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GTHA Mayors and Chairs ask for clear public health advice on Halloween

HAMILTON, ON - Today, Mayors and Chairs from the 11 largest municipal governments across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area took part in their weekly call on the ongoing response to COVID-19.

The Mayors and Chairs have been working together since March to ensure a coordinated regional response to the pandemic.

Today, the Mayors and Chairs discussed the province's recent announcement to move Toronto, Peel Region and Ottawa into a modified Stage 2 for 28 days to address rising COVID-19 case counts. All the Mayors and Chairs are committed to making sure a resurgence is addressed as quickly as possible so that we can continue to keep schools open, protect long-term care home residents, and avoid a larger and longer lockdown.

We are all committed to following the advice of our public health professionals to combat this virus. We recognize that a healthy economy must have healthy people. We look forward to participating in a continuous review of public health conditions and available data during the 28-day period.

Looking ahead to Halloween, now less than three weeks away, the Mayors and Chairs will strongly advocate for one clear public health message, preferably coming from the province, by the end of this week. In the meantime, Medical Officers of Health in these municipalities will work to forge such a common position for discussion with the province and we will shortly provide the province with a summary of some of the points which arose in our discussion today.

In the coming days, the Mayors and Chairs will be encouraging residents across the region to wear a mask, avoid gathering with people you don't live with (beyond work and school where precautions are in place), and support local businesses.

“Halloween is quickly approaching and the Province must provide clear guidelines for the public to enjoy a safe and healthy Halloween. We will work with the Province to ensure a safe and consistent approach and not a patchwork of approaches municipality by municipality. Together, we must take the necessary the steps to prevent further spread of COVID-19. This involves hard choices and puts limits on many things we enjoy, but the more we can do our part to slow the spread, the better we can protect our families, loved ones and our community.”

- Mayor Fred Eisenberger