TORONTO – COVID-19 case counts have been on the rise in Ontario and the Science Advisory Table projects that this will likely result in increased ICU occupancy. Several jurisdictions around the world are already experiencing deadly resurgences, with many European countries having to re-impose restrictions as they try to deal with the surge of cases, hospitalizations and deaths.
“Doug Ford seems to be doing nothing to stop yet another deadly, but preventable fifth wave of COVID-19,” said Ontario Liberal Leader, Steven Del Duca. “That’s why Ontario Liberals have put in the work to create a real plan to protect our most vulnerable and prevent any more closures.”
To mitigate a fifth wave in Ontario, the Ontario Liberal Party is putting forward a three point plan:
- Mandatory vaccinations for all front line healthcare workers and education workers
- Mandatory vaccinations for workers in settings that require a vaccine certificate
- Aggressive and robust vaccine roll-out plan for our 5-11 year old children that includes a public education component for parents/guardians and children on the effectiveness of the vaccine. This should include ensuring that mobile vaccine clinics are held in each school, where feasible and desired, and focussing first on more at-risk communities.
- Aggressive and robust roll-out plan for third dose boosters, especially among our more elderly and vulnerable populations.
- A pre-booking option for vaccination of children and for booster doses should be made available as other provinces like British Columbia are already doing.
- Add the COVID-19 vaccine to the list of vaccines that are required to attend school under the Immunization of Schools Pupil Act (ISPA) for 12-17 year olds immediately.
- Recognize the science that COVID-19 is an airborne virus.
- Government should support improved ventilation (HVAC) and filtration (HEPA) in indoor public settings, including businesses as recommended by the Science Table.
- Government should promote the use of high quality masks, including three-ply, surgical or respirator masks.
- Mandating Safety
- Strengthen the province’s COVID-19 vaccine certificate to ensure that it is both secure and verifiable, by moving to the exclusive use of the QR code as proof of vaccination.
- Support businesses in ensuring that QR code is used to access the facility.
- Reinforce masking in large indoor settings.
- Make rapid tests more accessible, especially as we approach the holiday season when families will gather indoors.
- Ensure that all Ontarians have 10 paid sick days.
- Take immediate action to stop the disturbing rise in harassment and threats against our health care heroes.