In preparation for a move to Ontario’s online vaccine booking tool March 15, Hamilton has temporarily closed its COVID-19 hotline.
In a release on Tuesday afternoon, the city said the hotline’s temporary shutdown was effective immediately in an effort to “streamline the booking process” prior to the launch of the province’s new system on Monday.
The hotline is expected to return to coincide with the new portal and will be available to those who don’t have the ability to book online.
“We ask that residents do not choose another option on the hotline, the other lines are reserved for those looking to book testing appointments and need urgent access,” the city said in its statement.
Public health officials say those who have booked an appointment up to March 14 should expect call-back from the city.
Those who do not should prepare to use the online booking tool next week. Instructions can be found online.
Hamilton’s medical officer of health offered an apology last week after the city’s hotline was plagued with outages due to high call volumes after opening up in late February.
The city said it hit a number of bumps during the first weekend due to a municipal call centre that was not equipped to handle high volumes of queries.
Hamilton is set to drop the minimum age for a COVID-19 vaccination starting Monday as it continues with its Phase 1 plan, according to the city’s emergency operations centre.