For Immediate Release
Mayor Crombie Responds to Return to Modified Step 2
January 3, 2022
“I know that the people of Mississauga are feeling anxious, tired, angry, and disappointed that once again they are being asked to put their day to day lives on hold.
Whether it’s our business owners who have to scale back their operations, their employees who are now out of work, parents who have to juggle work while caring for their children and school-aged children who were looking forward to getting back to class and their friends but have to return to online learning; all of this seems unfair. And it is.
The unfortunate reality is that case counts are the highest that they have ever been in Ontario and we’re dealing with a variant that is four to six times more transmissible than previous strains. While the good news is that fully vaccinated individuals with Omicron typically have milder symptoms, the sheer number of infections are having a serious impact on the ability of our hospitals, essential services and first responders to continue to deliver the services residents rely on. Thankfully, our vaccination rate remains high, with 88 per cent of residents 12+ fully vaccinated in Peel.
So many of us have done what we have been asked. We got our shots. We’ve worn masks. We’ve stayed home when required. We’ve all made sacrifices and yet we are still in this position.
I encourage the province to consider the following solutions that will help our schools and our businesses stay open:
- Getting as many boosters in arms as possible, including prioritizing education workers
- Flooding the province with free and accessible rapid test kits, not just from the federal government, but paid for by the province as well
- Require proof of a negative rapid test to return to work after isolation
- Making schools as safe as possible by getting as many children ages 5 -11 vaccinated, accelerating second doses, reducing class sizes, installing more HEPA filters, continued PCR testing and N95 masks for educators and students
- Increase capacity for PCR testing and ensure all children, regardless of age are prioritized to receive free testing
- Continue proof of vaccination program indefinitely and require employees in businesses where proof of vaccine is required to also be vaccinated or submit to routine testing
- Continue to collect case data by implementing a provincial online tool that will allow residents to report their rapid antigen test results
- Encourage both the provincial and federal government to increase supports for small businesses impacted by closures and capacity restrictions
- Extend paid sick leave beyond to the current three day entitlement to ensure that people who need to isolate for at least ten days are able to do so; and
- Consider implementing a rapid testing program for daycares to keep those who are too young to be vaccinated or masked as safe as possible
I have asked Mississauga residents many times to be resilient and to stay positive. I know this is a lot to ask, but we are in this situation now, and we must work together to get out of it. I want our small business owners, especially those hardest hit including those in our hospitality and personal care and health industries, to know I stand with them. Please continue to do your part to limit the spread by booking your first, second or booster doses and limiting indoor, unmasked contact with those outside your household.”
- Bonnie Crombie, Mayor of Mississauga