COVID-19 Omicron Variant & Health and Safety Update

  • December 14, 2021

As you know, a few weeks ago the COVID-19 Omicron variant was identified in Ontario. We are writing today with an update about this new variant, and what you should do to protect yourselves and others – particularly as we head into the winter holiday season.

Ontario, and other jurisdictions around the world, are closely and cautiously monitoring the impacts of the new Omicron variant.  Yesterday, Michelle E. DiEmanuele, Secretary of Cabinet, announced a temporary interruption in return to the workplace for some staff effective December 17, 2021 until February 7, 2022. This will mean some staff will return to working from home, while others may need to continue to attend the physical workplace in order to deliver essential justice services.

During this time, while our collective understanding about COVID-19 may continue to evolve, we continue to receive the following assurances from the Chief Medical Officer of Health’s Office: 

  • the ongoing review of evidence demonstrates that the dominant mode of transmission of the new Omicron variant has not changed;
  • when the preventative measures in place within our courthouses are properly followed, they are robust and effective at mitigating the risk of transmission of all known variants of COVID-19, including Omicron;  and
  • no new recommendations have been suggested to enhance or improve the preventative measures we already have in place within our courthouses. 

Vaccines remain a critical tool to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and we continue to encourage everyone eligible to get vaccinated. To date, more than 88% of Ontarians aged 12 and older are now fully vaccinated.  The accelerated COVID-19 vaccine booster dose eligibility means that as of December 13, Ontarians aged 50 and over and additional high-risk individuals can book their booster appointments - further expansion is anticipated in January 2022. Please read the announcement to determine your eligibility.

Thank you for your ongoing cooperation and diligence.

Recovery Secretariat