Ontario’s top doctor speaks as flu season approaches and COVID-19 cases are expected to rise

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Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health will discuss how the province is preparing for the fall flu season, just as Ontario’s sewage data shows an uptick in the amount of COVID-19 in Province.

Dr. Kieran Moore is due to provide an update at 1:00 p.m. at Queen’s Park. You can watch it live in this story.

Data released by the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table shows sewage signals, an early trend indicator, have increased since mid-August after declining for three weeks.

Last week, the group said it would be disbanding early next month after more than two years of helping inform Ontario’s response to the pandemic.

Data from the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table shows a slight increase in the presence of the virus in sewage samples over the past few weeks. (Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table)

The last time Moore gave an update was in mid-July, when he announced that Ontario would expand eligibility for fourth shots of COVID-19 vaccines to all adults. At the time, Moore said healthy people under 60 who had already received three doses might want to wait until the fall for a second booster.

The announcement also comes as some Ontario hospitals experienced closures throughout the summer due to healthcare staff shortages, and students are set to return to school for the first times without COVID-19 restrictions.

Health Canada approved booster doses of COVID-19 on August 19 for children aged 5 to 11. While Saskatchewan and Alberta have since expanded eligibility to include age group, Ontario has not.

According to Ontario COVID-19 vaccine websitea booster dose is “not currently authorized” for these children.

Moore said earlier this month that the province’s seventh wave of COVID had peaked, with waves arriving at roughly three-month intervals.

At the time, he predicted that a fall wave would not be as severe as expected, given that so many people have been infected with the Omicron variant, combined with protection from high vaccination rates and the absence of a worrying new variant.

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