide free rapid antigen tests for COVID-19.

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Moore said the tests will be available at grocery stores, pharmacies, some workplaces, schools, hospitals, retirement homes and long term care facilities until the end of the year.

The province also announced Wednesday that it would be expanding eligibility for fourth doses of a COVID-19 vaccine to those 18 and older.

Now those in this age group can receive their second booster dose if it has been at least five months since their third dose, and at least three months since recovering from a COVID-19 infection.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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