UPDATE: Province not lifting COVID-19 capacity limits at night clubs in Mississauga, Brampton and across Ontario

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Published December 7, 2021 at 12:52 pm

Ontario chief medical officer of health Dr. Kieran Moore said COVID-19 case counts never got back to a low level in Ontario this fall, and likely will not till springtime. (The Canadian Press)

Experts say the new Omicron variant of COVID-19 could hit “hard and fast” as the province held back on lifting capacity limits at night clubs and other venues on Tuesday.

The province originally planned to lift capacity limits at food or drink establishments with dance facilities, strip clubs, sex clubs and bathhouses back in November.

But those plans have been put on ice for a second time as new modeling from Ontario science advisory table shows the number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care could rise to between 250 and 400 in January.

The province says public health and medical experts continue to learn more about the new Omicron variant of COVID-19. And even without factoring in the new Omicron variant of the virus, the new report shows cases of the virus are rising in public health units across Ontario.

While the science table said it can’t precisely predict the impact of the new variant, it did say Omicron could “hit us hard and fast,” and will likely drive COVID-19 cases above current projections.

Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, said the pause on reopening was made to preserve the province’s “hard-fought progress” against the virus.

Dr. Kieran Moore, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, said the province is anticipating an increase in COVID-19 cases during the winter months and that the new Omicron variant mean Ontarians “must continue following the measures we have in place.”

“While an increase in the number of cases was always expected as we entered the winter months, with the emergence of the Omicron variant we must continue following the measures we have in place that have been working for us,” said Dr. Kieran Moore, Chief Medical Officer of Health.

Moore again urged eligible Ontarians to get vaccinated against the virus sand said immunization is “our best defence against COVID-19 and variants.”

The capacity limits extend to:

  • food or drink establishments with dance facilities such as night clubs and wedding receptions in meeting/event spaces where there is dancing.
  • strip clubs.
  • sex clubs and bathhouses.
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