Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccine booking portal opens for residents 40+

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Ontario will remain under a stay-at-home order until June 2 and schools will stay closed for the foreseeable future, Premier Doug Ford announced Thursday.

The rollout will be informed by the work of the Children's COVID-19 Vaccine Table and will provide access to multiple channels to support vaccinating this group, including mass vaccination clinics, community or school pop-ups, and pharmacies.

"Obviously that won't mean large sporting events or concerts, but if we manage the next few weeks properly, I believe we can have things in a very good place this summer", said the premier from Queen's Park. "But we also know that when rates increase and get incredibly high in some of our communities we're going to find more and more cases in our schools and we're going to increase the risk of transmission and exposure", said Fisher on 580 CFRA on Wednesday.

In-person shopping and non-essential stores, including malls, will remain closed.

Ford says he hopes by June 2nd we can start to reopen outdoor recreational activities. "The spread of variants remains a major concern so we must stay vigilant".

Ontario Public Health reported 110 new cases in Ottawa.

The impact of the public health measures will be evaluated in the coming weeks. "We still have a ways to get back down".

Hospitalizations and intensive-care admissions, while also off their peak, remain far above levels seen during the second wave, the government said.

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Ontario's Chief Medical officer of Health Dr. David Williams said earlier this week that the province would need to see daily COVID-19 case counts below the 1,000 mark before significantly loosening restrictions. Of those, 461,076 are resolved (92.3 per cent) and 8,374 people have died (32 more than Tuesday).

Hospitals in Canada's most populous province were close to being overwhelmed in the latest pandemic wave due to a surge in COVID-19 cases driven by more easily transmitted coronavirus variants and a reopening that many health experts said happened too soon.

The province has been under pressure to relax restrictions around outdoor recreation.

The health minister said the number of hospitalizations and patients in ICUs would have to go down and a backlog of surgeries would have to be worked through before the ban on outdoor sports could be lifted.

Ford criticized the federal government for the lack of border restrictions saying "it's their job and they need to do it".

"We've been asked to coordinate locally with our locally school boards", said Marentette.

This comes as the province recorded 2,759 cases of COVID-19 along with 31 deaths Thursday.

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