Mississauga mayor says Ontario’s new COVID-19 rules will help people stay safe

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Published December 10, 2021 at 4:10 pm

Mayor Bonnie Crombie is applauding the Ontario government for its move today to dramatically change its COVID-19 proof of vaccination plan in the wake of escalating cases and the new variant.

With the number of cases across Ontario and Canada quickly rising and cases of the new variant, Omicron, now representing about 10 per cent of those newly infected with the virus across the province, Ontario is tightening its rules once again.

“Maintaining and tightening proof of vaccination, expanding booster shots and offering free pop-up testing for asymptomatic individuals over the holidays are all welcomed measures from (the Ontario government) to help curb the spread, especially of the Omicron variant,” Crombie tweeted this afternoon, shortly after Ontario health officials announced their change of course.

Though there’s still much to learn about the new variant, health officials here and around the world tend to believe it is much more transmissible than the Delta variant.

Omicron could represent as much as 20 per cent of new Ontario COVID-19 cases by next week, the provincial government said.

Among the changes to its strategy announced this afternoon by the Ontario government are:

• a move, effective Jan. 4, to require people to use their QR code and the Verify Ontario app in settings where proof of vaccination is needed (the QR code can be presented digitally or by printing a paper copy)

• a move, effective Dec. 20, to require youth aged 12 to 17 to show proof of vaccination when taking part in organized sports at recreation facilities

• a move to expand booster dose eligibility to all Ontarians aged 18 and older, effective Jan. 4

Additionally, Ontario officials said they won’t be lifting proof of vaccination rules in mid-January for people visiting restaurants and other venues as they had initially planned.

Instead, those rules will remain in place indefinitely.

The Ontario government is also “strongly advising” residents to limit their social gatherings and number of gatherings they attend and host over the holidays. Current indoor gathering limit is 25 people.

In an email to insauga.com late this afternoon, Crombie said Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Health Minister Christine Elliott did the right thing. The new measures, she noted, will “help our residents stay healthy and safe this holiday season.”

Crombie added that given a “concerning rise in case counts and many unknowns surrounding the Omicron variant, this is the right move.”

The measures will help in efforts to stop the spread of the virus, she said, adding “I can’t stress this enough: getting vaccinated remains our key defence against this virus.”

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