Announcement on Ontario COVID restrictions coming this week, official says

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The Ontario government will make an announcement on COVID-19 restrictions in the province sometime this week, a government source says.

Earlier this month, the province implemented new restrictions amid a spike in Omicron cases. The government said the measures would be in place until at least Jan. 26.

They included additional capacity limits, a ban on indoor dining, and the closure of several types of facilities including gyms, cinemas, and museums.

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4,183 people in Ontario hospitals with COVID, 580 in intensive care

Premier Doug Ford told Ottawa radio station 580 CFRA that “positive news” will be coming.

“I believe we’re going to make some announcements later this week about going back to other levels of restrictions,” Ford said.

The number of those hospitalized with COVID-19 in Ontario has continued to increase, reaching a record of 4,183 as of Tuesday’s update, though just over half of those individuals were initially admitted to hospital because of the virus. Just over 46 per cent were admitted for other reasons but tested positive for COVID-19.

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Of those hospitalized with COVID, 580 are in intensive care — around 18 per cent were admitted for other reasons but tested positive for the virus.

Due to testing restrictions that were recently put in place, daily case counts have largely become unreliable in getting a true sense of the community spread of COVID.

However, the positivity rate has dropped slightly over the past couple weeks, but as of Tuesday’s report still remained high at 24.5 per cent.

Ontario’s chief medical officer of health said last week that he is watching for a peak or plateau of COVID-19 hospitalizations, and he can’t guarantee the province will be ready to ease the restrictions on the 26th.

— With files from Gabby Rodrigues and The Canadian Press

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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