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The long-term care association’s call to make vaccines mandatory for health workers echoes recommendations from the Ontario Medical Association and the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario.Doug Ives/The Canadian Press

Ontario long-term care homes are asking the province to mandate COVID-19 vaccination for their staff as well as health-care workers in all settings.

The Ontario Long-Term Care Association says making vaccines mandatory provincewide would both protect residents and ensure facilities don’t lose their staff to other health-care facilities.

The province requires staff in long-term care homes to disclose their COVID-19 vaccination status, and those who are unvaccinated for non-medical reasons have to undergo education about the importance of immunization.

But Premier Doug Ford has refused to mandate vaccines in any setting.

He has spoken in support of a Toronto hospital network’s policy that unvaccinated staff – and those won’t disclose their vaccination status – have to take a COVID-19 test before coming to work.

The long-term care association’s call to make vaccines mandatory for health workers echoes recommendations from the Ontario Medical Association and the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario.

Meanwhile, Ontario is reporting 321 new COVID-19 cases and two new deaths, as the government urges people to focus less on daily case counts and more on hospitalizations and ICU admissions.

The Health Ministry has rearranged its daily reporting website and added new metrics, comparing vaccinated and unvaccinated cases and hospital admissions.

Roughly 80 per cent of the cases are in unvaccinated and partially vaccinated people.

The chief medical officer of health writes in a Toronto Star op-ed today that growing case counts won’t have the same meaning now as during previous waves, due to high rates of vaccinations.

Dr. Kieran Moore says that the breakthrough infections in fully vaccinated people tend to be milder.

The new framing of COVID-19 data comes as Ontario records more than 300 cases for the fifth day in a row, following nearly six weeks of fewer than 300 - and sometimes fewer than 200 - new daily cases.

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