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GTHA Mayors and Chairs working to protect essential and critical municipal services, continue vaccination rollout in wake of Omicron variant

Yesterday, Mayors and Chairs from the 11 largest municipal governments across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area met to discuss the ongoing response to COVID-19 and the Omicron variant across the region.

The Mayors and Chairs are committed to continuing to work with each other along with the Government of Ontario and the Government of Canada to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, to save lives and keep people safe.

As the Omicron variant continues to spread, all GTHA municipalities are working to protect essential and critical municipal services as we see increasing staff absences due to COVID-19 illness, isolation requirements, and caregiving.

The rapid spread of the Omicron variant here and around the world has created a challenge for hospitals across the GTHA. We are committed to helping confront this challenge including continuing the rollout of vaccinations – first, second and third doses – and doing everything we can to support school boards and the province to safely return to in-person learning in two weeks.

We know this is an incredibly difficult time for residents and businesses across the GTHA. We continue to encourage both the federal and provincial governments to urgently provide as much direct support as possible to those impacted by public health measures, especially smaller businesses including those in the hospitality sector. We encourage all GTHA residents to support their local restaurants and shops – order take out and shop local.

"We are committed to doing everything possible to support our health care system and front-line workers to weather this fifth wave surge. Our best way to assist and our best defence against severe illness with COVID-19 and the Omicron variant remains vaccination. 

Hamilton Public Health is ramping up vaccination capacity and I encourage all Hamiltonians to get vaccinated with a first, second or third dose as soon as they can through their family doctor, local pharmacies and the City's mass vaccination clinics." - Mayor Fred Eisenberger