TORONTO, MAY 13, 2021 — Ontario’s doctors support the extension of the province-wide pandemic lockdown and reopening outdoor recreational activities as soon as it is safe to do so.
The Ontario Medical Association says that while infection and hospitalization rates are coming down, all decisions around pandemic restrictions should be based on evidence and advice, including from the province’s COVID-19 Science Advisory Table. The lockdown should last long enough to make sure the third wave of the pandemic is the last one.
Doctors encourage the government to plan to reopen more outdoor recreational facilities to boost people’s physical and mental health. This needs to be done safely and with clear guidelines around when to wear masks, how many people can gather and avoiding closely packed crowds to protect both workers and clients alike.
Doctors also believe there may be potential for progressive openings of summer camps for children, if proper infection control and public health measures are implemented. Timing would depend on infection rates, hospitalization and ICU admissions and how many people are vaccinated. Doctors welcome the government announcement that it hopes to vaccinate 12- to 17-year-olds in June.
By adhering to the stay-at-home order just a while longer, Ontarians will increase the likelihood they can enjoy a less restrictive summer and have a “more normal” fall.
In the meantime, the OMA urges all Ontarians to get vaccinated and continue to follow public health guidelines, including wearing a mask and physical distancing.
The extended lockdown will also give hospitals time to ensure they have the capacity to care for both COVID and other patients when restrictions loosen. About 2,000 people continue to test positive for COVID every day and about 1,700 are hospitalized, including nearly 800 in intensive care units.
About the OMA
The Ontario Medical Association represents Ontario’s 43,000 plus physicians, medical students and retired physicians, advocating for and supporting doctors while strengthening the leadership role of doctors in caring for patients. Our vision is to be the trusted voice in transforming Ontario’s health-care system.
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