TORONTO — Today, Premier Doug Ford and Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, issued the following statement thanking Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, for his years of service to the province:
“Today, June 25, 2021, marks Dr. David Williams’ last day as Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health.
For over five years, Dr. Williams has proudly served as our Chief Medical Officer of Health, safeguarding the health of Ontarians and providing expert advice on public health matters to the health sector and to the government.
During his tenure, Dr. Williams has overseen the implementation of many key initiatives, including but not limited to raising awareness of Lyme Disease, leading the largest flu immunization campaign in provincial history, helping to set up our government’s new Ontario’s Seniors Dental Program, which has supported over 50,000 seniors to date, and preparing Ontario’s Zika readiness strategy with steps in place to manage any potential threats. The province has faced no shortage of challenges during his time in the role, culminating with the unprecedented arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic and the fight to stop the spread of this deadly virus.
Since the onset of COVID-19 over sixteen months ago, Dr. Williams has worked tirelessly to guide us through this pandemic and inform the government’s decisions. He has shouldered a heavy load and he has done so with integrity and compassion. In his role as Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Williams has also served as an ex-officio member of the COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force and has played a critical part in the rollout of our three-phase vaccination plan.
Under Dr. Williams’ constant and steady advice, Ontario has achieved significant milestones in its fight against COVID-19, including:
- Becoming a national leader in testing and case and contact management, including the development of the centralized provincial reporting system;
- Advocating for and initiating the addition of school-focused nurses in public health units to provide rapid-response support to schools and boards in facilitating public health and preventative measures, including screening, testing, tracing and mitigation strategies;
- Leading the development and implementation of the Keeping Ontario Safe and Open Framework to ensure that public health measures were targeted, incremental and responsive to help limit the spread of COVID-19;
- Releasing the Roadmap to Reopen, a three-step plan to safely and cautiously reopen the province and gradually lift public health measures based on the provincewide vaccination rate and improvements in key public health and health care indicators; and
- Taking a leading role in Ontario’s vaccination rollout, that has to date, seen over 76 per cent of Ontarian adults receive their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine and over 30 per cent who have received their second dose.
Thanks to our accelerated vaccine rollout and the efforts of all Ontarians in following the public health and workplace safety measures recommended by Dr. Williams, Ontario has seen continued improvements in key public health and health system indicators allowing us to move into Step Two of the Roadmap on June 30, 2021, ahead of schedule.
Dr. Williams postponed his planned retirement at our government’s request in order to continue guiding the province through the pandemic, and we are all incredibly grateful for his experienced leadership at the helm of the province’s response to protect our communities from the devastating impact of COVID-19. Our province owes him a great debt of gratitude for his years of dedicated and compassionate service.
On behalf of the government and all Ontarians, we would like to once again thank Dr. Williams for his years of diligent service to the province and to wish him and his family all the best in the next chapter of their lives.”