York Region's top doctor doesn't expect to be able to 'relax' until August
BARRIE, ONT. -- CTV's Craig Momney spoke with York Region's Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Karim Kurji on Tuesday.
Craig Momney - Starting today, everyone over the age of 18 can now book for a COVID-19 vaccine; how important is this?
Dr. Karim Kurji - Oh, it's very important for us to reach everybody that we can now because we believe that some of the transmission may actually be occurring in younger age groups. From time to time, you know, we do actually see some very young people being quite sick.
Now when it comes to deaths, unfortunately, we've had deaths in a person in their 20s, and we've had deaths in people in their 30s and people in their 40s, so I think it's very important for everybody to get vaccinated now.
Craig Momney - Is there enough supply now coming in for second doses too?
Dr. Karim Kurji - The supplies to Canada into Ontario have certainly increased, and we are assured by the ministry that these supplies will continue to be stable. At the local level, unfortunately, none of us has enough supplies. So our clinics are actually operating below capacity at this point, but that's the situation with many of the other health units in the province.
Craig Momney - Now we're about two weeks away from June 2nd. Do you think the province will extend the stay-at-home order past then?
Dr. Karim Kurji - We hope that won't be the case for York Region because we have actually seen our cases decline. The modelling that we have done suggests that if we open up after June 2nd, there won't be a fourth wave.
So I am really hoping that businesses are allowed to open up again, preferably in the red zone as far as York Region is concerned. So we'll need to take all those precautions that we normally do while we reopen slowly.
As we go through the summer, my sense is that we probably won't be able to totally relax as it were until about August. So we will need to continue to be vigilant until a very large proportion of our population has been vaccinated. Our aspirational goal in York Region is to get 85 percent of the population vaccinated; we are already at about 64 percent.
Craig Momney - What about outdoor activities. What do you think will happen there?
Dr. Karim Kurji - I believe the outdoor activities will be relaxed. And as long as we are keeping our distances, not mixing will other households, taking all the precautions, we should be safe.