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Ontario set for Monday’s easing of measures, slowly resuming health services

Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health has greenlit next week’s easing of provincial public health measures.

“Because of your extraordinary efforts to help blunt the transmission of Omicron and protect our health system capacity we can gradually begin easing public health measures on Monday January 31st, while still keeping up with the measures that are helping reduce transmission,” Dr. Kieran Moore says.

Moore says that means indoor public settings going back to half capacity as well as raising social gathering limits to 10 indoors and 25 outdoors. That includes restaurants, bars, gyms, theatres, and more.

In addition, most businesses will no longer be required to collect patron information for contact tracing, and the requirement to work from home except where necessary will be waived.

The province is also taking a phased approach to resuming some paused health services. That includes pediatrics, diagnostic services, cancer screening, some ambulatory clinics, private hospitals, and independent health facilities.

Moore says this approach is in line with the province’s easing public health measures while recognizing the ongoing pressures hospitals are facing. However, he says this does not mean all hospitals will immediately resume the surgical and procedural activities permitted. Hospitals will need to meet certain criteria and will make decisions based on local context and conditions.

***With files from Mo Fahim

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