March 21, 2022 COVID-19 Update: Case Numbers 153 Active: Mask Mandate Over

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THUNDER BAY – COVID-19 Update – Effective this morning the mandatory mask mandates for many places in Ontario have been rescinded.

There are 101 active lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the district today as reported by the Thunder Bay District Health Unit. There are now 153 active lab-confirmed cases of the virus in the district.

The Health Unit is reporting 24 patients are in hospital, with nine of those patients in the Intensive Care Ward.

Mask Mandate Update

These are places where you will be allowed to remove your mask as of March 21:

  • Schools
  • Restaurants
  • Bars
  • Grocery stores
  • Banks
  • Gyms
  • Movie theatres
  • Pharmacies
  • Convenience stores
  • Libraries

Here’s are places where you will need to continue wearing your mask as of March 21:

  • Public transit
  • Hospitals
  • Medical clinics
  • Long-term care homes
  • Congregate care settings, such as shelters and jails

Ontario has also stated that mask mandates still in place will be lifted on April 27, 2022.

At a news conference held last Wednesday, Premier Doug Ford said that “The choice to wear a mask beyond March 21 will be a personal one. It’s going to be up to the people of Ontario, if you want to keep the mask on, keep it on. If you want to take it off, take it off. But we have to move forward from this, people are exhausted and the poor kids in those classrooms too. Like we got to move on.”

The Ministry of Health has also said organizations are welcome to keep mandatory masking policies in place if they want.

Ontario Dental Association Keeping Mask Protocols

We’re now into year three of the pandemic and public health measures are easing in many communities across the province. Even so, the Ontario Dental Association (ODA) wants everyone to know enhanced safety measures created in response to COVID-19 will stay as is for now.

Dentists have been working hard to keep patients protected at their appointments throughout the pandemic and no known cases of COVID-19 have been linked to treatment at an Ontario dental office. Patients can expect pre-screening questions, keeping their mask on before and after treatment, physical distancing in the waiting room and other safety measures to continue, but it’s for everyone’s protection.

April is Oral Health Month and ODA President Dr. Charles Frank says, “Dental care is health care and having good oral health is a key part of overall health and well-being. For anyone who has still been putting off getting a check-up, now’s the time to see the dentist to make sure everything is okay.”

Over the last couple of years, dentists have seen a large increase in patients who have been grinding their teeth due to stress. This can cause headaches, jaw pain and even cracked and broken teeth. Putting off regular check ups can lead to more painful and costly problems to treat, so if you haven’t seen your dentist in a while, give them a call!

The ODA has been Ontario’s primary source for dental information since 1867 and represents over 10,000, or 90 per cent, of dentists in the province. For more dental care tips and COVID-19 updates, including what to expect at your next dental appointment, go to www.oda.ca.

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