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A news conference scheduled by Ontario’s top doctor to share new rules on COVID-19 testing and case management has been postponed as officials review isolation guidelines in light of changes made in the United States.

Dr. Kieran Moore was scheduled to hold a virtual news conference on Tuesday, but officials say it will now be held later in the week.

Health officials say the change was made so they could evaluate Ontario-specific evidence after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control shortened recommended isolation and quarantine periods for COVID-19.

U.S. health officials on Monday cut isolation restrictions for Americans who catch the coronavirus from 10 to five days, and similarly shortened the time that close contacts need to quarantine.

Officials at the CDC said the guidance is in keeping with growing evidence that people with the coronavirus are most infectious in the two days before and three days after symptoms develop.

The CDC’s decision was also driven by a recent surge in COVID-19 cases, propelled by the omicron variant.

Ontario reported 8,825 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, a slight decline from previous days.

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Health Minister Christine Elliott said 187 people were in intensive care due to COVID-19 and a total of 491 people hospitalized.

Elliott shared the figures on Twitter, but government websites did not publish an updated number of virus-related deaths due to the statutory holiday.

The Ontario Hospital Association shared data showing 108 critically ill COVID-19 patients were on ventilators, with 24 adult admissions on Monday.

Health experts have warned that the real number of COVID-19 cases is likely much higher as a number of hospitals and centres have reached testing limits.

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