Ontario fall pandemic preparedness plan roll out continues today

Grant Boone
September 24, 2020

Those areas, he said, include earlier closures for bars and restaurants, an expansion of the city's mask bylaw to cover more workplace settings and "further action" to limit weddings and other large events from being held at venues and other businesses that are exempted from the province's new lower limits on social gatherings.

But how hard it will be to get the virus under control is still a major question, said Ford. Preparing for the second wave is our top priority. "If we laid it all down at once, the message isn't going to get out to the people".

The Public Health Agency of Canada reported an annual average of about 12,200 hospitalizations and 3,500 deaths related to the flu.

A complicating factor in the next few months will be flu season, something Ford addressed during his press conference.

Ford said the rest of his government's pandemic preparedness strategy would be released in the coming days, adding that a robust flu vaccination campaign would help preserve hospital capacity.

Ontario is expected to announce its COVID-19 fall preparedness plan today.

"This is a massive, massive plan, very jammed with items", Ford said.

Around 90 stranded pilot whales dead off Australia's Tasmanian coast
Mr Carlyon said about one-third of the whales had already died as of yesterday evening and most were inaccessible by boat. About 60 people - including volunteers and local fish-farm workers - are involved in the rescue attempt.

"Anyone at all who wants a flu shot this year can get one", said Ford.

"We are moving forward with this as quickly as possible", said Deputy Premier and Minister of Health Christine Elliott in the Queen's Park with reporters Tuesday. She also noted that numerous plan's elements have already been put in place.

Up to 5 million flu shot vaccines have been ordered in the province with 1.3 million being a special high dose for seniors. "The flu shot provides the best defence and has been proven to reduce emergency department visits and wait times", she said. That's an increase of 700,000 over the approximated usage previous year.

On the COVID-19 testing front, Ford praised the initiative by eastern Ontario paramedics over the past weekend that saw more than 2,700 people tested for COVID-19 at a drive-thru site in the parking lot of the Canadian Tire Centre. Ford said he'd like to see this model replicated across the province.

The pharmacies will only test individuals with no symptoms after they have made an appointment.

On Wednesday, the government said that up to 60 pharmacies will begin offering COVID-19 tests to asymptomatic people starting Friday.

In a series of tweets, Elliott noted that some 69 per cent of newly confirmed infections are in people under 40 years old, consistent with trends in recent weeks.

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