*NOTE: We have launched this page to provide a consolidated source of information and updates to residents on the work of the provincial Ministers’ COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force, and where relevant any involvement by the City of Burlington or Region of Halton in assisting with vaccination programs.
Check back regularly for updates.
The Vaccination Program is voluntary and administered by the Province of Ontario, with help from local Public Health units — for the City of Burlington this means Halton Public Health.
The City of Burlington is ready to assist, if needed, with facilities and logistics for any broad vaccination efforts in the Province’s rollout program through our City COVID-19 Vaccine Coordination Taskforce.
- View CTV News vaccine tracker across CANADA & GLOBALLY: CLICK HERE
- For more information from the Province, please click this link.
- For more COVID-19 updates, please click this link.
Monday, April 11, 2022:
- Key messages from Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore:
- Make sure you are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccine boosters.
- If you haven’t been vaccinated yet, please consider getting vaccinated now.
- If you are in a high risk group antivirals are now available. Speak with your health care practitioner about them now.
- They are reviewing the extension of the mask mandates for long term care homes, hospitals and transit. Extending the mandate beyond April 27, “makes sense.” Will be making a recommendation to the government.
- The sixth wave will last until the middle or end of May.
- Watching numbers in Peel and Halton Region.
- Ontario Expanding Access to COVID-19 Antivirals – News Release
- As part of its plan to stay open and manage COVID-19 for the long-term, the Ontario government is expanding eligibility for COVID-19 antiviral treatments and PCR testing to more high-risk individuals. Doing so will offer increased protection to the most vulnerable and ensure hospital capacity remains stable.
- Effective immediately, the following higher-risk groups are eligible to be tested and assessed for antiviral treatments, such as Paxlovid, in Ontario:
- Individuals aged 18 and over who are immunocompromised (have an immune system that is weakened by a health condition or medications);
- Individuals aged 70 and over;
- Individuals aged 60 and over with fewer than three vaccine doses; and
- Individuals aged 18 and over with fewer than three vaccine doses and at least one risk condition (e.g., a chronic medical condition)
- Anyone who is eligible for an assessment is now also eligible for a PCR test at any testing centre in Ontario.
- Beginning April 12, Ontario is making it easier for eligible individuals with a prescription to access antivirals by expanding dispensing locations to include participating pharmacies across the province. A list of pharmacies that are dispensing Paxlovid will be available at Ontario.ca/antivirals as of Wednesday, April 13 at 8:00 a.m. The list will be regularly updated as the list of participating pharmacies expands.
- Treatment for antivirals must be started within five days of symptoms in most cases. Individuals who are part of higher risk groups and who have COVID-19 symptoms should immediately seek testing and care, by contacting their health care provider or visiting a clinical assessment centre. Individuals can contact Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 for more information about where to find a clinical assessment centre or to determine if they are at higher risk.
- Individuals can access Ontario’s antiviral screener tool to help determine if they are at higher risk and should be assessed for treatment. A positive rapid antigen test, PCR or rapid molecular test is required as part of the assessment for antiviral treatment. Rapid antigen tests remain available for pick up at no charge from over 3,000 retail locations in the province. Clinical assessment centres continue to be available to assess and test patients as well as to prescribe and dispense antivirals.
Wednesday, April 6, 2022:
- Ontario Expanding Fourth-Dose Eligibility – News Release
- The Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, is expanding eligibility for fourth doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to individuals aged 60 and over as well as First Nation, Inuit and Métis individuals and their non-Indigenous household members aged 18 and over starting on April 7, 2022. Expanding booster eligibility will provide an extra layer of protection against the Omicron and BA.2 variants and, in addition to antivirals, are another tool the province is using to live with and manage COVID-19.
- Starting on Thursday, April 7 at 8:00 a.m., eligible individuals will be able to book their fourth dose appointment through the COVID-19 vaccination portal or by calling the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900, directly through public health units that use their own booking systems, through Indigenous-led vaccination clinics, participating pharmacies, and participating primary care settings.
- Locations and timing for additional boosters may vary by public health unit based on local planning and considerations.
Friday, Feb. 25, 2022:
- City of Burlington News Release: Proof of Vaccination No Longer Required at City of Burlington Recreation Facilities as of March 1, 2022
Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022:
- Vaccines, masks required at universities despite broader relaxing of restrictions – CP24 News Article
- Several Canadian universities are maintaining COVID-19 precautions such as vaccine mandates and masking for students attending in-person classes even as governments roll back pandemic restrictions.
- In Ontario, Western University, York University and the University of Guelph say they’re keeping their COVID-19 vaccination and masking requirements in place for students and staff until at least the end of the current winter semester.
