It’s over! The COVID-19 global pandemic is over! At least that’s what Toronto officials claim.
Toronto mayor John Tory has formally ended a state of emergency that had been in effect for a total of 777 days, claiming it’s a sign that some normalcy has returned to North America’s 4th largest city. The decision was made in consultation with Toronto’s medical officer of health, Dr. Eileen de Villa.
A state of emergency was first declared on March 23, 2020, when the COVID-19 virus began to take hold of the city of Toronto.
“This was the first official emergency declaration in the history of the modern city of Toronto and it was in line with similar emergency declarations in response to COVID-19 by many surrounding municipalities and the Province of Ontario,” the city said in a statement this morning.
What does this mean for Torontonians? Not much, as most COVID-19 restrictions were eased earlier this year by the provincial government.
As of March 2022, most public health restrictions had already been lifted in Ontario, including vaccine passports and masking requirements. Masks are still required in certain situations, including on public transportation, in long-term care homes, and any private business that chooses to enforce mask use.
Despite today’s announcement, Tory stressed that today’s announcement does not mean the pandemic is over and vaccines are still the most effective tool we can use in the ongoing fight against COVID-19.
As of May 5, 2022, over 86% of Toronto’s residents aged five and older have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.