Ontario sees 'glimmers of hope' in Omicron COVID-19 situation, announcement on restrictions coming this week

·2 min read
Ontario sees 'glimmers of hope' in Omicron COVID-19 situation, announcement on restrictions coming this week

Ontario health officials continue to tease an announcement related to changes to existing COVID-19 restrictions that will likely come later this week.

While the specifics are still not known, Ontario's Minister of Health, Christine Elliott, said at a press conference on Wednesday that "we’re starting to see glimmers of hope" and "beginning to see signs of stabilization."

Elliott added that the province is expected to see the peak in COVID-19 cases by the end of the month, with the peak in hospitalizations and ICU admissions to follow.

"I’m starting to have more hope and cautious optimism," Dr. Kieran Moore, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, said on Wednesday.

"This is an encouraging sign that we may...be reaching the peak of the Omicron transmission in the coming weeks."

Dr. Moore highlighted that hospitalization stay for patients with the Omicron variant of COVID-19 is at an average of five days, compared to nine days for patients with the Delta variant.

He added that PCR test positivity has stabilized at about 20 to 25 per cent, but with about 53,000 tests being conducted a day, the turnaround time for results is only at about 64 per cent receiving their results after two days.

Matthew Anderson, the CEO of Ontario Health, did indicated that Ontario is still at in a "very challenging environment" in terms of the current situation at Ontario hospitals.

"We still have hospitals that are under very challenging circumstances as we deal with these rising numbers," he said.

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks at a news conference on the Covid-19 situation, January 12, 2022, in Ottawa, Canada. (Photo by Dave Chan / AFP) (Photo by DAVE CHAN/AFP via Getty Images)
Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks at a news conference on the Covid-19 situation, January 12, 2022, in Ottawa, Canada. (Photo by Dave Chan / AFP) (Photo by DAVE CHAN/AFP via Getty Images)

'The vaccination rate for kids five to 12 is too low in Canada'

At a separate press conference on Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau highlighted that more children in Canada need to get vaccinated.

"The vaccination rate for kids five to 12 is too low in Canada, which means not only are kids more vulnerable but all of society, whether it's teachers, whether its grandparents, whether its frontline heath workers risking getting overwhelmed when those people start to get sick," Trudeau said.

Data from Jan. 8 shows that less than 50 per cent of children between the ages of five and 11 have received even one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, 3.2 per cent are fully vaccinated.

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