- Other schools in Ontario, including the University of Toronto, say they aren’t making any changes to their COVID-19 vaccine policies and continue to consult with the government and public health officials on the issue.
- Ontario’s top doctor said last week that vaccine policies at post-secondary institutions have served their purpose and should be dropped.
- The province is ending its vaccine certificate system on March 1, when capacity limits in public settings and restrictions on social gathering sizes will fully lift as well, though masking requirements will remain for now.
Thursday, Feb. 17, 2022:
- Ontario’s top doctor says vaccine policies ‘no longer necessary’ come March 1 – Article
- Ontario’s top doctor wants to end workplace COVID-19 vaccination policies by early next month.
- Dr. Kieran Moore says he’s reviewing letters of instruction sent last year to various sectors including hospitals and post-secondary institutions, which required that they develop immunization policies.
- Most sectors were instructed to require people get regularly tested for the virus if they are not vaccinated, but many took their policies further and required all workers get the shots.
- Moore says he thinks the period of highest COVID-19 risk is over and that means vaccination policies are “no longer necessary.”
- He says they would ideally lift on March 1, when proof-of-vaccination rules are set to lift for customers in businesses and other indoor settings.
- Moore noted that a vaccine mandate for long-term care workers came from the minister responsible for that sector, not the chief medical officer. He also did not specifically mention whether a vaccinate-or-test policy would remain for school employees.
Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022:
- City of Burlington News Release: City of Burlington Recreation Facility, Programs & Vaccination Updates
Monday, Feb. 7, 2022:
- GO-VAXX Mobile Vaccine Clinics Now Accepting Walk-ins – News Release
- Ontarians can step right up to get their vaccines quickly and conveniently on one of Ontario’s popular GO-VAXX mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics, which are once again accepting walk-ins as well as appointments.
- There are now six GO-VAXX buses on the road, with another two set to join the fleet by the end of February. The buses have administered more than 42,000 doses at over 440 clinics since they debuted last August, and have visited communities across 24 of Ontario’s public health units, ranging from Windsor-Essex in the west, Haliburton in the north, and Ottawa in the east.
- The GO-VAXX mobile vaccine clinics are a partnership between Metrolinx, local public health units and the Province. They are a key part of Ontario’s last mile strategy, which focuses on community-based and easy-to-access settings for vaccinations. Ontario is working with public health units to target areas with low vaccination rates to support localized vaccination strategies.
- The GO-VAXX buses are fully accessible and heated. Check the GO-VAXX schedule for times and locations. If your organization is interested in having the GO-VAXX bus visit your community, please contact GOVAXX@ontario.ca.
Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022:
- City of Burlington New Release: Two GO-VAXX Indoor Walk-In Clinics Coming to Burlington Jan. 22 & Feb. 5
Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022:
- Ontario Launching School-based Vaccine Clinics as Students Return to In-person Learning – News Release
- With elementary and high school students returning to in-person learning on January 17, Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, was joined by Dr. Kieran Moore, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health to announce the launch of school-based vaccine clinics for youth and staff, along with a significant deployment of rapid antigen tests. These new measures build on the province providing millions of high-quality masks for staff and students and thousands more HEPA filtration units.
- Vaccination is the province’s best defence against the highly transmissible Omicron variant. Current vaccination rates among children aged 12 to 17 years old are encouraging with more than 82 per cent having received two doses. Of children aged five to 11 years old, nearly 50 percent have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, but more can be done to encourage and support vaccination, which is why Ontario will launch school-based vaccine clinics when students return to in-person learning. To further encourage voluntary vaccination for children aged 5 to 11, the government has asked school boards to work with local Public Health Units (PHUs) to add school-day vaccination clinics for students (i.e. during instructional hours). School boards are also expected to work with local PHUs and share documents and other information with families, such as resources available at https://covid-19.ontario.ca/covid-19-vaccines-children-and-youth.
- In the coming days, parents will receive a form offering the opportunity to safely and conveniently provide public health units the authority to vaccinate their child at a school-based vaccine clinic.
- To help stabilize workforce and student participation, beginning the week of January 17, the Ontario government will also provide rapid antigen tests for students and staff in public elementary and secondary schools*, along with children and staff in child care settings. Over 3.9 million rapid antigen tests are being shipped to school boards this week, with additional tests to be delivered next week. The use of the tests is for symptomatic individuals, who will be required to take two rapid tests 24 hours apart, and upon negative results can return to class.
- Additional measures in place to prepare for the return to in-person learning include the following:
- High-Quality Masks: Providing access to more than 10 million non-fit-tested N95 masks to all education and child care staff – the only province to do so – with more than four million three-ply cloth masks for students recently shipped for use in schools.
