TORONTO – The City of Toronto continues to respond to COVID-19. Toronto is under a modified Stage Two COVID-19 emergency.
On Wednesday, Mayor John Tory, 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 measures to combat the resurgence of the virus in Toronto and expressed support for new Province of Ontario restrictions.
There are 23,338 cases of COVID-19 in the city, an increase of 296 new cases today. There are 108 people hospitalized. In total, 19,523 people have recovered from COVID-19. To date, there have been 1,327 COVID-19 deaths in Toronto.
To address the findings from available local and national data, the City of Toronto sought the Province’s support for selective restrictions over a four-week period. In Toronto, 21 cases were linked to adult recreational hockey in early October. In late September, 18 cases were linked to a fitness centre, with 76 contacts.
In Hamilton, nearly 70 cases were linked to one week at a spin class facility, with potentially one hundred more people exposed. Earlier in the summer, at least 40 infections were linked to a fitness centre in Calgary. For every confirmed case, there are likely more cases that aren’t severe enough to create worrisome symptoms and some that don’t create symptoms at all.
As of 12:01 am on Saturday, October 10, new regulations from the Province of Ontario came into effect under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act. These new measures, that apply to the city of Toronto, set social gathering and organized public event limits at 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors, prohibit indoor food and drink service in restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments, limit capacity for certain activities, prohibit games and scrimmages for sports teams and more. The new regulations will be in place for at least 28 days.
The City’s COVID-19 enforcement team continues to respond to complaints and enforce provincial orders and bylaws across the city, including in bars, restaurants, and parks. Yesterday, the City received 25 complaints related to parks use and physical distancing, 61 complaints related to businesses, and two complaints related to gatherings on private property. Officers issued one notice related to gatherings on private property.
Working closely with Toronto Public Health, the City has been reviewing current recreation programs, specifically those programs that are deemed high-risk for COVID-19 transmission due to being indoors, where the physical nature of the activity results in close contact and where masks cannot be worn. Effective Saturday, October 10, the following recreation programs and services were suspended, including registered and instructional programs:
• learn to skate and swim programs,
• dance, group fitness, and wellness programs,
• team sports with gameplay or scrimmages, and
• indoor permits for social gatherings.
Fitness centres and drop-in sports programs are also suspended. Permits for indoor and outdoor sports have been adjusted to allow for training only, with capacity restrictions.
In response to the challenges associated with COVID-19, the City will continue to review and evolve program delivery to ensure it is in line with public health advice.
All people in Toronto should still be adopting steps for self-protection. Dr. de Villa recommends individuals only consider leaving their homes for essential activities such as work, education, and fresh air and exercise. As much as possible, residents are asked to limit contact with people not in the same household, keep at least six feet apart from people not in the same household, and wear a mask when outside of their homes, especially in indoor settings and when physical distancing is difficult. Residents should wash hands frequently and remain at home when ill.