Ontario Liberals Call for New Measures to Battle the Fifth Wave

TORONTO – Ontario Liberals are calling for new measures to counter the fifth wave and Omicron. Ontario is being walked into another public health disaster because of Doug Ford’s failure to lead, just as we were during the second, third and fourth waves.

“We need strong leadership right now before we see a repeat of the disaster caused by Doug Ford this time last year,” stated Ontario Liberal Leader, Steven Del Duca. “I am demanding immediate action to protect Ontario families from the surging wave of Omicron cases.”

Ontario Liberals would implement the following measures:

  • Immediately expand third dose vaccination eligibility to all individuals over the age of 18 who got their second dose 168 days or more ago.

    • Ensure that all residents and staff in LTC, retirement homes and other congregate care settings for vulnerable individuals (e.g. group homes) have received their 3rd dose

    • Ensure that all healthcare workers and their close contacts and family members have received their 3rd dose

  • Ramp-up vaccination clinics to 24/7 operations by mobilizing all available healthcare professionals including foreign trained doctors and nurses immediately.

  • Make free rapid tests available to the general public at pharmacies, libraries, LCBO outlets, ServiceOntario locations, and create a provincial rapid testing strategy that is generous and robust.

  • Address airborne transmission by promoting and distributing free and high quality masks, and by supporting improvements in ventilation and filtration in indoor public settings.

  • Add the COVID-19 vaccine to the list of compulsory vaccines in Ontario schools.

  • Launch a multidimensional and multilingual public campaign promoting vaccination, including boosters, and aggressively combat anti-science and anti-vaccine misinformation and disinformation.

  • Establish safety zones around hospitals and vaccine clinics to ensure that health care workers and patients are not targeted and harassed, and obstructed from providing or receiving care.

  • Implement a strong vaccine mandate for all education workers and healthcare workers in Ontario.

    • Long-term care staff who are currently mandated to receive the COVID-19 vaccine should only be considered fully vaccinated with three doses, or with a recent second dose.

  • Announce that Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccine certificate may soon require three doses for an individual to be considered fully vaccinated.

  • Request assistance from the Canadian military for a contingency plan to add emergency ICU capacity so that much needed surgeries don’t get delayed yet again to make room for Covid patients.

  • Immediately implement 10 paid sick days for all workers in Ontario.

  • Provide financial support to small businesses that may be adversely impacted by any new restrictions that are implemented to deal with the Omicron variant.

Immediately implementing these common sense measures will help Ontario avoid the worst of another wave and further impacts to our health care systems, including another suspension of surgeries and other non-emergency treatments.

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