Ontario is rolling out a slew of new health measures relating to proof of COVID-19 vaccinations and will start offering booster shots to Ontarians 18 and older starting January 4th.
That according to the Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Keiran Moore, who says the province is delaying the lifting of proof of vaccination requirements beyond January 17th.
Moore says Ontario will also be moving to only use the enhanced vaccine certificate with QR code and the Verify Ontario app as of January 4th, adding that the QR code can be used digitally or by printing a paper copy.
In addition, Moore says the province will be upping the verification process for medical exemptions by requiring a certificate with a special QR code.
He says organizations and businesses will be advised to no longer accept physician notes as of January 10th.
In addition, starting the last week of December, Moore says youth aged 12 to 17 years participating in organized sports at recreational facilities will be required to show proof of vaccination.
As for employers, he says all industries should make every effort to allow employees to work from home.
Moore says Friday’s new measures all align with the reopening plan that stipulated that doing so was contingent on the absence of concerning trends.
Dr. Moore also says ten percent of the province’s new cases are screening positive for the Omicron variant.
“This is absolute recent activity, the projections from Public Health Ontario just received a few hours ago are that this will continue,’ Moore says. ‘So we’ve gone from 10 percent, it may be up to 20 percent in the coming days, and then become a dominant strain, as in complete strain replacement of Delta by the beginning of January.”
He says that is why we all have to adhere to all the best practices that we put in play, adding that booster shots could be one of the best ways to lessen the impact of Omicron.
***With files from Mo Fahim