Dear Friends and Neighbours,
Today we heard from Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. de Villa, that the City is implementing stronger measures for up to twelve weeks to arrest the spread of COVID-19 in our community. I’ve included a summary of today’s announcement below. Please remember to visit the City’s COVID-19 website for daily updates and information at https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/.
While I know that supplies are short across the City, I am sharing the call for residents to supply anything they possibly can to some of the incredible organizations we have in York South – Weston. West Park Healthcare Centre is in need of personal protective equipment (PPE). If you are able to provide procedure/surgical masks; disposable isolation gowns; face shields; hand sanitizer; N95 masks, head to their website to find out more about West Park’s donation drive. There are also other organizations in our community that could use your support. Please contact my office if you are able to help.
Volunteer Toronto is a charity that connects volunteers to the causes that need them. In response to COVID-19, they are recruiting volunteers and providing resources for non-profits. For individuals looking to get involved, join Toronto's COVID-19 Volunteer Response Team here: https://info.volunteertoronto.ca/covid19. Any non-profits or grassroots groups can contact Volunteer Toronto to start recruiting for urgent response efforts or remote support during COVID-19. Complete this short form and a Toronto Volunteer staff member will reach out.
Today is the first of the month and rent is due for thousands of residents. I strongly encourage landlords to be considerate of the difficult financial situation that many tenants are experiencing during this public health crisis. I understand that landlords also depend on rent income, but I encourage working with tenants to find possible solutions for the time being including that landlords consider applying collected ‘last month’ rent toward April. We are all in this together.
Here's the key information you need to know today:
The City is taking unprecedented action to stop COVID-19 and save lives while protecting the healthcare system and Toronto’s economy
The City of Toronto announced strong measures today to halt the spread of COVID-19. Get the full details by watching the media briefing or read the order from the Medical Officer of Health. Three key objectives for the City and its emergency response to COVID-19 include reducing the loss of life, preserving capacity in the healthcare system and minimizing social and economic impacts. As Toronto’s case numbers continue to increase, Medical Officer of Health, Dr. de Villa is using every power available under the Health Protection and Promotion Act to implement stronger measures to help achieve the three objectives.
The City of Toronto has implemented the following measures that will be in effect for up to 12 weeks:
All individuals with COVID-19 are ordered by the Medical Officer of Health to stay home, under the Health Protection and Promotion Act for 14 days
All individuals who have had close contact with someone who has COVID-19 are also ordered to stay home by the Medical Officer of Health for 14 days
Anyone who is not ill or has not travelled, is strongly directed to stay home except for the following reasons:
accessing healthcare or medication
shop for groceries once per week
walk their dogs
get daily exercise while maintaining physical distancing of at least two metres
People returning from international travel must stay home, already a federal order
Anyone over the age of 70, as the province announced this week, is strongly encouraged to stay home as much as possible
Increased supports for self-isolation for those experiencing homelessness
Only essential businesses remain open, and those businesses maximize physical distancing and infection prevention and control practices, and limit in-person access to those businesses, as much as possible
Increased cleaning and active screening of employees at all businesses.
It continues to be important to remember:
Parks are only open for walking, cycling and running. Using amenities in parks or congregating in groups is not permitted. With more than 1,500 Toronto parks to choose from, consider visiting a lesser known park. A complete list of parks is available at: https://www.toronto.ca/data/parks/maps/index.html. City staff together with the Toronto Police Service are prioritizing the patrol of hot spot parks. While education is the first line of enforcement, the fines range from $750 to a maximum of $5000. City Staff are re-installing signage, locks, and caution tape at parks where these have been removed. Additionally, the City's Parks Ambassadors have begun a downtown hot spot education blitz and electronic portable signs will display messages near some busy parks. More information is available on the City’s website.
Supports are available during these times of uncertainty.The next few weeks will continue to be a challenge for many of us, and I’d like to remind everyone that if you need help finding financial assistance, mental health support, employment support, childcare, housing, food, clothing and shelter, you can visit https://www.211toronto.ca/ or call 2-1-1 or text 21166. My office also remains open to assist you by phone or email.