Ajax and Durham Region lift COVID-19 state of emergency

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Published March 29, 2022 at 4:14 pm

The Town of Ajax and the Region of Durham both independently announced the end of the two-year state of emergency brought into force to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ajax announced the lifted measures through Deputy Mayor Sterling Lee. In a public announcement Lee said the choice to remove the order was made in consultation with Durham Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Robert Kyle and the Municipal Emergency Control Group.

The move comes alongside all other municipalities, including Clarington and Oshawa, and Durham Region itself lifting their emergency orders.

Ajax enacted the state of emergency just shy of two years ago on April 6, 2020, a few days after the Ontario government shuttered non-essential businesses for the first of several lockdowns.

Lee said in his statement the emergency order allowed Ajax to “to respond quickly to contain the spread of COVID-19 through each wave of the pandemic.”

While things may be approaching pre-pandemic normalcy, Ajax continues to stress vigilance and following public health orders as the way to get thing fully back to the way things were.

“On behalf of Ajax Council, I thank our community for doing their part and getting us to this point of learning to live with COVID-19. We are truly Stronger Together,” said Lee.

Durham Region chair John Henry echoed these sentiments in his statement announcing the end of Regional restrictions. Henry describing his happiness to lift the order, after consultation with Kyle and Chief Administration Officer Elaine Baxter-Trahair his statement.

“When I declared the state of emergency two years ago, no one truly knew the challenging journey ahead of us—and as we know today, life hasn’t been the same since,” he said. However he stressed pride in his community for weathering the pandemic storm.

“There have been countless sacrifices made from all Durham residents— frontline heroes, small businesses, volunteers, and so many others” said Henry, “Your dedication and collective efforts have had a direct and positive impact on getting us through this pandemic.”

Since the orders were put in place, more than 1.4 million COVID-19 vaccination doses were distributed throughout Durham, fully vaccinating 86.6 per cent of the region’s residents.

Henry listed several achievements he was proud of over the last two years including; Downtowns of Durham campaign, the Shop Where You Live campaign, Do It In Durham Week, the Shop Durham Region online marketplace, In/Out of the Crisis program at Camp Samac, affordable housing projects in Beaverton and Oshawa, and the Primary Care Outreach Program.

“As this state of emergency lift signifies, there is so much to look forward to. Signs of recovery and normalcy are becoming more apparent,” Henry said. “We wouldn’t be able to get to this stage without the support from you, our amazing community. Thank you for your continued commitment to keeping you and your loved ones protected. Your resilience, and your unyielding spirit has been an inspiration.”

 

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