Ontario’s chief medical officer of health is advising Ontarians to opt for small holiday gatherings this year in light of rising cases and the Omicron variant.
With COVID-19 cases settling above 1,000 per day and Omicron cases quickly growing, Dr. Kieran Moore is warning Ontarians to have smaller gatherings, and attend fewer.
At a press conference held on Friday, Dr. Moore told reporters that Ontarians need to be cautious this holiday season.
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“Please keep your social contacts to a minimum,” he said. “Your gathering should be small and you should limit the number of gatherings you attend.”
For those hosting holiday gatherings, he advised that all invited guests should be vaccinated.
“If you’re planning on hosting holiday events it is advisable to ensure everyone in attendance is fully vaccinated, especially if seniors or immunocompromised people are attending,” he said.
He suggested that people at gatherings wear a mask if any vulnerable people are in attendance, even if everyone is fully vaccinated.
“We all have a responsibility to protect each other,” Dr. Moore said. “We do not want this holiday season to become a super spreading event.”
Over the course of the holidays, the province is launching a holiday testing blitz in high-traffic, moderate-risk settings where vaccinated and unvaccinated people might mix. According to the province, two million rapid antigen tests will be deployed in malls, retail centres, holiday markets and transit hubs.