By The Canadian Press on December 29, 2021.
Toronto officials say they are preparing to relocate hundreds of employees to support critical and essential services in response to an increase in new COVID-19 cases driven by the highly contagious Omicron variant.
Toronto Mayor Chris Murray says in a statement today that staff are ready to fill any gaps as the latest wave of new infections prevents employees in key areas from being able to work.
Murray says many of those who were ready for relocation were previously asked to help last year.
While emergency preparations are underway, the city says staff in its public health-care program will be urged throughout January to help administer vaccines, as many residents rush to get booster shots to better protect against COVID-19.
And the city says it plans to increase its use of rapid antigen testing for staff other than those in long-term care facilities and day care to include police, fire and paramedics.
Toronto is also suspending unnecessary, personal services at City Hall and other civic centers to free up staff to help with emergency response and prevent further spread of COVID-19.
Services will continue to be offered by telephone and online.
The measures remain in place until further notice.
This report from The Canadian Press was first published on December 29, 2021.
This story was produced with financial assistance from Facebook and the Canadian Press News Fellowship.