Toronto at a “Tipping Point” – Councillor Joe Cressy

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COVID-19 Toronto

TORONTO – “We are at a tipping point – the trajectory of the curve in our city depends directly on actions that we take today. If we want to keep schools open, ensure access to public services, and protect the capacity of our health care system we can’t afford to continue with the status quo. The measures recommended by our Medical Officer of Health target emerging sources of COVID transmission, and will help increase safety for workers, customers, and all Torontonians,” states Councillor Joe Cressy (Ward 10 Spadina-Fort York), Chair of the Toronto Board of Health.
Toronto continues to respond to COVID-19. Late Monday, Mayor John Tory and Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Eileen de Villa, and Fire Chief and General Manager of the Office of Emergency Management Matthew Pegg provided an update on the City’s response and recovery and rebuild progress.
There are 19,033 cases of COVID-19 in the city, an increase of 381 new cases today. There are 54 people hospitalized. In total, 16,034 people have recovered from COVID-19. To date, there have been 1,178 COVID-19 deaths in Toronto. Torontonians should expect case counts to rise over the next few weeks.
Everyone is reminded to adopt steps for self-protection: as much as possible limit contact with anyone you don’t live with; as often as possible, keep at least six feet apart from people you don’t live with; as often as possible, wear a mask when outside your home, especially in indoor settings and when physical distancing is difficult; wash your hands frequently; and remain at home when ill.
Further to this, in a report going before City Council this week, Dr. de Villa has stressed the need for more actions to mitigate the impact of the resurgence of COVID-19 cases. Toronto Public Health has identified that COVID-19 case clusters and outbreaks have occurred among staff and patrons in a diverse range of workplaces. All workplaces should support physical distancing for employees and visitors, and where this is challenging, require masks or face coverings. The report recommends that the Province of Ontario act in support of this recommendation.
Additional actions supported by Toronto Public Health to prevent COVID-19 activity and outbreaks in food and drink establishments include:
• Reducing the total number of patrons permitted to be inside a food and drink establishment at any one time from 100 to 75
• Requiring establishments to maintain a customer log for each patron, not just one person from the party
• Reducing the maximum number of people able to sit at each table, both inside and outside, from 10 to six
• Requiring that background music and any other background sounds, such as from televisions or other electronic sound producing devices, must be no louder than the volume of normal conversation.
This report also recommends extending the existing City of Toronto COVID-19 bylaws until the end of City Council’s first meeting in 2021. This includes the Physical Distancing in Public Spaces bylaws (322-2020 and 323-2020), the Mandatory Mask or Face Covering bylaws (541-2020 and 664-2020), the Public Health Measures for Bars and Restaurant bylaw (665-2020) and the temporary COVID-19 amendments to Chapter 354, Apartment Buildings. These bylaws are currently set to expire on October 1, 2020.
The City’s COVID-19 enforcement team continues to respond to complaints and enforce orders and bylaws across the city, including in bars, restaurants and parks. The maximum number of people permitted to attend social gatherings and organized public events in Ontario – including parties and dinners – is now 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors. While most residents and businesses have complied with provincial regulations and the City’s mandatory mask or face covering and physical distancing bylaws, a small number of others have not.
Enforcement officers are out across the city on patrol at all times as well as responding to complaints. Yesterday, the City and Toronto Public Health received nine complaints related to businesses. Four notices were issued to businesses by Toronto Public Health. The City received 32 complaints related to parks; one ticket was issued by bylaw officers and two by police.
The City’s website is updated daily with the latest health advice and information about City services, social supports and economic recovery measures. Check http://www.toronto.ca/covid-19/ for answers to common questions before contacting the Toronto Public Health COVID-19 Hotline or 311.
“I’m very concerned with the increase in COVID-19 activity we’re seeing in our city.  Today I’m recommending further actions to quickly reduce virus transmission.  We still have time to reverse this trend.  We all have a role to reduce virus spread in our city, so please adopt steps for self-protection: as much as possible limit contact with anyone you don’t live with; as often as possible, keep at least six feet apart from people you don’t live with; as often as possible, wear a mask when outside your home, especially in indoor settings and when physical distancing is difficult; wash your hands frequently; and remain at home when ill.  Your actions will help keep you and our community safer as we continue living with this virus,” commented Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health.