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Ontario extending pause on lifting capacity limits due to Omicron variant

As of December 6, 2021, there were 165 COVID-19 related critical illness patients (CRCI) in intensive-care units, representing only 7 per cent of overall ICU capacity in the province.

December 7, 2021   by CM Staff

TORONTO — The Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, is extending its pause on the lifting of capacity limits in remaining higher-risk settings where proof of vaccination is required while the province continues to monitor trends in public health and health care indicators and learns more about the Omicron variant.

“In line with Ontario’s cautious approach to date, as public health and medical experts learn more about the Omicron variant, we are continuing to take a deliberate pause in reopening to protect our hard-fought progress against COVID-19,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “As Ontario continues to take rapid action to protect against COVID-19 and variants, I encourage everyone to get their first, second or booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible.”

While an increase in cases was always anticipated as more people socialize indoors due to colder weather, Ontario continues to have one of the lowest case rates in the country, well below the national average. Despite this, Ontario’s approach and high vaccination rates have meant hospital and intensive care unit capacity continues to remain stable. As of December 6, 2021, there were 165 COVID-19 related critical illness patients (CRCI) in intensive-care units, representing only 7 per cent of overall ICU capacity in the province.

“While an increase in the number of cases was always expected as we entered the winter months, with the emergence of the Omicron variant we must continue following the measures we have in place that have been working for us,” said Dr. Kieran Moore, Chief Medical Officer of Health. “Over the coming weeks and months, we need to stay the course on reaching those who have not yet been vaccinated. If you have not yet received the vaccine, please do so today and if you are eligible for a booster dose, please book your appointment to provide yourself with an extra layer of protection. Achieving the highest vaccination rates possible remains our best defence against COVID-19 and variants.”

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