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Ontario reports 849 COVID-19 hospitalizations as it prepares to lift vaccine passports

Ontario reported 849 COVID-19 hospitalizations on Monday, as the province prepares to further lift pandemic restrictions on Tuesday. 

93% of Ontarians aged 12+ have received at least 1 dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

Ontario is reporting 849 COVID-19 hospitalizations on Monday, an increase of seven from Sunday. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Ontario is reporting 849 COVID-19 hospitalizations as it prepares to further lift pandemic restrictions Tuesday.

The province also reported another 1,315 cases of COVID-19, a drop from 2,001 on Sunday and 1,335 this time last week. 

Starting Tuesday, Ontarians will be able to gather in indoor public settings with no capacity limits and with no need to show proof of vaccination, though some Ontario businesses say they will still ask for it to ensure people feel safe and comfortable coming through their doors.

For one, Revue Cinema in Toronto said in a tweet that it will continue requiring proof of vaccination for all of its regular screenings and special events until April 4.

The theatre said it understands that many filmgoers have bought advance tickets to upcoming screenings "under the assumption that proof of vaccination would still be required," noting that it wanted to "honour that commitment."

The Bytowne Cinema, in Ottawa, is one of many Ontario businesses that has said it will continue to require proof of vaccination after requirements lift on Tuesday. (Guy Quenneville/CBC)

Some public health experts are commending companies like these, and are advising establishments to keep proof-of-vaccine requirements. 

At a recent news conference, London's acting medical officer of health, Dr. Alex Summers, said he "strongly supports the ongoing use of proof-of-vaccination policies" in settings where people gather or work in close proximity. 

Niagara's acting medical officer of health, Dr. Mustafa Hirji, agrees, saying that keeping people safe from COVID-19 will "heavily depend" on the actions of individuals and organizations. 

Meanwhile, masking requirements will remain in place for now.

Premier Doug Ford announced the changes earlier this month, attributing the move to Ontario's continuing downward trend in hospitalizations. 

Here are some other key pandemic indicators and figures from the Ministry of Health's daily provincial update:

Tests completed in the last 24 hours: 12,116.

Provincewide test positivity rate: 8.9 per cent.

Patients in ICU with COVID-related illnesses: 279; 171 needed a ventilator to breathe.

Newly reported deaths: Three, pushing the official toll to 12,433.

Vaccinations: 31,684,081 doses have been administered to date. Currently, 93 per cent of Ontarians aged 12 and older have received one dose, while 91 per cent have received two.

With files from The Canadian Press

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