Mask mandates not out of the question as Ontario faces ‘triple threat’ of flu, RSV and COVID-19: Moore – CBC

Dr. Kieran Moore says recommendation could come if COVID affects ability to reduce surgical backlog

Nov 02, 2022

The “triple threat” of a bad flu season, COVID-19 and the resurgence of a childhood viral illness is putting a strain on the health system, Ontario’s top doctor said Wednesday, with a decision on masking recommendations possibly coming in a couple of weeks.

Dr. Kieran Moore has said if COVID-19 starts affecting the ability to reduce the surgical backlog he would suggest the government make a recommendation on masking in certain indoor settings, and if there are further effects he would recommend reinstating mask mandates.

Some public health experts, such as former COVID-19 science advisory table head Dr. Fahad Razak, have said Ontario is already at the point of needing mask mandates again.

Many hospitals across the province, both smaller ones in rural areas and large ones in cities, have been overwhelmed with patients, reporting large volumes and long waits.

Emergency departments have closed periodically — a trend that first began in the summer largely due to nursing staff shortages. Children’s hospitals in Ottawa, Toronto and Hamilton have reported unprecedented surges of pediatric patients, many coming in with respiratory illnesses.

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