Premier Doug Ford is set to meet with his cabinet Friday to mull possible action over rising COVID-19 case counts, but school closures and lockdowns are not being considered, CTV News has learned.

Sources told CTV News that cabinet will consider a new measure that will eliminate the paper version of the province's vaccine passport and require all proof of vaccination to include a QR code.

There have been calls for the government to end the paper copy of the vaccine receipt because it can easily be edited, providing unvaccinated people with a document that would allow them to enter settings that require proof of vaccination.

There were also reports Thursday that the Ontario government will not move ahead with its plan to drop the vaccine passport system in mid-January.

In October, the province unveiled its reopening roadmap that included the end of the vaccine passport system as early as Jan. 17, 2022. The plan was developed before the Omicron variant of concern was detected.

On Monday, Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott said that the vaccine certificate program will remain in place if the new Omicron variant ends up posing a threat to the public.

"We're planning to start lifting things but if this Omicron variant circulates widely and if it's as virulent as it has been in other jurisdictions, we are going to need to take a look at that," she said.

While changes to the vaccine passport program will be considered, sources told CTV News that the Ford government is not planning to make other significant moves at this time.

Sources said cabinet also met on Wednesday to discuss how to respond to increasing COVID-19 infections. The government was presented with several options, including closing schools before and after the winter break and a return to Step 3 of the reopening plan, which would reintroduce capacity limits in many settings like restaurants, bars and gyms.

Sources said the government decided to stick with the current measures and will instead focus on preparing new guidance during the Christmas break.

While the government plans to mainly stay the course, several health units have recently reinstated some pandemic measures to curb climbing cases, including capacity limits and work-from-home policies.

On Thursday, the province reported its highest single-day tally of new COVID-19 cases in more than six months, with 1,290.

The COVID-19 situation in Ontario schools is also worsening, with total cases since early September now exceeding 9,000.

ICU admissions in the province are also expected to increase in the coming weeks. On Tuesday, the Ontario Science Advisory Table released its updated COVID-19 modelling that projected ICU admissions will rise by January, putting the health-care system once again under significant strain.

Dr. Peter Jüni, the director of the science table, said moving back to Step 3 is a good idea, especially with Omicron expected to become the dominant variant in Ontario.

"When we talked about schools, and we were very outspoken from the side of the science table that school should be the last resort to control the pandemic. It won't change fundamentally the situation we're in with Omicron. We need to be aware of that. If we want to deal with that, we need to do something with capacity limits," Jüni said.

"If we want to get this under control, we need to because otherwise, again, we will have trouble with our health-care system being overwhelmed. We will need to react relatively early. And capacity limits are absolutely one of the things that will need to be looked into relatively urgently. The other part is we need to really speed up and message well the rollout of the third doses of our vaccines."

Dr. Barry Pakes, York Region's medical officer of health, said he also would like to see some capacity restrictions back.

"I don't see the vaccine certificate going away from a medical perspective or a scientific perspective really within the next four to six months. I think with the cases increasing as they are quite precipitously, and with the modelling that shows we're gonna have a very difficult exit from the holiday season and with Omicron on the horizon, I think we're actually looking at more public health measures," Dr. Barry Pakes, York Region's medical officer of health, said.

While he is not suggesting a lockdown, Pakes said he would like to see some capacity restrictions be reinforced.

"More stringent rules would certainly have our cases decrease more. But, I think we need to respect what's going on in the community and also that it's holiday season, and that most people are vaccinated."

- with files from CTV Toronto's Colin D'Mello, Chris Herhalt and Chris Fox