Sarah Downey hosts '5 Questions' about Ontario's Reopening with Dr. Jeff Powis
Sarah Downey, president and CEO of Michael Garron Hospital (MGH), asks Dr. Jeff Powis, Medical Director, Infection Prevention and Control, MGH five questions about Ontario reopening and COVID-19 vaccine updates.
You have questions and Michael Garron Hospital (MGH) has answers.
In this community edition of “5 Questions with President and CEO Sarah Downey” video series, Sarah interviews Dr. Jeff Powis, Medical Director of Infection, Prevention and Control at Michael Garron Hospital about Ontario reopening and COVID-19 vaccine updates.
Watch the video to find out the answers to the following 5 questions:
- Can you give us your advice on what people can safely do this summer depending on their vaccination status? (e.g. if you are fully vaccinated, partially vaccinated or unvaccinated) (0:48)
Key Points: Try to stay within the boundaries put forward by the Ontario Reopening Plan – it’s evidence-based and slow, which is important because it’s meant to reduce interactions with someone who may have had a positive COVID-19 exposure. If you are fully vaccinated, you can spend time with a small group of other individuals who are fully vaccinated at a very low risk, where masks are not necessary. Partially vaccinated or unvaccinated individuals pose a higher risk and therefore additional precautions like masking and social distancing are important when out in the community. Check out the guidance provided by the Public Health Agency of Canada for additional public health advice depending on your vaccination status.
- When do you think COVID-19 vaccines will be available for those under the age of 12? (2:45)
Key Points: Studies are ongoing for this age group. The hope is to have all studies and approved applications for administering vaccines before school starts.
- Is it safe to travel? How has the guidance changed? (3:42)
Key Points: Beginning July 6, 2021, fully vaccinated travellers who are permitted to enter Canada will not be subject to the federal requirement to quarantine or stay at a government-authorized hotel. It’s important before travelling to look at the key factors, for example the country you are visiting or the vaccination rate of the place you are going. Driving with your family where everyone’s vaccination status is known is seen as lower-risk as opposed to traveling in a large bus with people you aren’t familiar with and aren’t aware of their vaccine status.
- Will we require booster shots after our second dose? (5:41)
Key Points: Studies are continuing for booster shots. We may need a booster dose, but it likely won’t be within a year with the exception of unique populations, including seniors or those with a weaker immune system. We’re all heading into the fall with good immunity from the vaccines.
- Do you anticipate that hospitals and Ontario Health Teams will continue to run pop-up vaccine clinics into the fall and winter? (6:54)
Key Points: With society opening up again and increased potential for exposures, we are looking into converting our testing centres into outreach centres; these centres will assist individuals with an assessment, test or a vaccine if required. It is important to continue to build upon our strategies with our partners to meet the evolving needs of our community.