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Ontario says more heath providers can reopen including dentists, optometrists|

TORONTO — Dentists, optometrists and massage therapists are part of a list of health-care providers that the Ontario government says can gradually reopen following a months-long shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chiropractors, physiotherapists, psychologists, dieticians, denturists, and midwives are also included on the list released Wednesday as part of a new order from the province's chief medical officer of health.

A spokeswoman for Health Minister Christine Elliott said while the order takes effect immediately, that does not mean that all health services will be available on May 27.

"Health regulatory colleges are now in the process of developing guidance to ensure high-quality and safe clinical care that must be met before services can resume," she said. 

The provincial guidelines say providers must also comply with public health regulations and physical distancing guidelines to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. 

In mid-March, the province ordered all non-essential and elective health services to close or reduce operations as COVID-19 cases increased.

Under this new directive, the province is also asking regulatory colleges to provide advice on which services can be provided virtually.

The province said the order will also allow hospitals to continue to develop and finalize plans to resume scheduled surgeries.

The Canadian Press

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