"We're staying in step three, we're now embracing immunization policies."
The Ontario government has just announced that the province will be pausing its exit from the Roadmap to Reopen and will not be leaving step three anytime soon.
In a press conference on Tuesday, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore announced that, as the province begins to see case numbers rise again, residents won't be seeing the province return to normal.
"We need to get the vaccination policies in place and our vaccination rates up," Moore said. "We need to be proactive to avoid the reactive closures that result in the significant impacts on our mental, physical, social and economic well-being."
Over the past few days, the province has seen daily case numbers reach over 500 multiple times and the Delta variant continues to be an issue across the province.
"We've been monitoring our immunization rates. We had a sudden drop-off over the last several weeks and quite honestly we have to re-bolster our efforts to immunize Ontarians," Moore said. "It was unexpected to have such a sudden drop-off and we've learned more about the threat of Delta. It is now over 90% of the detected samples are of the Delta class, or variant, in Ontario and we are now seeing our rates of illness go up. And we're seeing our hospitalization numbers go up," he continued.
"I think this government's taken a cautious approach. We're staying in step three, we're now embracing immunization policies."
Gathering rules and other restrictions will remain in place
Last week, Moore hinted that step three could come to an end in just 10 days. However, this is now not the case.
While leaving the Roadmap to Reopen would have seen gathering rules and other restrictions lift, residents will have to continue keeping indoor gatherings to a maximum of 25 people and outdoor gatherings to a maximum of 100.
"The Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts will continue to monitor the data to determine when it is safe to exit the Roadmap and lift the majority of public health and workplace safety measures currently in place," reads an excerpt from a government news release.