Ontario is looking at changing when the province can progress out of Step 3
Though there's no Step 4 of Ontario's Reopening plan, things will certainly change after the 21 (or so) days that we're in Step 3, with restrictions loosening further and businesses resuming more operations that will see a full opening "with some public health measures, if appropriate."
But, as we all well know, this move forward is contingent upon hitting certain key healthx indicator targets, the main one being vaccination rates.
Based on the latest data, approximately 80 per cent of eligible residents 12 and over provincewide have received at least one dose of a recognized COVID-19 inoculation, and more than 62 per cent are fully vaxxed.
This is fast approaching the thresholds to graduate out of Step 3, which we just entered on July 16; officials had previously said that rates of 80 per cent and 75 per cent, respectively, would be needed to make this move.
But now, Ontario's new Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Kieran Moore, has suggested that we raise these goals given the threat posed by the Delta and other virus variants of concern.
Got clarity from the CMOH. Dr. Kieran Moore says modelling has shown that if 90% of the 12+ population in Ontario is fully immunized we could enter the endemic stage of COVID-19.— Colin D'Mello CTVNews (@ColinDMello) July 20, 2021
We haven't seen the modelling to determine the timelines. #onpoli
Moore made the revelation during a press conference on Tuesday, stating that the latest case modelling projections — which some experts admit have to be "taken with a grain of salt" — indicate that "once we're at around 90 per cent of the eligible population immunized that the risk of Delta will be less for us."
He continued: "If we remain at around 20 per cent of the population unvaccinated we won't build a community immunity and you'll get breakthrough infections in those individuals that are vaccinated because not all individuals... will get full protection from the vaccine."
The majority of those eligible and willing to get jabbed have already done so, leading to slowing vaccination uptake, Moore added. This means that the province is now considering "all possibilities," including incentives like those offered by other governments, to get people immunized.
According to Moore, during the month of June, the risk of COVID-19 for unvaxxed residents was 4.7 times higher than those who had received both shots, and the rate of hospitalization from infection was three times higher than those who had received just one.
Data is unavailable for those who may have some sort of natural immunity due to a previous COVID-19 infection.
Can you pretty please ask Dr. Moore to reconcile this objective with those who already achieved robust immunity through infection? Please?— Sam Burns (@RealSamBurns) July 20, 2021
The vast majority of new infections are also (obviously) in those people who have yet to receive a vaccine, with as many as 99 per cent of new cases among some age groups found to be in unvaxxed individuals.
Premier Doug Ford has yet to respond to the suggested new targets, while responses from residents across social media are mixed, with many saying that the goal is too lofty, unrealistic and unnecessary, and others considering it fair.
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