Toronto officially ends COVID-19 emergency declaration after 777 days

May 9 2022, 3:13 pm

The City of Toronto has officially put an end to the COVID-19 emergency declaration that was put in place on March 23, 2020.

After 777 days, Mayor John Tory announced that the state of emergency was lifted on Monday. The City said that the decision was made after consultations with Toronto’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Eileen de Villa, City Planner Chris Murray and the City’s Strategic Command Team.

According to the City, this was the first such emergency declaration in modern Toronto history. While it may have been a first for the city, Toronto wasn’t the only municipality to implement an emergency order. Province-wide emergency orders have come on gone throughout the pandemic.

The emergency order allowed the City to implement wide-reaching, temporary orders to slow the spread of COVID-19. While the emergency order has ended in the city, Ontario’s masking guidelines still apply. Masks must still be worn in high-risk settings such as long-term care homes, public transit, and congregate living settings.

“This declaration sends the strongest possible message to our residents to stay home and to change their behaviour,” a press release announcing the state of emergency in 2020 said.

Now, the City said that with vaccination and a better understanding of how COVID-19 spreads, it is safe to lift the emergency order.

“When we declared an emergency in 2020, COVID-19 was a new virus that we knew little about but required an extraordinary response. Over the past two years, the science has evolved quickly, and we have learned how this virus spreads, actions that we can take to protect ourselves and each other, and now have the benefit of vaccines and treatments as further layers of protection,” Dr. de Villa said in a press release.

Brooke TaylorBrooke Taylor

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