Ottawa’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches says the city needs to find a more balanced approach regarding COVID-19 and learn to coexist with the virus.
Etches made her comments a day before Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced new restriction criteria, allowing businesses to reopen in some areas.
Earlier restrictions, which went into effect on Oct. 10, were introduced in Ottawa, Peel, and Toronto and York regions. The restrictions include a reduction of limits on social gatherings, the prohibition of indoor service of food and drinks, and the closure of gyms, casinos, movie theatres, and other high social-contact facilities.
“As we approach the 28-day mark, since these restrictions came into effect, I have suggested to the province that we find a more balanced approach forward,” said Etches.
“The approach I’m recommending is that we learn to coexist with COVID, with care. And the goals of the response continue to be the same—to minimize hospitalization and death, as well as societal disruption.”
Etches said that the rapid rise in the number of people testing positive for COVID-19 in Ottawa seen in September and October has been stabilized.
“This doesn’t mean we should let our guard down or become complacent, on the contrary, we must continue to take those individual actions to protect each other.”
Partial lockdowns remain in place in Quebec and Manitoba.