Canada’s public health agency will hold an update on the COVID-19 pandemic on Friday morning.
Globalnews.ca will be live streaming the federal update at 9:30 a.m. ET.
The update comes after health officials warned Thursday the drop in COVID-related hospitalizations in some provinces could come to an end as public health restrictions are loosened.
Ontario’s top doctor held a news conference, his first since restrictions began to ease this week and discussed the modelling from the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table that predicts a rise in cases in the coming weeks.
“We have to decide as a society how many public health measures we want to just recommend and/or maintain in a legal fashion to limit the spread of the viruses. I think that discussion should happen soon,” said Dr. Kieran Moore while addressing reporters Thursday.
Ontario and Quebec are allowing indoor restaurant dining at 50 per cent capacity.
Manitoba’s chief public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin said Wednesday that data shows the province may have passed the peak of the Omicron-fuelled surge and restrictions on gathering sizes and people allowed at sports events will be relaxed beginning on Tuesday.
Alberta and Saskatchewan reported record numbers of people in hospital with COVID-19 this week as both provinces announced they hope to remove vaccine passport requirements by the end of the month.
But the president of the Saskatchewan Medical Association, Dr. Eben Strydom, says it is too soon to loosen, or remove, public health measures, warning of further strain on the health-care system, and those who work in it.
COVID-19: ‘Not confident’ in duration of immunity from exposure to Omicron, Moore says
Saskatchewan’s premier said he’s committed to ending all COVID-19 restrictions soon, while most other provinces are laying out more gradual plans for easing public health measures.
“What’s necessary is your freedom. What’s necessary is getting your life back to normal,” Premier Scott Moe said in a video posted to social media. “It’s time.”
Moe, moving at a pace similar to Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, is planning to have no restrictions by the end of the month. Leaders elsewhere are laying out a slower approach to easing orders.
As of Friday, Canada has more than three million COVID-19 cases and over 9,000 people have been hospitalized. Of those, more than 1,000 are in critical condition, according to COVID-19 Tracker.
However, public health experts say the numbers could be much higher since many parts of Canada are no longer providing laboratory tests for most people after capacity was overwhelmed by the spread of Omicron.
— with files from The Canadian Press.
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