John Tory ends Toronto’s COVID-19 emergency declaration

Toronto Mayor John Tory speaks with media in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston

Toronto Mayor John Tory has ended the city’s COVID-19 emergency declaration.

The emergency was first declared on March 23, 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic began to impact the world.

It was the first official emergency declared in the history of modern Toronto, City officials said.

“While COVID-19 remains a serious concern requiring ongoing efforts and vigilance, the City’s efforts in fighting COVID-19 have placed Toronto in a position where the emergency declared in response to the pandemic can be terminated,” a news release from the City said Monday.

“The City has been working over the past several months to ensure staff redeployed due to the emergency declaration could return to their pre-pandemic positions without disrupting ongoing service delivery.”

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The decision to end the emergency was made in consultation with Toronto medical officer of health Dr. Eileen de Villa, City manager Chris Murray, and the strategic command team.

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Officials said vaccinations remain the “single best tool” in the fight against COVID and shots continue to be offered to residents. Toronto has delivered more than seven million doses so far.

Meanwhile, COVID-related supports remain available through the City’s website.

Click to play video: 'Looking ahead to summer as COVID cases wane'
Looking ahead to summer as COVID cases wane

“We have made it through this emergency period thanks to our dedicated City staff who confronted this global pandemic – the greatest challenge of our generation – with a determination to do everything we can to help residents and continue to deliver much-needed municipal services,” Tory said in the release.

“As Team Toronto’s world-leading COVID-19 vaccination campaign continues, I want to thank everyone who has worked to help people get vaccinated and deliver more than 7 million doses so far. Most importantly, I want to thank Toronto residents who have worked with us throughout the emergency period of the pandemic to make sure we get through these tough times and come back stronger than ever.”

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De Villa said while there continues to be virus activity in the city, thanks to science that quickly evolved, an increased understanding of COVID-19, and the efforts that individuals have taken to protect each other, the city is in a “much better place.”

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