Toronto sets January date for city workers to return to the office, amid rising COVID-19 cases, Omicron uncertainty
By Sarah Kraus
27 April 2020
The City of Toronto announced on Tuesday that it will reopen the workforce on January 26, 2020, following a two-month social-distancing period that has seen the outbreak of COVID-19 in Toronto’s health-care system.
The re-opening date is a further blow to the working class. Unemployment in the city has now reached 10.5% as the number of new cases climbs daily.
Toronto is now one of the most densely infected cities in North America, now with more than 13,000 confirmed cases, and nearly 3,400 deaths.
Toronto has seen a doubling of cases since January, with more and more cases appearing regularly in the past few days.
The mayor’s announcement, made while at press conference this morning, made no reference to the growing number of cases among hospital workers who recently were evacuated from Wuhan to Toronto because they were suspected of carrying the virus.
The official statement, issued by City Manager Peter Wallace, stated:
“As we know, the city is at a moment of transition during this crisis. Our public-health system is in a state of constant flux. To ensure we are keeping the safety of all our citizens and workers foremost, we have decided to continue this public-health emergency at our City Hall.
All employees, including the thousands of city cleaners and service engineers, who clean City Hall and other City properties, will be working from home during this time. I hope they will be able to remain in touch with their families, and with their co-workers, as they adjust to life in a quieter world of work. I’m also pleased to announce that I have begun the process of reducing the number of meetings that I now have with the press.
We also hope to continue our focus on building our social-distancing plan and social-services initiatives to support our residents in this difficult time.