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Ontario has no plans to drop proof of vaccination or mask mandates, health minister

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Ontario won’t be leaving its COVID-19 passport system or mask mandates behind any time soon.

That’s according to Health Minister Christine Elliott who said on Wednesday that the province has “no plans currently” to drop the measures.

Elliott says while officials have started easing some restrictions, it remains committed to a “very cautious, phased approach” to reopening and is not planning to move up its already announced timeline.

She did say that Directive Two, restricting non-emergent medical procedures, will be lifted in the next few days.

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Meanwhile, free rapid tests will be available at grocery stores and pharmacies in Ontario beginning on Wednesday.

The province has announced they will be limited to one box with five tests inside per family.

However, participating stores are not required to track any information about who has picked them up.

There are just over 24-hundred sites carrying the tests but 21 communities have been given high priority.

The tests are available at eleven locations around North Bay, and one in Powassan, including: 

  • Metro, 390 Lakeshore Dr., North Bay
  • Food Basics, 1901 Cassels Rd, North Bay
  • Sobey’s, 1899 Algonquin Ave, North Bay
  • DS Parker’s YIG, 1 Laurentian Ave, North Bay
  • Shoppers Drug Mart, 2025 Cassells St, North Bay
  • Shoppers Drug Mart, 66 Josephine St, North Bay
  • Shoppers Drug Mart, 276 Lakeshore Dr, North Bay
  • Walmart, 1500 Fisher St, North Bay
  • Marshall Park Pharmacy, 104-524 Lakeshore Dr, North Bay
  • Dean’s Pharmasave, 1221 Algonquin Ave, North Bay
  • Rexall, 1205 Fisher St, North Bay
  • Powassan Drug Mart, 496 Main St, Powassan

Tests are also in four locations in Sturgeon Falls, including: 

  • Aubin Pharmasave, 220A King Street, Sturgeon Falls
  • Metro, 203 Front Street, Sturgeon Falls
  • Northern Light Remedy’s Rx, 1-12006 Highway 17 East, Sturgeon Falls
  • Rx Drug Mart King Street, 228 King Street, Sturgeon Falls
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