TORONTO -- Ontarians have been limited to social circles of up to 10 people for months to help stop the spread of COVID-19, but on Monday the province’s top doctor said that guidance could change in the near future.

Speaking at a news conference, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams said that he, along with Ontario’s Public Health Measures Table, are now working to determine if larger social circles or a larger number of circles would be a safe and viable approach to containing the novel coronavirus.

“My senses are probably going to the latter,” Williams said. “That means, if you’ve been good at monitoring your one circle, how can you do with two, three, four or five circles?”

Williams made reference to the province’s back-to-school plan, which stipulates that students must remain in their assigned cohorts in order to manage potential outbreaks.

“Your Grade 3 child is in a cohort, your Grade 6 one is in another cohort,” Williams said, while explaining that clearly defined social bubbles can help significantly with contact tracing.

Williams made the comments about social circles after being asked about people ignoring the province’s guidelines.

He said Ontarians have become “fairly adept” to staying within their circles in recent weeks, but also warned against “doing whatever you want,” which he said can cause outbreaks from large events like parties and backyard gatherings.

Williams also said that he believes most Ontarians see the merit in the limits on social circles, but that he understands the pressure for the model to be flexible.

“I think if we can endorse that as a model or a program, that would be stronger, so I’m asking our measures table to come forward with some recommendations in that context,” he said.