Niagara's top doctor thinks Ontario is entering Step 3 too early

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Niagara's acting Medical Officer of Health feels we are entering Step 3 too early.

Dr. Mustafa Hirji says we aren't even seeing the impact of entering Step 2, saying it takes about three weeks to know how easing restrictions will impact cases.

Hirji says it's unfortunate the government isn't waiting three weeks between steps, which was their original plan.

He won't say if Niagara will implement additional measures, like the previous Sec. 22 dining rules, in Step 3.

As of this Friday, Niagara's casinos can reopen at 50% capacity, indoor restaurant dining with distancing, bingo halls, movie theatres and gyms can also reopen, at 50% capacity.

Hirji says Ontario is starting to put itself at risk pointing to Israel which has seen a jump in Delta cases, even with a strong percentage of people with two doses.

Hirji would like to see 75% of local residents with two doses, however only 44% of Niagara residents are fully vaccinated.

When it comes to reopening the border, Hirji says easing some restrictions makes sense to ease the economic and social pain some are feeling, but a full reopening will leave the region vulnerable.

You can hear the full interview with Dr. Hirji by clicking here.