Ontario Independent

Saturday, December 9, 2023

The mask mandate in Ontario might be lifted ‘simultaneously’ in most regions

The mask mandate in most regions of Ontario might be lifted 'simultaneously.'

Key Takeaways:

  • The mask mandate will be phased down “simultaneously” across most businesses, according to Ontario’s top public health officer, rather than progressively when it is safe to do s
  • As part of a set of protocols aimed at avoiding the spread of COVID-19, all students in Ontario from Grade 1 to Grade 12 must wear masks at school.

Ontario’s top public health official predicts that the mask mandate will be withdrawn “simultaneously” across most industries rather than gradually when it is safe to do so.

Quebec has unveiled a proposal to eliminate the mask mandate in elementary and secondary schools by March 14, to eventually eliminate it in all indoor public spaces.

However, during a press conference on Thursday, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Kieran Moore, said the province is unlikely to go down that path and will instead seek to repeal the mask mandate entirely, with exceptions likely made for high-risk environments such as public transit and hospitals.

His remarks follow Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown’s plea for the province to “seriously” consider eliminating the school mask mandate to let “students get back to normal.”

Also read: Ontario lifts the state of emergency imposed in response to trucker convoy protest

On Thursday afternoon, New Brunswick also stated that the mask restriction for indoor public places would be lifted on March 14.

“Consultations have begun, and we will collaborate with school boards, parents, and the ministry to resolve.” “However, we expect that if we eliminate it in the public sector, we will do it in the schools simultaneously,” Moore said on Thursday. “If you’re going to elevate them in recreational and other indoor facilities, it only makes sense to do so for the educational sector at the same time.”

All students in Ontario from Grade 1 to Grade 12 must wear masks at school as part of a series of procedures geared at preventing the spread of COVID-19.

The mask mandate in most regions of Ontario might be lifted 'simultaneously.'
The mask mandate in most regions of Ontario might be lifted ‘simultaneously.’ Image from The Star

While the provincial legislation does not apply to Kindergarten kids, most boards in the GTA have made their own decisions to require masks for pupils in those grades.

Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, has mostly dodged questions about whether she would support removing the restriction locally, stating only that she wants to see a “gradual and progressive approach.”

On the other hand, Moore stated on Thursday that the mask mandate is now being reviewed and that a statement on its fate might be made “in the coming weeks.”

According to the chief medical officer of health, other rules, including required isolation measures and vaccine mandates for particular industries, should be adjusted or deleted.

“It’s vital to remember that this virus is still present and will be for some time. COVID-19 is still a global problem. “However, we know what works,” he added. “We now have tools that we didn’t have two years ago, including extremely potent vaccinations that have shifted the pandemic’s trajectory.”

Source: CTV News

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