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GTHA Mayors and Chairs urge retailers to avoid Black Friday in-person sales

HAMILTON, ON - Today, Mayors and Chairs from the 11 largest municipal governments across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area held their regular weekly meeting to discuss the ongoing response to the COVID-19 resurgence.

The Mayors and Chairs want to see an agreement reached and action undertaken by companies and governments to reassure workers that getting tested will not, if someone tests positive, result in the loss of EITHER their job or their paycheque while they isolate.

There is plenty of evidence that people with symptoms are going to work and not getting tested because they think self-isolation after a positive test result will mean a loss of job or income or both. This is not acceptable. We need every resident of Ontario to know they can be tested with confidence.

Similarly, the Mayors and Chairs seek additional provincial assurance that rigorous workplace inspections are taking place to ensure compliance with public health measures and to ensure that no one is being required to come to work when they are symptomatic or ill.

Provincial officials have been clear that residents shouldn't be region-hopping at this time except for essential reasons, like work, school or medical appointments. The Mayors and Chairs fully support this advice in order to combat the virus.

With Black Friday fast approaching the Mayors and Chairs also urged retailers who remain open under the increased provincial restrictions to immediately announce they will NOT hold large in person sales on Friday. Such sales would inevitably produce crowd scenes which would only serve to undermine the fight against COVID-19 and negate the sacrifices being made by so many, including other businesses.

The Mayors and Chairs urge people to shop online and to support local retailers through internet shopping and the curbside pickup option. They remind residents of the GTHA that they are as much a part of defeating COVID-19 as are all of the restrictions. Staying home and avoiding social gatherings should be the order of the day wherever possible.

“With the current public health measures in place, I urge community members to stay home as much as possible to slow the spread of this virus. While retail stores in Hamilton remain open under the red category of the provincial COVID-19 Response Framework, please continue to support local businesses safely by shopping online and utilizing the curbside pickup or delivery option. Now more than ever, we need to support local businesses and at the same time, continue to put our trust in the health experts by following all recommendations including staying home whenever possible, restricting all social gatherings to only immediate household members, wearing a mask and washing our hands.

- Mayor Fred Eisenberger