Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health says masks will be the last COVID-19 mandate to go.
In his weekly update, Dr. Kieran Moore says that’s because masking protects everyone but mostly it protects the most vulnerable members of our community from transmission.
He says provincial officials just had a brief discussion about whether the proof of vaccination system should require a third dose.
Moore says the third shot is “so much superior” to the two doses when it comes to the risk of transmission and severe outcome. However, he says the province is waiting on federal guidance on whether their proof of vaccinations for international travel will move to three vaccines as well.
Ontario is also expanding COVID-19 PCR testing to include household members of healthcare workers that deal face-to-face with patients.
Moore says the move is to support timely identification of cases in healthcare workers and protect the ongoing delivery of health services.
Prior to Thursday’s news, PCR testing was limited to Ontarians at the highest risk of severe outcomes, those eligible for COVID-19 treatments like antivirals, those who work and live in the highest risk settings, and patient-facing healthcare workers.
***With files from Mo Fahim