Photo courtesy of Chatham-Kent Public Health.

As Ontarians await word on when further COVID restrictions will be lifted, Chatham-Kent’s top doctor is ok with taking the next step.

Medical officer Dr. David Colby says the timing seems right.

“If our numbers hadn’t started dropping substantially in Chatham-Kent, that would make me very nervous indeed,” Colby says. “But our numbers are steadily falling down, almost every day while clearing more cases than appearing.”

The province’s post-Step 3 strategy will reportedly lift capacity limits on businesses where vaccine certificates are required, like restaurants and other indoor venues.

“As long as they maintain the vaccination provisions that are in place, I think that’s a reasonable step. Chatham-Kent has been a very active area compared with the rest of the province, but hopefully we’ll not be a very active area very shortly.”

As of Wednesday’s update from Public Health, Chatham-Kent has 55 active cases of COVID-19 and four ongoing outbreaks, two involving schools, one daycare, and one unidentified workplace.

Last Friday, Premier Doug Ford said his government was finalizing its plan to exit step 3 of Ontario’s reopening plan, and further details and timelines would be announced later this week.