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Ontario mandates health, education workers to be vaccinated

A vial of COVID-19 vaccine
Office of the Governor
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The government of Ontario has put the brakes on any further reopening of the economy because of the surge in recent daily cases of COVID-19. In addition, health and education workers will be required to be vaccinated or take regular COVID-19 tests.

The decision came after Premier Doug Ford met with his cabinet Monday — and five consecutive days of more than 500 cases of COVID-19 driven by the Delta variant.

Ontario is only weeks away from its plan for a return to schools and in-person learning. But with the case numbers climbing and cooler weather soon to force people indoors, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kieran Moore said the highly transmissible Delta variant has resulted in reintroduction of COVID-19 in some high-risk settings, and that requires a directive for hospitals, home and community service providers and ambulance services.

"Effective Sept. 7, the directive will require covered organizations to implement policies that require their employees and others in these sectors to either provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 or provide a documented medical reason for not being vaccinated," Moore said.

Moore added that those who do not provide proof of vaccinations will have to undergo regular testing and show continued negative results.

Ontario also said it will offer a third, or booster shot, of a vaccine to certain vulnerable populations.

Moore said he’s sorry to say, but it’s going to be a difficult fall and winter. He also hinted at even more immunization measures later this year, if necessary.