Ontario shouldn’t see another provincewide lockdown during the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health told Vista Radio he would hate to see it happen and “honestly” only sees the province moving forward and exiting the Roadmap to Reopening or at the very least staying where we are in Step 3, “I’m really hesitant of having any provincial lockdown because some communities have done so brilliantly at having high immunization rates and I just don’t see them (provincial lockdowns) having a high impact. And I’m looking at rates of 90-percent (immunization) in some communities and I would hate to have to see their schools closed or any businesses closed in those environments. They really should be rewarded for their communities coming forward and not have to be part of any lockdown.”
Instead, Dr. Moore says there would be targeted health restrictions at a local level if an area is seeing high rates of community spread. He says businesses that have adopted immunization strategies for accessing services or immunization plans for their workers should be rewarded by being allowed to stay open and letting their services continue to be provided.
As for a provincially mandated vaccine passport, like those in Quebec and British Columbia, Dr. Moore says it isn’t off the table but he’s hopeful with more businesses developing their own vaccination strategies we will get to a 90-percent vaccination rate or higher.
He does acknowledge some people, about 3-percent of the population won’t get vaccinated, “What really saddens me now is if we look at the hospitalization rates, the vast majority of those individuals sadly haven’t taken advantage of being immunized. To me that’s awful to hear given that the vaccines are safe, they are effective, they will decrease your risk of being hospitalized, decrease your risk of death, decrease your risk of being in an intensive care unit.”
He says they are not giving up getting people vaccinated through public education and accessibility to vaccine clinics, “We have the Last Mile Strategy. We’re working diligently through all of our local public health agencies, our physicians, our pharmacists to make sure the vaccine is accessible and we answer people’s questions and concerns. But to me, if we want to avoid a difficult fall and winter we have to embrace higher immunization rates.”
Dr. Moore says our “fate is in our hands” and we can prevent the severe impact of the Delta variant this fall.