Province opens up boosters to everyone over 18 Monday

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FILE PHOTO

Limits capacity at large venues to stop Omicron

Anyone over 18 will be able to get a COVID-19 booster shot staring Monday.

Premier Doug Ford announced the province is ramping up vaccination as the variant Omicron infects more people with COVID-19. Ford held a news conference this afternoon announcing the change calling it a “call to arms” to stop the Omicron variant.

Dr. Keiran Moore says immunity against the virus wanes after three months so the province is opening up the opportunity for people to get boosters. Moore said 120,000 people received a vaccine yesterday.

The province also announced it would be making more rapid tests available at high traffic areas like malls and transit stations. The tests will also be made available at LCBO stores.

And the premier says starting Saturday, venues with over 1,000 people will be limited to 50 per cent capacity.

But when asked if the province would have to consider further measures, Ford said everything was on the table, but added a province wide lockdown is not an option.

The province is making the moves as the Ontario COVID-19 Science Table urged action saying the Omicron variant is moving so quickly that by the new year, the province could see 10,000 cases of COVID-19 a day.

“The point is we have to move very quickly,” said Dr Peter June of the Ontario Science Table. He was pleased with the measures announced this afternoon, but he disagrees the province will avoid any further restrictions. “We won’t be able to vaccinate our way out of this,” he said during a live interview with CBC.

“The right thing is really proper capacity limits in places which are at the highest risk,” including restaurants and bars.

He added todays measures are “not enough; we need to let go of the concept that we can vaccinate ourselves out of it.”