Ford says the variant is cause for "concern" but not "panic."
Premier Doug Ford said the Omicron variant is not a cause for "panic" during a press conference on Wednesday.
Ford stopped during his press conference for a multi-billion dollar hospital project to address the Omicron variant in the province, saying "the discovery of the variant here in Ontario is cause for concern, but it's not cause for panic."
Ford assured Ontarians that they are learning more about the variant every day, including "how quickly it can spread and how severe it may be," as well as how effective COVID-19 vaccines will be against the virus.
"Every day we hold off more cases entering our country, the more time we have to learn and prepare, so the best thing we can do right now is to fortify our borders. Our best defence is keeping the variant out of our country," said Ford.
Ford tipped his hat to the federal government, thanking them for their quick reaction to the variant after asking last week for them to close Canada's borders to some international flights.
"We welcome the actions from the federal government, and I want to thank the feds for taking action to date. We emplored them last week to act quickly and be decisive on the borders, and they did," he said.
The Canadian government has updated travel rules in response to the new variant, and Ford applauded its decision, saying "we're pleased to see them respond to our calls, testing, and that they restarted the testing at the airports, which is absolutely critical upon arrival in our country."
Ford says they will "continue to call on them to be proactive and not wait to implement every measure needed to keep Canadians safe," and encouraged all those that hadn't, to get vaccinated. He also encouraged those that are eligible to get a booster dose to do so as soon as it becomes available to them.
Health Canada has a robust website with all the latest information on COVID-19 vaccines and can answer any questions you may have.