Statement by Mayor Fred Eisenberger on the two-year anniversary of the first COVID-19 case in Hamilton
HAMILTON, ON - Hamilton is marking the second anniversary of the first COVID-19 positive case in our community by lowering to half staff flags at all City of Hamilton buildings for one week beginning today in honour of all those who lost their lives or whose lives were adversely affected due to the pandemic. The City will also be flying the Health Care Hero flag, designed by a retired Canadian nurse, to honour our health care frontline workers.
March 11 is also the anniversary of the World Health Organization's declaration of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. Communities worldwide have been deeply affected, and healthcare capacities almost everywhere were put under tremendous strain. Unfortunately, we were no different in Hamilton, seeing approximately 50,000 positive cases, of which 4.6% required hospitalization, and an untimely 529 lives lost in our community.
The discovery of our community's first COVID-19 positive case two years ago resulted in the activation of our Emergency Operations Centre (EOC). This mobilized the City’s pandemic response, redeployed City staff to assist our Public Health teams and commenced collaboration with our local, provincial and federal partners. These steps enabled us to ensure our top priority was the health and safety of everyone—particularly our frontline workers. That effort which has been ongoing for two years now, is nothing short of remarkable.
The last two years have been the hardest we have faced as a community in recent times. Yet, I am immensely proud of how people stepped up, came together and supported one another. From our healthcare heroes to small and large businesses, faith groups and cultural organizations, elementary schools and senior homes, we saw a remarkable outpouring of efforts to lift one another up.
Our City is also extremely proud to have administered to date 1,217,655 vaccination doses to Hamiltonians and residents around the region alike with kindness and efficiency. This herculean effort is another testament to the resolve of Hamilton Public Health Services, City staff, our Hamilton Healthcare Partners and each citizen who was eager to protect themselves and those around them.
While we are cautiously reopening and optimistically emerging from this pandemic, it is important to remember to get the recommended vaccination doses, including the booster shot and follow public health advice to minimize severe illness and transmission to your household and community. Another large part of staying on track with reopening and keeping levels manageable is to stay home if anyone has any symptoms or is not feeling well!
The people of our community have been putting in the hard work in so many ways during this pandemic over these two years and it has shown. On behalf of my Council colleagues, our EOC and Hamilton Public Health Services, we humbly thank you!