- Stricter Screening: Updated and stricter screening requirements for students and staff, including daily onsite confirmation of screening.
- Enhanced Cohorting and Cleaning: New time-limited cohorting protocols to limit direct and indirect contacts by pausing high-contact extracurricular sports, stricter lunch cohort requirements, and elevated cleaning requirements at all schools.
- To further support staffing stability and reduce disruption for students, families, and education and child care staff, the government is further expanding access to vaccines by:
- Supporting a mass vaccination clinic at the International Centre with dedicated times for education and child care staff
- Opening 10 vaccination clinics across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area that offer dedicated time slots for education and child care staff
- Encouraging public health units to support accelerated access to boosters.
- Reopening schools is supported by the Chief Medical Officer of Health, local Medical Officers of Health, and the Children’s Health Coalition, representing Ontario’s pediatric hospitals, children’s mental health agencies and children’s rehabilitation centres. New interim guidance has been issued for PHUs – COVID-19: Interim Guidance for Schools and Child Care: Omicron Surge – highlights and link below.
- *During the Q and A Minister Lecce said that initially RATs will be distributed to all staff and students in elementary schools along with children and staff in child care settings. RATs will be distributed as needed in high schools for symptomatic purposes.
Monday, Jan. 10, 2022:
- Ontario’s Big City Mayors News Release: OBCM Passes Motion on the Safe Return to In-Person Learning
- GTHA Mayors and Chairs Focused on Boosting Vaccination Rates – News Release
- The Mayors and Chairs remain absolutely committed to continuing to work with each other along with the Government of Ontario and the Government of Canada to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic to save lives and keep people safe.
- GTHA municipalities have been focused on rolling out COVID-19 vaccinations for more than a year and have made good progress delivering first, second and now third doses. The effort to make sure all eligible residents have access to third doses is continuing across the GTHA. At the same time, we are working to help kids and education workers get vaccinated to support the province and school boards to safely return to in-person learning on January 17. We share the view that in-class learning will be beneficial to all concerned especially the students and will do everything we can as cities and regions, including special vaccination efforts for our school communities, to allow the province and school boards to reopen the schools on January 17.
- We strongly reiterate the view expressed previously that the province, perhaps in partnership with the federal government, should reinstate a form of pandemic pay. This was just successfully done in 2020during another intense period of the pandemic and for some sectors such as long term care and healthcare workers including paramedics, the extraordinary challenges we are facing again today would more than justify such a measure. We also discussed the desirability of looking at the prioritization of healthcare, education and other frontline workers in the distribution of rapid tests.
- Along with the vaccination efforts, all GTHA municipalities are also working non-stop to protect essential and critical services that are being stressed by Omicron with increasing staff absences due to COVID-19 illness and isolation requirements. In comparing out experiences in the area the Mayors and Chairs expressed a wish to see the province work with hospitals and with us to address some of the issues which have arisen affecting EMS services.
Friday, Jan. 7, 2022:
- City of Burlington News Release: City of Burlington Introduces COVID-19 Vaccination Mandate for all City Employees
Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022:
- Ontario Accelerating Boosters for Education and Child Care Staff – Statement
- Today, Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, issued the following statement on additional measures and supports to protect children, staff, and families as Ontario responds to the Omicron variant:
- “As part of our government’s response to the Omicron variant, we are providing greater access to COVID-19 booster shots for education and child care staff. Starting tomorrow, these staff in the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area will have planned access to vaccines at the International Centre in Mississauga as we work with all other public health units to urgently set up more clinics across Ontario. This is in addition to existing vaccine clinics with dedicated access for education and child care staff, including for example at CHEO in Ottawa, and select City of Toronto run clinics.
- We are also further strengthening our protections for child care centres by introducing additional safety measures, including stricter screening protocols and deploying non-fit-tested N95 masks to support frontline workers.
- Acceleration of COVID-19 Boosters
- To accelerate access to vaccines, starting January 7, the provincial mass vaccination clinic at the International Centre in Mississauga will support priority booking for education staff, including educators, custodial staff, administrative staff, and school bus drivers, and child care staff. The clinic will operate seven days a week, with specific appointments being made available for education and child care staff from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
- Eligible staff are encouraged to book their appointment through the Provincial Vaccine Booking Line at 1-833-943-3900.
- These measures being announced today build on the government’s previous efforts and investments to improve safety in schools during the pandemic. Measures currently in place include:
- providing optional non-fit-tested N95 masks to all education staff, scheduled to arrive by the end of this week
- updated and stricter screening requirements to help limit the spread of COVID-19
- ventilation improvements measures at every school across Ontario, including more than 70,000 HEPA filter units and other ventilation devices already deployed to schools, with an additional 3,000 units being provided
- access for school boards to $1.6 billion in resources to protect against COVID-19.
