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TORONTO (LifeSiteNews) — As of March 21, most mask mandates in Ontario will be scrapped. Meanwhile, the province admitted that deaths were overreported since early 2020, when the first lockdowns were imposed.

The news was announced by Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health Kieran Moore on Wednesday.

When students return from March break, masks will no longer be required in schools, restaurants, and retail settings.

“We are now learning to live with and manage COVID-19 for the long term,” Moore said. “This necessitates a shift to a more balanced response to the pandemic.”

Moore did hint that mask mandates could return, but the requisite emergency powers used to enforce the mandate will be ending in a few weeks.

The province said it will be making changes to the way COVID data is released. Starting Friday, only those who died of COVID will be reported as such. Until now, all people who died with a recent positive test were reported as COVID deaths, no matter the actual cause.

Data provided by the province indicated that at least 30 percent of reported COVID deaths were actually attributable to another cause, or COVID was simply one of the illnesses that someone suffered from around the time of their death, but not the sole cause of death.

Former Trump COVID advisor Dr. Paul Elias Alexander told LifeSiteNews that the current testing regime could be off by as much as 95 percent due to false positives.

“The key issue is the PCR test does not differentiate between cold or flu or RSV or COVID virus. Also key is that the test was over cycled and this is where the disaster with the infection numbers came in. Most globally were false as we knew there was a 95% false positive. Most, most were never COVID positive,” he said.

Whether or not the overall death tally will need to be changed to reflect the inflated stats remains unclear. Canadian death statistics from 2020 state that just over 16,000 Canadians died with or from COVID in 2020. Those data were released in January, whereas the Ontario government admitted to inflated stats almost two months later.

Ontario will de dropping all remaining COVID restrictions by the end of the April. Until then, masks are still required in certain health care settings, as well as on public transit.