City continues emergency response to ensure business continuity and prepares for COVID-19 impacts in 2022

By Staff

December 31st, 2021



In a lengthy media release put out by the city administration they said  “The number one priority continues to be the health and safety of residents and staff.

The key focus for the City right now is continuity of operations, given rising infections in the community and subsequently among City staff.

To date, there remain few instances of City workplace transmission in City facilities. City staff continue to monitor COVID-19 impacts to ensure robust health and safety procedures are in place in our facilities and are working to ensure essential services are delivered for Burlington residents.

Throughout the holidays, the City’s Emergency Control Group continues to meet to review City service programs and impacts. The City will continue to communicate updates to residents as we all continue to live through this evolving pandemic.

Pandemic response and updates

 The City wants to ensure the people of Burlington that the City continues to monitor the COVID-19 impacts and prepare. This is a dynamic situation and City staff are monitoring daily for any federal, provincial, or regional announcements that would impact City operations. Burlington City Council is provided regular briefings and are ready to take action if a City Council meeting should be required over the holidays. Verbal updates on the COVID-19 emergency response will continue to be provided to City Council in the new year at the Environment, Infrastructure and Community Services Committee.

The next COVID-19 emergency response verbal update is planned for Jan. 13, 2022.

City of Burlington Emergency Control Group

The City’s Emergency Control Group has been regularly meeting over the holidays. This group has decision-making responsibility related to time-sensitive and immediate actions to address the emergency at hand, including operations and crisis communications. The Emergency Control group includes the Mayor, City Manager and senior City leadership from all service areas, Burlington Fire leadership, Health and Safety staff and a Burlington Hydro representative. City Council continues to be responsible for overall governance of the City and strategic decisions.

Protecting City staff and our community

Throughout the pandemic, the City has taken proactive steps to reduce the risk of transmission in the workplace. This includes implementing a staff COVID-19 vaccination policy, adjustments to building ventilation, occupancy limits, daily wellness screening, mandatory masks and a variety of personal protection equipment. Respiratory protection (N95 or KN95 respirators) were offered early on in the pandemic to staff that were deemed an elevated risk to protect them and Burlington residents. To address the highly transmissible Omicron variant, the City has taken additional steps, including making medical masks and tight-fitting respirators (N95, KN95, etc.), available to all staff working on-site.

For higher risk settings, the City is using rapid antigen tests to ensure safety and operational continuity. The City continues to conduct case and contact management for the workplace, regularly updating isolation and testing protocols based on evolving Public Health requirements and to mitigate risk. City staff are advised to work from home and not attend the workplace if they are feeling unwell.

For part-time staff, the City has re-introduced up to 10 paid shifts for approved absences related to COVID-19 to help take care of our people.

The City is acutely aware that the infectious rate of the Omicron variant has the ability to impact City delivery of services and continues to monitor carefully to take steps as needed. Even though hospitalizations currently remain lower with the Omicron variant, the need for people to self-isolate if they get Omicron creates an elevated risk for staffing levels and continuity of services. It remains critical for people to continue to follow all health measures to reduce opportunity for spread and get vaccinated. All requirements for proof of vaccination, screening, masking and physical distancing remain in place at City facilities. The City is working to limit service disruptions to essential public safety services for the community.

Outdoor and active at home recreation options

Residents are encouraged to get outside and enjoy the outdoors responsibly, continuing to follow the advice from public health. There are a number of opportunities to remain active such as the Burlington Rotary Centennial Pond, 15 neighbourhood rink locations, six City designated tobogganing areas and walking/biking on trails. Visiting parks and open spaces is another outdoor recreation opportunity. For a list of parks, playgrounds and trails, visit Options to stay active at home are also available online at

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward added that: “Your City Council and staff are taking all actions necessary to ensure you continue to receive the services you rely on. We also regularly connect with our partners at the federal, provincial and regional levels to offer our help as needed, and advocate for our community where necessary. We will get through this together as we have so far. Thank you for continuing to do your part, follow health measures, and get vaccinated. We know the last 22 months haven’t been easy for anyone, and you’ve made many sacrifices. Your compassion for each other, your resilience and creativity to find new ways to safely come together, has been a shining light through these difficult days.”

City Manager Tim Commisso

City Manager Tim Commisso

“It is important the City continues to deliver essential services to our community and we want to assure the public we are working to help us all get through this wave as safely as possible. The City’s Emergency Control Group continues to meet regularly throughout the holiday closure and City staff are at work delivering City programs and services and responding to COVID-19. This is a dynamic situation.

Although there remain few instances of City workplace transmission in City facilities, we know 51 per cent of all City staff COVID-19 infections have occurred in the last two weeks since the pandemic began. The Omicron variant is highly infectious and we continue to review plans for business continuity and essential delivery of services for our community.”


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