- Child Care Safety Measures
- The below measures have also been put in place to ensure children, staff, and communities remain as safe as possible:
- providing optional non-fit-tested N95 masks for staff in licensed child care settings starting January 10, 2022
- updating and enhancing child care screening measures to help limit the spread of COVID-19.
- The Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health are working together with an aim of making more rapid-antigen tests available to support the ongoing operations of child-care centres, and schools when they return to in-person learning.
- Starting January 10, 2022, the following some of the workers (full list of eligible workers) eligible for free emergency child care:
- education staff who are required to attend schools to provide in-person instruction and support to students with special education needs who cannot be accommodated through remote learning
- child care workers, including those staffing the emergency child care programs
- truck drivers and transit workers
- construction workers
- grocery store and pharmacy workers
- public safety (police, fire, paramedics, provincial inspection/enforcement), justice/court and correctional system workers.
- To confirm whether or not your family is eligible for access to emergency child care, please contact your local service system manager. See a full list of eligible workers.
- The below measures have also been put in place to ensure children, staff, and communities remain as safe as possible:
Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022:
- City of Burlington News Release: Province’s GO-VAXX Bus Coming to Burlington Jan. 24 & 31 – Appointments Required
Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2021:
- PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT NEWS
- All Ontarians 18+ Eligible for COVID-19 Booster Appointments at Three-Month Interval – News Release
- To protect Ontario’s progress in the fight against COVID-19 and safeguard the province’s hospitals and intensive care units (ICUs) in the face of the rapidly-spreading Omicron variant, the Ontario government is rapidly accelerating its booster dose rollout by expanding eligibility to all individuals aged 18 and over, as well as shortening the interval to three months following an individual’s second dose. To provide an additional layer of protection against COVID-19 and variants during the holiday season, Ontario is also launching a holiday testing blitz starting today to offer rapid antigen screening to individuals free of charge at pop-up sites across the province, as well as select LCBO stores across Ontario.
- Starting Monday, December 20, 2021, individuals aged 18 and over will be eligible to schedule their booster dose appointment through the Ontario’s booking portal, by calling the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre, through Indigenous-led vaccination clinics, participating pharmacies and primary care settings. Appointments will be booked three months (84 days) after a second dose as the province urgently expands booster eligibility to millions more individuals. Additionally, pharmacies and other channels may provide boosters for 18 and over at the three-month interval starting Friday, December 17, 2021 for walk-ins.
- In addition, starting today, individuals aged 50 and over as well as all those currently eligible who have already booked their appointment at an interval of six months (168 days) can call the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre to re-book for an earlier date at the three-month interval and can change their appointment through Ontario’s booking portal starting on Monday.
- To further strengthen its response to Omicron, effective December 18, 2021 at 12:01 a.m. Ontario intends to introduce a 50 per cent capacity limit to the following indoor areas of venues with a usual capacity of 1,000 or more: facilities used for sports and recreational fitness activities; entertainment facilities such as concert venues, theatres and cinemas; racing venues; meeting and event spaces; studio audiences in commercial film and television production; museums, galleries, aquariums, zoos, science centres, landmarks, historic sites, botanical gardens and similar attractions; casinos, bingo halls and other gaming establishments; and fair, rural exhibitions, and festivals. This measure is being taken to reduce opportunities for close contact in high-risk indoor settings with large crowds and when face coverings/masks are not always worn.
- As part of the government’s enhanced testing strategy, starting today up to two million rapid tests will be provided free of charge at pop-up testing sites in high-traffic settings such as malls, retail settings, holiday markets, public libraries and transit hubs. Pop-up teams will be deployed at nearly 50 locations across the province, including some co-located with GO-VAXX mobile vaccine buses. Most sites will distribute free take-home rapid antigen test kits, subject to supply, and some will offer asymptomatic rapid antigen screening on-site. The government will also make take-home rapid tests available at select LCBO stores, starting with the busiest stores this week and with more stores being added in the coming days.
- Ontarians can visit Ontario.ca/holidaytesting to find out if pop-up rapid antigen screening sites will be available in their area. Locations and operating hours will be updated weekly, and no appointment will be required.
- The latest available data suggests that the Omicron variant is more transmissible than the Delta variant and will become the dominant variant by the end of the month. Early evidence suggests that a third dose or booster can further increase protection against severe illness and hospitalization. While cases were always expected to rise, the increased transmissibility of the Omicron variant could put additional strain on Ontario’s hospital capacity, making it critical that all Ontarians receive their booster dose as soon as possible.
