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Ontario to begin resuming non-urgent surgeries on Monday

A spokeswoman for Health Minister Christine Elliott says today that some surgeries and procedures will resume in stages starting next week, as the province begins to lift some public health restrictions on businesses and social gatherings.
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Photo: Metro Creative Connection

Ontario is announcing that some surgeries paused due to a surge in COVID-19 cases will start resuming on Monday.

Non-urgent surgeries were put on hold in early January to preserve hospital capacity, affecting an estimated 8,000 to 10,000 procedures a week.

A spokeswoman for Health Minister Christine Elliott says today that some surgeries and procedures will resume in stages starting next week, as the province begins to lift some public health restrictions on businesses and social gatherings.

Alex Hilkene says the first stage will include pediatrics, diagnostic services, cancer screenings, some ambulatory clinics, private hospitals, and independent health facilities.

Premier Doug Ford announced last week that with public health indicators starting to show signs of improvement, some COVID-19 restrictions will be eased starting Monday. 

Indoor social gathering limits are set to increase from five to 10, and restaurants will be able to reopen their dining rooms at 50 per cent capacity.

Theatres will also be able to reopen, and "spectator areas" such as arenas and concert venues will be able to welcome back up to 500 guests, with smaller venues limited to half capacity.

The province is also lifting a requirement for most businesses to collect information from customers for the purposes of contact tracing, as well as removing a legal requirement for employees to work from home when possible. The chief medical officer of health still recommends doing so. 

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