'We all need to stay calm': Health minister says Ontario can handle sixth wave

Published April 5, 2022 5:41 p.m. ET
Updated April 5, 2022 8:33 p.m. ET

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Ontario’s health minister is telling people in the province to “stay calm” as hospitalizations across Ontario jumped nearly 40 per cent in seven days.

“We all need to stay calm,” Christine Elliott said at Queen’s Park on Tuesday. “We do have the resources that we need in Ontario to deal with this both in terms of the antivirals, and we are continuing to vaccinate people.”

Elliott said Ontario has capacity “both in the medical surgical wards of our hospitals, as well as in the intensive care unit” to cope with the sixth wave.

Wastewater data, provided by Ontario’s COVID-19 Science Table, also confirms a provincial increase in COVID-19 infections. In nearly every region in Ontario, the concentration of the disease in wastewaters has started to rise.

However, Elliott insisted, “Ontario is in a very good place and we will be able to get through.”

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Meanwhile, Elliott addressed concerns mounting from health experts and opposition parties surrounding the Chief Medical Officer of Health’s recent lack of public presence during the sixth wave.

“We need leadership,” NDP Deputy Leader Dr. Sara Singh said on Tuesday. 

On March 9, Dr. Kieran Moore held his final weekly COVID-19 update – putting an end to a longstanding pandemic ritual.

“That was Dr. Moore's choice,” Elliott said Tuesday.

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At the time, COVID-19 hospitalizations had been steadily declining across the province for weeks. But now, even as COVID-19 hospitalizations creep back up to 1,091 on Tuesday, Elliott said Moore has no plan to resume frequent public-facing interviews or updates.

“If Dr. Moore feels it's necessary at some point in the future, to provide regular interviews or to appear to discuss questions, he will. But as he said in the past, we have to learn to live with COVID. It's gotten to that point now.” 

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