A plan was announced last week by Ontario Premier Doug Ford to safely reopen Ontario by slowly lifting public health measures by March of 2022.

Phase one of the newly announced plan began yesterday (October 25, 2021), when capacity limits were lifted in a vast majority of settings where proof of vaccination is required.

Dr.Kit Young Hoon Medical Officer of Health for the Northwestern Health Unit shared her thoughts on the plan in a media briefing today (October 26, 2021).

“One of the key things with the reopening plan is that it is a plan. It is very much dependent on case numbers that occur. The plan is still tentative and may need to be slowed down if the case numbers increase,” said Young Hoon.

Young Hoon shared her appreciation for the province to put together a gradual reopening plan.

“It’s very important that the province announced this. It gives everyone a sense of what’s going to happen. I’m appreciative of the fact that it is a gradual reopening and that they are going to be monitoring case numbers as they move forward with the reopening plan,” concluded Young Hoon.

The plan will be guided by the ongoing assessment of key public health and health care indicators and supported by local or regional tailored responses to COVID-19.

The next phase of the reopening plan is scheduled to start on November 15, 2021, when capacity limits will be lifted in the remaining higher-risk settings where proof of vaccination is required. This includes food or drink establishments with dance facilities (e.g., night clubs, wedding receptions in meeting/event spaces where there is dancing); strip clubs, bathhouses, and sex clubs.

The final phase will take place on March 28, 2022, when remaining public health and workplace safety measures will be lifted, including wearing face coverings in indoor public settings.

The province reported its lowest daily case count since August today (October 26, 2021) with only 269 new cases logged.

Vaccination rates across the NWHU region continue to climb as 88.5 per cent of those eligible have received one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine while 82.4 per cent are fully vaccinated.

In Ontario 87.9 per cent of those aged 12 and older have gotten one shot of the vaccine, and 84 per cent are fully immunized against COVID-19.