Today marks one-year since the Town of Milton first enacted measures to respond to the initial and early phase of the pandemic. Twelve challenging months later, the way in which we live, work and play has changed significantly. The pandemic has infected over 300,000 Ontarians and claimed over 7,000 lives. Thirty-six Miltonians have died as a result of COVID-19. All of us have felt their loss. All of us have seen our lives altered. A beloved grandparent’s lonely wave through the glass of a nursing home window. The empty storefront of a local business. Birthdays, graduations and anniversaries awkwardly celebrated on a screen instead of in-person. Frustration as parents struggle to help kids learn virtually, while trying to meet work demands. These images and circumstances have become our new normal.

While these have been challenging times though, Miltonians have rallied to comfort one another, support one another, and keep each other safe. We have seen our business community pivot to address modernizing aspects of their business, or altering their service delivery channels, all to meet the public health guidelines and sustain business. We recognize the resiliency of our business community and continue to encourage each of you to shop local and support our Milton businesses.

Our efforts have not gone unnoticed. There is another important number we should keep in mind, especially as we confront the coming months of the pandemic and its variant strains: 3,002. That is approximately the number of lives you have saved by wearing a mask, limiting in-person gatherings and maintaining social distance.

Month after month, deep into the pandemic, many Milton residents continue to follow lifesaving pandemic precautions. While we know how many residents have died from COVID-19, we will never know for sure whom you have saved. Maybe it is an esteemed elder who is alive to lead a virtual devotional group for their faith community. A middle-aged mother who is here to help her daughter apply for college. A thirtysomething who agrees to be best man at his friend’s wedding, once the pandemic is over. Maybe it is someone reading this message. Maybe it is you.

This reinforces the importance of our collective efforts as residents and to follow the guidance of our public health experts to continue to do our part, and to have an impact on combatting COVID-19.

We are not in the clear yet.

The pandemic is not over. More contagious variants of the virus are showing up in our community. Halton Region is in a race, along with all public health units across the province, to vaccinate as many people as possible, as soon as we can.

With gratitude, and respect for all the lifesaving sacrifices you have made so far, myself and members of Town Council are asking all Miltonians to:

Keep wearing masks, limit your social get-togethers and maintain your physical distance. Until we know more, we need to keep our guards up. Choose to be vaccinated when you are eligible, as soon as an appointment is available to you.

Getting vaccinated is the most effective way to protect ourselves

Canada now has four approved vaccines for distribution across the country. Halton Region is currently focused on vaccinating priority populations as identified by the province, including recent provincial direction to accelerate vaccinations for:

  • Residents in long-term care and retirement homes
  • Staff and essential caregivers in these locations that have not yet received a first dose
  • Adults 80 years of age or older
  • Healthcare workers identified in the highest or very high priority
  • Adults receiving chronic home care (through a Local Health Integration Network or Home Care Agency).

Our local public health unit is doing everything they can to make the vaccine accessible to those who wish to receive it. Information about the vaccine is available through Milton and Halton Region’s website, and residents are encouraged to seek credible, health information.  

We depend on each other to save lives. The COVID-19 vaccine is the safest and most effective way to protect yourself and your loved ones and return to more of our normal life. We need enough Miltonians to be immunized, so all of us are protected.

Thank you for the lives you have saved so far and the lives we can all save in the months to come.

Mayor Gord Krantz
On behalf of Members of Council

Visual timeline of Milton's response to COVID-19