Ontario’s Medical Office of Health seemed to be trying to dampen public panic about the Omicron outbreak. Dr. Kieran Moore told reporters today that it is possible that the Omicron variant will be significantly less virulent that the previous strains of COVID , but he is still monitoring the data from other countries who experienced the new strain earlier in Ontario. At the beginning of his comments, however, he said Ontario is likely to see record high case numbers before this wave is over. But he noted that of the 4600 Omicron cases currently underway in Ontario only 15 people have needed hospitalization and so far none have required treatment in ICU.
Responding to criticism that there are serious logjams in the province both in getting booster shots and testing, he defended the way the province has ramped up vaccinations.
Dr Moore had some new information for residents seeking booster shots. In order to speed up the number of shots being administered the province has reduced the waiting time after receiving a shot from 15 minutes to 5 minutes for people who experienced no difficulties with the first two doses received. He also told reporters that for those who had have boosters, the vaccine will start to provide improved immunity in only five to seven days instead of the two weeks that was recommended for the first two shots.