Ford unveils plan to combat COVID-19 as weather turns colder

Published On September 24, 2020 | By Beatriz Baleeiro | COVID-19, Politics
Doug Ford announced that some Ontario pharmacies will be able to administer COVID-19 tests starting on Friday, 20 Sept. 2020. (CPAC Youtube)
Beatriz Baleeiro

After the province reported an additional 478 cases of the novel coronavirus on Sept. 22, Ontario Premier Doug Ford said a “more challenging and complicated” second wave of COVID is surging.

“We know that it will be more complicated than the first wave, we know it will be more challenging on the system, what we don’t know is how bad it will be, how hard we will get hit because that is up to all of us, we all have a part to play and it starts with everyone getting their flu shot this year,” the premier said at a conference held at Queen’s Park.

It was the first of the six pillars plan, which will include $70 million invested in a campaign to promote getting the flu shot.

In the same conference Christine Elliott, Ontario’s health minister, said that part of plan will be focused on “maintaining public health measures, including expanding testing for the novel coronavirus and contact tracing, implementing the largest flu immunization campaign in the province’s history, quickly identifying, managing and preventing outbreaks of the disease.”

The premier said the campaign will be the largest one the province has ever seen and it will give more support to the health-care system with a second wave of the virus on its way.

“With the number of cases on the rise, it’s clear that the next wave it will come at us harder than the last one. It will be more challenging than before because the flu season is starting soon and people are heading indoors again,” he said.

Ford said the province has requested 5.1 million doses of the flu vaccine, 700,000 more doses than last year.

In a statement, Peel Public Health reinforces the administration of the shot. “Getting the influenza vaccine will be particularly important during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially for those in high-risk groups, which include adults 65 years of age and older and all children 6–59 months of age. Getting the flu shot will reduce the chance of having an illness that can be confused with COVID-19.”

The premier mentioned that for the first time, high-dose shots geared towards seniors will be available in pharmacies and long-term care facilities.

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