When Is It Safe To Lift COVID-19 Restrictions? – .

Alberta family physicians face aggressive patients who want COVID-19 vaccine exemptions – .

With the number of COVID-19 cases in Ontario having leveled off in recent weeks, Premier Doug Ford announced the province’s new plan on Friday afternoon to gradually lift remaining restrictions.

Starting Monday, the province is lifting capacity limits on restaurants, gyms, indoor event spaces and other venues where proof of vaccination is currently required, and plans to lift proof of vaccination checks at some venues in from the new year.

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British Columbia also announced earlier this week that it will lift capacity limits on indoor gatherings, while Quebec will lift capacity limits on bars and restaurants starting November 1.

But, we’ve been here before. When Ontario lifted the restrictions in early 2021, the number of cases increased. The same thing happened in Alberta over the summer.

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That’s not to say we shouldn’t try to ease restrictions, said Dr. Anna Banerji, pediatric infectious disease specialist and associate professor in the Department of Medicine and the School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. .

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“I think now is a good time to open things up with caution,” she said. While opening too quickly risks a resurgence of cases, opening things carefully and using tools like proof of vaccination requirements could be safe, ”she said.

“When they open stadiums to 20,000-30,000 people with no spacing, it really doesn’t justify keeping things like restaurants closed,” she said.

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Mike Willis, a heart transplant recipient from Guelph, Ont., Agrees.

“I think it’s a good thing,” he said. “At the same time, even though I am triple vaccinated, my antibody levels are much lower than those of many people who have only had one injection. With the anti-rejection drugs that I am taking I have to be very careful and have been careful for over six years or so.

Limiting access to certain sites to only those vaccinated makes her feel better about reopening.

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“If people are careful, we need it for the economy,” he said.

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Others are not so sure reopening is a good idea at this time.

Dr. Susy Hota, medical director of infection prevention and control for the University Health Network of Toronto, urges caution.

“Across Canada, we are at 88% or more for the first doses. So I think we are heading towards a very nice number for eligible populations, ”she said.

Yet, she noted, it is difficult to say exactly when the collective immunity would come into effect.

“What’s the magic number?” No one really knows.

COVID-19 capacity limits to be lifted for many businesses, events in British Columbia on October 25

COVID-19 capacity limits to be lifted for many businesses, events in British Columbia on October 25

When considering reopening, she believes authorities would like to see a clear downward trend in the number of cases.

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“If you’re about to start going down the curve, it’s too early. You will need to make sure that this continues in this trend, as a further reopening can put you back to exponential growth, ”Hota said.

She also thinks governments should make sure the number of hospitals has declined as well, and consider giving healthcare workers “a break” after a spate of cases, rather than potentially plunging them into a new one.

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Then there are the unvaccinated, including some children who are not yet eligible. Hota would rather wait a few weeks to see if vaccines for children aged 5 to 11 are approved before reopening. Pfizer Canada has submitted its COVID-19 vaccine application for this age group, and Health Canada is currently reviewing it.

A statement from the Children’s Health Coalition, a group of children’s hospitals and medical providers, calls for a “cautious approach” to reopening that “duplicates” measures to protect school-aged children, including by limiting community transmission of the virus.

Dr. Don Vinh, an infectious disease specialist and medical microbiologist at the McGill University Health Center, is not sure the time is right to start easing restrictions related to COVID-19.

“It’s like a campfire,” he says. “There are places where the flame goes and these people are in trouble. And there are other places where the flame is dying or it’s just embers.

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The risk, he said, is that if you move away from the embers, they can reignite. And if you reopen too quickly, you “invite the possibility of increased community transmission.”

“Why do a medical cha-cha?” Why two steps forward and one step back?

Vaccine passports do more harm than good for some Toronto Caribbean businesses

Vaccine passports do more harm than good for some Toronto Caribbean businesses

Banerji said given the high vaccination rate in Canada, a slow reopening might work.

“I think having these vaccines and having a vaccination passport allows people to engage in ways that we weren’t able to last year,” she said.

Getting school-aged children vaccinated will also make a difference, she said.

“I hope that once vaccinated, most of society will open up again, especially to people who have been vaccinated. It would make sense.

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