Procedures and surgeries will "gradually" start back up again.
Non-emergency surgeries and procedures may soon be back on the table as Ontario plans to lift the measure known as Directive 2 in the "coming days."
Minister of Health Christine Elliott announced in a press conference on Wednesday that a plan for the resumption of surgeries and procedures is in the works with Ontario Health as COVID-19 hospitalizations "continue to decline."
"We understand the impact Directive #2 has had on Ontarians in need of care, which is why we intend to lift Directive 2 in the coming days and begin a gradual and cautious resumption of surgeries and procedures," said Elliott.
"The Ministry of Health and Ontario Health are finalizing the details on a phased approach to resuming this care for patients across the province," she added.
This news was announced because Ontario is "currently tracking towards the best-case projections," according to Elliott, who attributes the success "to the sacrifices of Ontarians and unwavering efforts of our health care workers."
Ontario reinstated Directive 2, which instructed hospitals to pause all non-emergency surgeries and procedures, on January 5, as part of Ontario's restrictions in a modified Step Two to "preserve critical care and human resource capacity."
However, as Ontario gradually starts to reopen, the temporary measure will soon be lifted.
Elliott also announced Ontario will be making 44 million free rapid tests available to Ontarians over the next eight weeks, which will be distributed by grocery stores, pharmacies and community partners to "support the province's cautious easing of public health measures," according to a press release.