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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 tests are available at 18 locations in Muskoka.

In Huntsville:

  • Bullock’s Your Independent Grocer, 131 Howland Drive
  • Huntsville’s Hometown IDA, 10 Main Street East
  • Metro, 70 King William Street
  • Pharmasave, 29 Main Street East
  • Shoppers Drug Mart, 51 King William Street
  • Walmart, 111 Howland Dr

Bracebridge:

  • Gagnon’s Your Independent Grocer, 270 Wellington Street
  • Food Basics, Highway 118 West
  • Rexall Pharma Plus, 55 Highway 118 West
  • Shoppers Drug Mart, 248 Manitoba Street
  • Walmart, 40 Depot Drive

Gravenhurst:

  • Terry’s Your Independent Grocer, 290 First Street North
  • Gravenhurst Pharmacy, 180 Brock Street
  • Gravenhurst Pharmacy, 205 Muskoka Road North
  • Shoppers Drug Mart, 511 Muskoka Road South
  • Sobeys, 225 Edward Street

Port Carling: 

  • The Apothecary Shop, 86 Joseph Street North

Dwight:

  • Dwight Market Pharmacy, 2836 Highway 60

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.

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