Ontario lifts vaccine mandates in schools, hospitals and long-term care homes | CBC News

Ontario is dropping the requirement for mandatory vaccination and testing policies in schools, long-term care homes and hospitals on Monday as the province reports 228 people in intensive care with COVID-19.

The move to lift mandatory vaccine policies comes after the province’s top doctor announced Ontario is gearing up to lift all remaining mask requirements and emergency orders meant to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus by April 27. 

The requirement for schools, health-care settings and hospitals to enforce COVID-19 vaccination policies and mandatory testing for unvaccinated staff end on Monday. However, individual organizations can keep their own requirements in place, and most hospitals have said they will continue their strict vaccine mandates.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health, reported 228 patients in ICU, the same number reported Sunday, however it’s important to note that not all hospitals report data on the weekends. 

Health Minister Christine Elliott said hospitalization data remains unavailable for a second day in a row.

No new deaths were reported by the province on Monday, marking the first time no deaths were logged this year. The official death toll stands at 12,256. 

The province recently changed how it reports COVID-19-related deaths. The number of new deaths will now be broken down in three categories: whether COVID-19 caused a death, contributed to a death but was not the “underlying cause” or if a person’s cause of death is unknown or missing.

Another 1,116 new COVID-19 cases have also been logged, though the province’s medical officer of health has warned the actual number of new cases is likely ten times higher, due to limited PCR testing available.

Here are some other key pandemic indicators and figures from the Ministry of Health’s daily provincial update:

Tests completed: 7,565.

Provincewide test positivity rate: 12.1 per cent.

Active cases: 16,011.

Patients in ICU requiring a ventilator to breathe: 111.

Vaccinations: 31,888,794 doses have been administered to date. Currently, 92.7 per cent of Ontarians aged 12 and older have received at least one dose, while 90.8 per cent have received two doses.

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