Ontario Premier Doug Ford says a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic is coming. On Wednesday, Ford unveiled the first steps in his plan to prepare for it.
Premier Ford prefaced his announcement with this warning.
“It’s clear that the next wave, it will come at us harder than the last one. It will be more challenging than before because the flu season is starting soon," Ford said.
He said the entire fall plan for tackling that second wave will be announced in phases over the coming days so everyone can understand what’s at stake and what needs to be done. It begins with a huge campaign aimed at encouraging people in Ontario to get their flu shots.
"We’re investing $70 million to deliver the largest and most comprehensive flu shot campaign in Canada’s history," Ford said. "We’ve ordered 5.1 million doses for the entire province and we’re working to order even more."
The premier said anyone who wants a flu shot will be able to get one. He said it is absolutely critical to reduce the pressure on the health care system, which faces a surge in COVID-19 cases.
Ford also said, starting this week, Women's College Hospital, Sinai Health and University Health Network's Toronto Western Hospital assessment centers will be offering COVID-19 saliva tests.
"More assessment centers will offer this less-invasive method in the coming weeks, giving Ontarians more options to access testing," Ford said.
He said, beginning Friday, COVID-19 tests will be expanded to about 60 pharmacies across Ontario.