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Ontario's new top doctor in no rush to move to stage 3 reopening

Kiernan Moore, Ontario's new chief medical officer, speaks at a news conference Tuesday.
Queen's Park Media Studio
Dr. Kiernan Moore, Ontario's new chief medical officer, speaks at a news conference Tuesday.

Ontario moved into stage two of its reopening plan Wednesday as vaccination for COVID-19 surpassed targets. But the province’s new top doctor says he’s in no hurry to move to stage three.

As daily case counts of COVID-19 continue to decline and more and more people are getting vaccinated, many in Ontario are feeling optimistic. The latest numbers show 77% have had at least one dose, and 37% are fully vaccinated. That’s led to the stage two reopening a couple of days earlier than scheduled.

But in his first news conference as Ontario’s new chief medical officer of health, Dr. Kieran Moore said it’s unlikely there will be any going to stage three early.

“A 21-day interval is prudent," he said. "And I personally don’t want to see that shortened because we need to be data driven in the face of this new enemy.”

That means restaurants will remain closed for in-person dining.

Moore also said vaccination rates are not the only measure he’s looking at. He’s proceeding cautiously with one eye on the spreading and more-infectious Delta variant of the coronavirus. He said he’s monitoring the impact of the variant locally and internationally, adding that it’s a difficult adversary which is aggressive and spreads rapidly.

Moore does hold out hope for the fall, saying if progress continues things could be normal enough for students to go back to schools in September.