Three Southwestern Ontario health units are recommending limiting indoor holiday gatherings to fully vaccinated guests, other than young children, to reduce the transmission of COVID-19.
The new recommendations from Huron Perth Public Health, Middlesex-London Health Unit and Southwestern Public Health come as more cases of the Omicron variant crop up in the province and after a science advisory table’s projections pointed to higher case counts and ICU occupancy on the horizon.
The first recommendation is that everyone should limit indoor social gatherings in private dwellings to no more than 10 people, and all attendees 12 years of age and older should be vaccinated.
All unvaccinated people 12 years of age and older are advised to avoid any non-essential indoor contact with individuals who are not part of their household.
The public-health units are also recommending that, where possible, people work remotely.
The health units say the recommendations are effective immediately and will be reassessed in four weeks’ time.
Meanwhile, Ontario is reporting 1,290 new cases of COVID-19 today and nine new deaths from the virus.
Health Minister Christine Elliott says people who are not vaccinated make up 590 of the new cases, and account for 23 per cent of Ontario’s population.
She says 83 of the cases reported today are in people whose vaccination status isn’t known.
There have been at least 40 cases of the new Omicron variant confirmed in Ontario.
The minister says 155 COVID-19 patients are in intensive care – 131 of them unvaccinated or with an unknown immunization status.
Provincial data show more than 90 per cent of residents 12 and older have received one dose, and 87.4 per cent have received two.
Roughly 25 per cent of children 5 to 11 years old have received one dose so far.
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