Ontario to remove mask mandates on March 21

Mar 9, 2022, 9:58 AM | Updated: 10:31 am

TORONTO (AP) — Canada’s largest province is removing mask mandates on March 21 in most settings, including schools, officials announced Wednesday.

The province of Ontario said improving health indicators such as a stable COVID-19 test positivity rate and declining hospitalizations, as well as Ontario’s high vaccination rates and the availability of antiviral treatments, allow for these steps.

“It’s now a choice, not a mandate. I hope that anyone who remains vulnerable continues to wear masks,” Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore said.

The announcement came as 1,974 new COVID-19 cases were reported Wednesday in the province, though Moore has said that limits on testing mean that the true number is likely 10 times that amount, or more than 19,000 cases.

“We are now learning to live with and manage COVID-19 for the long term,” Moore said. “This necessitates a shift to a more balanced response to the pandemic.”

Moore said individuals can do their own risk assessment. “You can’t mandate masking forever,” he said.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford said at an unrelated announcement Wednesday that the world has learned a lot since March 2020 and Ontario is in much better shape now.

“We’re going to move forward cautiously, and if someone wants to keep (a mask) on, God bless them, and good for them,” he said. “But I know a lot of people don’t want to keep them on.”

Ford said he’s been accused of being the most cautious government leader in North America. Ontario and Toronto, Canada’s largest city, has been locked down more than many other jurisdictions over the past two years.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FIEL - The Torrance County Detention Facility is shown in this, Nov. 11, 2000, file photo, in Estan...
Associated Press

Groups: Retaliation after migrants report detention center

ESTANCIA, N.M. (AP) — Migrants held by U.S. authorities at a detention center in rural New Mexico have endured retaliation rather than aid after reporting unsanitary conditions at the government-contracted jail, a coalition of civil rights advocacy groups said Wednesday. A public letter signed this week by at least a dozen migrants within the Torrance […]
11 hours ago
Associated Press

EU takes Malta to court over passport-for-pay program

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union’s executive branch said Thursday that it is taking Malta to court over its golden passport policy that allows wealthy people to buy EU citizenship, even after the small island country suspended the program for citizens of Russia and Belarus. The European Commission launched infringement procedures against Malta and Cyprus […]
11 hours ago
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell speaks at a news conference Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022, at the F...
Associated Press

EXPLAINER: How do we know when a recession has begun?

WASHINGTON (AP) — The economy shrank in the first half of this year, the government confirmed in a report Thursday, underscoring fears of a broad-based slowdown that could lead to a recession. At the same time, the number of people seeking unemployment benefits — a figure that often reflects the pace of layoffs — fell […]
11 hours ago
Pumpkins are loaded into a semi-trailer on Bill Sahs' farm, Monday, Sept. 12, 2022, in Atlanta, Ill...
Associated Press

Pumpkin farms adapt to improve soil, lower emissions

ATLANTA, Illinois (AP) — This Thanksgiving, your pumpkin pie might have a lower carbon footprint. On the central Illinois farms that supply most of the world’s canned pumpkin, farmers are adopting regenerative techniques designed to reduce emissions, attract natural pollinators like bees and butterflies and improve the health of the soil. The effort is backed […]
11 hours ago
Associated Press

84-year-old Michigan anti-abortion canvasser shot, wounded

ODESSA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A man shot and wounded an 84-year-old Michigan woman who was canvassing door-to-door against a proposed constitutional amendment that would guarantee the right to abortion in the state. The State Police are investigating the Sept. 20 shooting at a home in Odessa Township, a community about 130 miles (209 kilometers) […]
11 hours ago
Associated Press

Case against source for Trump dossier advances, barely

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A judge is allowing prosecutors to move forward with their criminal case against an analyst who provided key details for a flawed dossier on ex-President Donald Trump, although the judge called his decision “an extremely close call.” Lawyers for Igor Danchenko asked a judge Thursday in U.S. District Court in Alexandria […]
11 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
...
SCHWARTZ LASER EYE CENTER

Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.
(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
Ontario to remove mask mandates on March 21