- To quickly scale up capacity to administer up to previous peak vaccination capacity, the province has asked public health units, hospitals, pharmacists, primary care providers and other health care providers to ramp up additional vaccinations sites and prioritize the administration of first, second and booster doses across the province. On December 14, 127,000 vaccines were administered in Ontario, well above recent provincial capacity, and the province is continuing to ramp up to administer 200,000 to 300,000 doses per day by next week based on demand. The province is also partnering with additional health care providers and first responders to support Ontario’s vaccination efforts and administer more shots in arms.
- Ontario is engaging with large corporations who have the capabilities to implement workplace and community clinics to support the booster dose rollout for employees, their families and the local community. Bruce Power, in partnership with Grey Bruce Health Unit, will be the first corporate-led vaccine clinic, starting the week of December 20. In addition, the successful mobile vaccine clinic strategy will be expanded to meet the evolving challenges of COVID-19 and its variants. More information on the corporate and mobile clinics will be available in the coming weeks. The province will also be expanding the Stop the Spread Business Information Line to allow businesses to request vaccine supply to administer on-site for employees. Businesses will need to meet certain criteria to ensure proper storage and safe administration of the vaccines, including availability of health human resources. More information on the corporate and mobile clinics will be available in the coming days.
- Question Period from Premier’s Briefing:
- Why were restaurants not included? Will there be another announcement coming? Premier, “we focused on the largest venues. We aren’t going to lockdown the system to get out of this.” He urged people to get vaccinated. “Ask yourself what you can do for Ontario. Dig deep again.”
- Are you considering any more restrictions? Premier said, “everything is on the table. Our best defence is getting a booster shot. Locking things down isn’t going to get us out of this.”
- What made you determine that large venues are the problem instead of restaurants? Premier, “the large venues people are sitting side by side for hours without masks.” He said comparing restaurants to large venues is like comparing “apples to bananas, not even apples to oranges.” He said that restaurants have health and safety precautions in place.
- Some large venues will still have 10,000 people in them isn’t that a concern? The Premier said that the lower capacity limits would ensure that people were spaced out.
PLEASE NOTE: To stay updated on what the City of Burlington is doing regarding COVID-19, please visit the dedicated pages burlington.ca/coronavirus (and subscribe) and bit.ly/mayormeedwardCOVID19updates, and our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page — bit.ly/COVID19BurlingtonFAQ that are updated as new information becomes available.
A consolidated page for information and updates on the work of the provincial Ministers’ COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force is available at bit.ly/COVIDVaccineUpdates.
A Burlington COVID-19 Task Force has been created to help support our community through this unprecedented emergency — updates will be provided at burlington.ca/COVID19taskforce.
To report an incident of non-compliance with provincial emergency orders, please contact the Halton Regional Police Service COVID-19 Hotline: 905-825-4722.
We’ve also created a dedicated page to feature the local organizations and businesses that have inspired us during the COVID-19 pandemic by taking action to support our community in new and creative ways — head to bit.ly/covidwallofinspiration.
HELPFUL RESOURCES & RELATED LINKS:
- Community questions and requests regarding City of Burlington services can be directed to Service Burlington by phone at 905-335-7777, by email at email@example.com or online.
- Halton Region has created a Reopening Schools resource webpage for parents, students and teachers at halton.ca/covid19.
- For further COVID-19 information, including where to get tested, please visit Halton Region Public Health halton.ca/coronavirus
- Residents can stay informed at burlington.ca/coronavirus as well as on our social media channels: @cityburlington on Twitter and facebook.com/cityburlington
- Questions about the cancellation of Recreation programs can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or 905-335-7738
- City of Burlington: www.burlington.ca/coronavirus
- Resources for Residents & Non-Profit Organizations: www.burlington.ca/covid19resources.
- Halton Region: www.halton.ca/coronavirus
- Government of Ontario: www.ontario.ca/coronavirus
- Provincial Emergency Orders: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/200052
- Government of Canada: www.canada.ca/coronavirus
- World Health Organization: www.who.int
- Joseph Brant Hospital: josephbranthospital.ca/covid-19
- Team Burlington Business Supports: burlingtonchamber.com/team-burl-supporting-burl-business-during-covid-19/
- Burlington Food Bank: call 905-637-CARE (2273), or visit burlingtonfoodbank.ca
- Food for Life: call 905-635-1106 and press 7, or visit foodforlife.ca
- Canadian Mental Health Association – Halton Branch: call 289-291-5396, or visit halton.cmha.ca