The province is now allowing more non-emergency services to include those who may require a stay in the hospital.
The change comes as Ontario COVID-19 indicators continue to trend in the right direction while the province starts ramping up second doses to get more residents fully vaccinated.
A memo sent from Ontario Health will allow hospitals to once again proceed with non-emergency and non-urgent surgeries that require inpatient and critical care resources. Hospitals were previously only allowed to go ahead with procedures that would not be expected to require an overnight stay.
The province says not all hospitals will be resuming the procedures right away. Only facilities that are able to accept patient transfers and have resources available for emergency care will be able to resume the procedures immediately.
Another memo from the Ministry of Health outlines the amendment of two emergency orders under the Emergency Management And Civil Protection Act (EMCPA).
The province has revoked an order that gave hospitals the ability to transfer patients to an alternate site, including long-term care and retirement homes, without consent.
They also revoked an order that supported the redeployment of health care workers working in Ontario Health and Home and Community Care Support Services (HCCSS) to other hospitals and health providers.
HCCSS will continue to identify staff volunteers for possible redeployment.
There are now 729 people hospitalized in the province with 546 in the ICU. Hospitalizations are down nearly 350 since one week ago while ICU numbers have dropped more than 100 in the last week.
Hospitalizations peaked at 2,360 during the third wave while ICU numbers topped out at 900.
Graphic courtesy of Dr. Jennifer Kwan