The City of Toronto is continuing to rollout the Toronto Omicron Action Plan to stop the spread of the new highly-transmissible COVID-19 variant. The four-pronged approach includes increased vaccination capacity, continued outreach and support to residents, elevated emergency response and ongoing cooperation with other levels of government, particularly advocating for supports for residents and businesses.
Today, Mayor John Tory visited the City-run vaccination clinic at Woodbine Mall to thank clinic staff for their part in increasing vaccination capacity and talk about the City’s response to the Omicron variant. The clinic, located at 500 Rexdale Blvd., has more than doubled capacity from 5,280 people per week to 11,000. Thanks to dedicated staff, the clinic will also be continuing to operate over the holidays, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, December 26 and 2 to 8 p.m. on Monday, December 27 to vaccinate as many people as possible.
During the visit, Mayor Tory provided an update on the Toronto Omicron Action Plan which includes:
As part of the Toronto Omicron Action Plan, the City and Team Toronto are focused on getting third doses into arms without delay. The team has already increased monthly vaccination capacity across Toronto from 400,000 to 1.2 million doses per month. All the Team Toronto partners delivered 45,609 third doses yesterday alone. The City continues to add vaccine appointments, with 26,000 new appointments across the five City-run vaccination clinics added this week – including over the Christmas holidays and New Year’s weekend.
Throughout the pandemic, the City has worked to make sure no one is left behind. The City launched the COVID-19 Equity Action Plan last year and has been working with community organization and community ambassadors to help residents get the support they need and to help residents get vaccinated. Today, the Mayor announced continued funding of approximately $1.2 million for TO Supports on top of previous provincial funding that the City committed to Vaccine Engagement Teams.
The City has fully reactivated the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) as of last week. EOC staff are focused on inter-divisional cooperation to ensure critical services are prioritized and continue to be offered now and in the future if case counts continue to climb.
This week, both the federal and provincial governments announced enhanced supports for businesses and individuals impacted by the pandemic and provincial public health regulations. Mayor Tory supports these enhanced supports and will continue to advocate for residents and businesses impacted by the pandemic. The Mayor and City officials continue to be in constant contact with the other levels of government to work together and protect people and the progress made so far on economic recovery. Read the provincial announcement, Ontario Launches New Supports for Businesses. Read the federal announcement, Government Temporarily Expands Access to Lockdown Program and Worker Lockdown Benefit.
Mayor Tory and Toronto Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa urged all residents to be safe and cautious this Christmas and throughout the holidays. While getting vaccinated is the best defense against COVID-19, it remains critical to wear a mask when physical distancing is not possible, practice good hand hygiene and stay home when sick.
The vaccine has been scientifically proven to lower the risk of serious illness, hospitalization and death, while protecting the vaccinated person, their loved ones and the community from getting sick. Anyone age 18 or older who received their second dose of COVID-19 vaccine about three months (84 days) ago is eligible to book a third dose. A third dose, or “booster,” provides an extra layer of protection as people seek to reconnect over the holidays.
Anyone eligible for a first, second or third dose can book vaccination appointments through the blue button on toronto.ca/covid-19 or by calling the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900 (TTY 1-866-797-0007). Learn more about vaccination options on the City’s COVID-19: How to Get Vaccinated webpage.
“I want people to know that we are working non-stop to respond to the threat of Omicron. We will get through this – thanks to the work that has been done over the last two years and the work being done right now. Each and every Toronto resident following the rules and getting vaccinated – first, second, and third dose – is helping this effort. Please be safe and cautious this Christmas and throughout the holidays. I know it isn’t easy and it’s not what anyone wants at this special time of year but it will help make a difference and blunt Omicron which seems to spread much faster than earlier variants. We have made good progress already implementing the Toronto Omicron Action Plan but we have to keep that going over the coming weeks. We will get through this and we will get back to the reopening that was underway. I want to thank each and every member of Team Toronto – including all the employees across the City public service – who are working, many through the holidays, to help us face this threat. The members of Team Toronto – hundreds and hundreds of them – have gone way beyond just doing their jobs. They will be working Christmas Day and New Year’s Day and days in between and beyond. Their dedication and hard work is remarkable and as Mayor, I’m sure I speak for every Torontonian in expressing immense gratitude.”
– Mayor John Tory
“Our multi-pronged Omicron Action Plan is being implemented at wartime speed now, and over the holidays. By ramping up vaccination capacity, continuing outreach to vulnerable communities, reactivating our Emergency Operations Centre, and coordinating with other levels of government on emergency supports for people and businesses, we will defeat this current wave of COVID-19. By working together, we can keep our city safe – whether it’s the first, second, or third vaccine dose that you’re eligible for, book your appointment without delay, and help your loved ones to do the same.”
– Councillor Joe Cressy (Spadina-Fort York), Chair of the Toronto Board of Health
“As challenging as things have been with Omicron so far, we have a number of tools to protect ourselves and each other. We know how the virus spreads and we know that public health measures, and measures for self-protection along with vaccination help to reduce the spread of COVID-19. I continue to be impressed by the leadership of my colleagues all across the health system – hospital partners, Ontario Health Teams, primary care, community health organizations and the more than 500 pharmacies who are working extremely hard to ensure these vaccines are as accessible as possible to every Toronto resident. Team Toronto administered 45,609 third doses in one day. That is nothing short of incredible. We will get through this challenging time together.”
– Dr. Eileen de Villa, Medical Officer of Health
“I am so thankful for the incredible team that is continuing to work around the clock to administer vaccine, and to continue to respond to the ever-changing challenges associated with COVD-19 in Toronto. Our teams will continue to work throughout the holidays and until this pandemic is behind us once and for all. I thank every Torontonian for their continued commitment to getting vaccinated and for their continued understanding and patience as we work to meet the demands for these services.”
– Fire Chief Matthew Pegg, General Manager of the Office of Emergency Management
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