Protocols around COVID-19 are loosening in Ontario, with the province’s top doctor announcing a shortened window for isolation after testing positive for the virus.
At a news conference on Wednesday to announce expansion of booster eligibility for kids between the ages of five and 11, Dr. Kieran Moore, Ontario's chief medical officer of health, added that Ontarians won’t have to follow a mandatory five-day isolation period after testing positive for COVID-19.
Moore explained if someone tests positive for COVID-19 (or has another respiratory virus) and shows to have improving symptoms 24 hours after first getting sick, they can return to work, or school, but high-risk places like long-term care homes should be avoided.
"This approach should decrease the risk of all respiratory viruses in our communities," he said.
Moore also indicated that the province has moved out of its “crisis phase” of COVID-19 and has turned into something that will need long-term management.
Many people on Twitter, including some health experts, were shocked by the change in guidance for isolating after a COVID-19 infection.
Can someone explain why, when our health system is collapsing & cases will rise in the fall/winter, the Ontario government has decided to remove the mandatory 5-day COVID isolation rule?
People will suffer due to this decision...Especially vulnerable immunocompromised people.
— Naheed Dosani (@NaheedD) August 31, 2022
So let me get this straight. The healthcare system is in crisis. Over 20% of LTC facilities are still in outbreak. 3rd dose uptake is lagging....and yet the Ontario government is scrapping the mandatory 5-day COVID isolation rule?
This isn't public health...it's atrocious.
— Dr. Amit Arya (@AmitAryaMD) August 31, 2022
The removal of the mandatory 5-day COVID isolation rule by the Ontario government is yet another reminder of how much labour is valued but not people's lives. This move is unscientific and grounded in capitalist greed. We should all be outraged because this will cost lives.
— Birgit Uwaila Umaigba (@birgitomo) August 31, 2022
#BREAKING: Ontario continues to promote this myth that pandemic is over, thereby ensuring that an innumerable amount of death will continue to occur as the virus spreads through: schools, long term care, hospitals, daycares, workplaces, prisons, and every other congregate setting https://t.co/bO9DlLVfQ4
— Disability Justice Network of Ontario (@djnontario) August 31, 2022
This is what the death of public health in Ontario looks like: Ontario CMOH has just scrapped the 5 day COVID isolation period. As a result, many more people who have COVID will in the workplace, school, grocery store, pharmacy, public transit etc.
MASK UP, ONTARIO!!!
— Geoffrey P. Johnston🇺🇦🇨🇦🏳️🌈 (@GeoffyPJohnston) August 31, 2022
Dr.Moore just put this entire school year in jeopardy, we are treading water with staffing as it is.
— Jason Ramsay 🍁 (@JasonRamsay89) August 31, 2022
This has to be designed to completely collapse the hospital system in Ontario. Tell Covid positive people to go to school, go to work, that's just insanity. Also saying "three weeks after school starts many kids will be sick with some type of respiratory illness". 😱😱😱
— sarrahh01 🇨🇦🌻 (@sarrahh011) August 31, 2022