York Region lifts pandemic state of emergency enacted 2 years ago
April 27, 2022
Programs and services closed to the public in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic will begin to resume in a staged approach over the coming weeks and months after York Region Chairman and CEO Wayne Emmerson officially lifted the first-ever state of emergency in the region Tuesday, April 26.
The move was made in consultation with York Region's Medical Officer of Health, Chief Administrative Officer and the Regional Emergency Control Group.
The state of emergency was first declared under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act on March 23, 2020.
"At the time, no one could have predicted the devastating impact the COVID-19 global pandemic would have on our residents and communities,” Emmerson said in a statement issued Tuesday night.
The Region closed facilities to the public, directed staff to work from home and temporarily paused some programs and services, including all in-person services such as adult day programs, EarlyOn programming, courts services, Ontario Works community resource centres, non-COVID-19 public health clinics and programming plus in-person events.
“As we look forward to resuming services, I again thank and acknowledge our staff, municipalities, residents, business owners and the countless community partners for their commitment and resiliency during these turbulent times," Emerson said.
York Regional Council will also resume hybrid council and committee meetings, effective Thursday, May 26. Residents and community partners can continue to view meetings at york.ca/live and deputations to regional council will remain virtual at this time.
While the lifting of the emergency declaration is a sign of "brighter days ahead", Emmerson said COVID-19 is still active in our communities.
“As we learn to live with this virus, we must all continue to exercise caution and takes steps to protect our individual health and safety and that of our family and loved ones," he said. "By continuing to wear face masks in most indoor settings, practicing physical distancing when in large crowds and staying home when feeling unwell, we can each do our part to prevent future lockdowns and service disruptions.”
Throughout the pandemic, council, which also serves as the York Region Board of Health, has strongly supported the efforts put forward by Medical Officer of Health Dr. Barry Pakes, his predecessor Dr. Karim Kurji, public health professionals, the Regional Emergency Control Group and federal and provincial partners.
The public health unit continues to advise residents that vaccinations remain the most effective tool to protect against serious outcomes related to COVID-19, including severe illness and hospitalizations. First, second, third and fourth dose vaccination are readily available through community vaccination clinics, mobile clinics and pharmacy locations. Visit york.ca/covid19vaccine for clinic details and to book an appointment.
For more information on specific York Region programs and services, visit york.ca