Ontario’s top doc expected to strongly encourage a return to masking

When Ontario’s chief medical officer of health appears before reporters Monday, Dr. Kellan Moore is expected to call on Ontarians to wear masks again.

This toronto star The Canadian Press reported that Moore would make recommendations, but not make masks mandatory. The sources who spoke to the two media organizations only confirmed the upcoming directive on condition of anonymity, saying they were not authorized to discuss it publicly.

Moore warned that hospitals already experiencing staffing shortages could come under more pressure as COVID-19 returns, while influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) make a comeback after two years of declining case numbers due to pandemic restrictions .

Last week, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario opened its second pediatric ward. According to Canadian media reports, CHEO and the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto are redeploying staff to intensive care and emergency departments in preparation for the difficult weeks ahead.

At Windsor Regional Hospital earlier this week, some pediatric patients were infected with all three viruses, Chief Nursing Executive Karen Riddell said. So far, the Windsor area is dealing with an increasing number of pediatric patients.

Ontario ended the mask-wearing rule in most indoor public spaces last March, though its validity in healthcare facilities will be extended for several more weeks.

Nearly 84% of Ontario residents received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, but only 52% received three doses. The fourth dose was even lower.

The Toronto Star reports that a recent forum poll found that only 53 per cent of respondents supported the reintroduction of mandatory face masks. Only 16% said they currently wear masks.

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