COVID-19 and Ward 10 Updates - December 10th

Dear friends,

The announcement this week about Health Canada’s approval of the Pfizer vaccine is incredibly encouraging news, and an important step forward. However, we must not lose sight of the current threat that COVID-19 poses in our city and community. 

It is more important than ever that we remain focused, and continue to work together to limit the spread of this virus and protect those who are most vulnerable. 

There’s a light at the end of the tunnel, but the hard work isn’t over yet. 

Let’s get through this together. 

Sincerely, 

Joe


In this Edition

  1. Toronto’s COVID-19 Equity Action Plan 
  2. TTC Buses Converted into Mobile Testing Units 
  3. Toronto Public Health Holiday Guide
  4. Updates from Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health 
  5. Lower Simcoe Underpass Flood Protection Study
  6. Shop Local to Support Our Small Businesses
  7. COVID-19 Pop-up Testing at Waterfront Neighbourhood Centre
  8. Lockdown Guide for Toronto Residents
  9. City of Toronto COVID-19 Resource Map
  10. COVID-19 Information and Resources

Toronto’s COVID-19 Equity Action Plan

In October, the Toronto Board of Health called for a COVID-19 response that puts equity front and centre. This week, City staff released their COVID-19 Equity Action Plan – the first of its kind in Canada. 

Not everyone in our city is equal when it comes to COVID-19. Torontonians who identify with a racialized group are more than three times as likely to contract the virus as white residents. People who live in a low-income household are more than twice as likely. We need to fix this.

It's critical that we think about equity in every step of our COVID-19 response. Communities and residents that have been hit hardest by this pandemic need more support, resources, and protections. That's what the Equity Action Plan is all about.

The Equity Action Plan summarizes the City's work supporting vulnerable communities. But this is a beginning – not an end point. There's still much more that all levels of government must do to protect people, including guaranteeing paid sick leave for all workers, increasing emergency income supports, and introducing a moratorium on residential evictions. 

Read the COVID-19 Equity Action Plan here and the City staff report here


TTC Buses Converted into Mobile Testing Units

Beating COVID-19 requires a Provincial approach that makes testing fully accessible to all. That means COVID testing must be available for people in the areas where they live and work.

This week, reconfigured TTC buses have begun rolling out across the city to host Provincial pop-up COVID testing sites. These buses will help people get a fast and convenient COVID test in communities that have been hardest hit by this virus.

Bus testing sites are an innovative partnership between Paramedic Services, TTC, Ontario Health and community health centres. We can't fight this pandemic without a comprehensive test, trace, and isolate system – and our work supporting the Province's testing system will help get us there.


Toronto Public Health Holiday Guide

The holidays will look different this year, but they can still be filled with joy. As our Medical Officer of Health Dr. de Villa has advised, the safest way to celebrate is with our household members only, and virtually with everybody else. 

It’s important to remember that people are contagious before they show symptoms, and so we need to continue keeping our distance from each other as much as we can. We can show kindness to others by limiting contact with people we don’t live with and staying home as much as possible. There are many other ways for us to safely show our holiday spirit and make this season memorable. Click here for Toronto Public Health’s Holiday Guide to planning a safe celebration


Updates from Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health 

Our Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Eileen de Villa, and other City division leaders have been providing twice-weekly updates on the current situation and response to COVID-19 in Toronto. You can view the press conferences live at 2pm, and access past updates here.

Yesterday in her update, Dr. de Villa spoke about the daily case counts, which have been in the mid-500s or into the 600s, and how these numbers continue to be concerning. We are continuing to see new hospitalizations, which means that bed occupancy in hospitals can be expected to rise for at least a few more weeks. This puts more pressure on the health care system, both to provide care for COVID infections and to provide care for anyone else who needs health care services. 

For now, and for the foreseeable future, we have to live with what we do know: that COVID-19 is spreading widely in Toronto while we are in the holiday season. According to Dr. de Villa, these levels of infection clearly indicate that we must be on high alert and that we are best to follow the provincial guidance and celebrate this month just with the people we live with. She has asked everyone to please apply this limit to your celebrations this year.

Read Dr. de Villa’s full update here


Lower Simcoe Underpass Flood Protection Study

Virtual Public Consultation on the Lower Simcoe Underpass Flood Protection Study
December 10, 2020, 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm
To receive the meeting link, please contact: mae.lee@toronto.ca 
View the full meeting notice here.  

In 2019, the City of Toronto initiated a study to address flooding issues at the Lower Simcoe Underpass and to develop a plan to:

  • prevent the combined sewage overflow in the area of the Lower Simcoe Underpass during rainfall events
  • identify a location for a stormwater pumping station to drain rainwater from the Underpass area (recommended under the sidewalk near the hotel)
  • modify the existing Lower Simcoe sanitary pumping station

Through the study, the City has explored alternative solutions for mitigating flooding in the Lower Simcoe Underpass and is recommending a combination of sealing catch basins, the installation of a new stormwater pumping station, and redirecting the City’s drainage system in the area.

There are two other ongoing initiatives, including the Basement Flooding Improvement Study (Area 62) and Don River and Central Waterfront & Connected Projects, that aim to improve water quality by reducing combined sewer overflows.

Learn more at the project website here


Shop Local to Support Our Small Businesses

This year, it’s more important than ever to shop local and support our small and independent businesses. Consider purchasing gift cards from retailers, restaurants, and service providers in your community for curbside pickup or delivery. Let’s come together to support small Toronto businesses this holiday season.

Toronto Businesses can still access one-on-one virtual support through the City’s BusinessTO Support Centre. Click here to learn more and access the BusinessTO Support Centre


COVID-19 Pop-up Testing at Waterfront Neighbourhood Centre

On Monday December 14th, 12 pm - 6:30 pm, the Waterfront Neighbourhood Centre will be hosting the delivery of a pop-up testing site.

View the PDF flyer here


Lockdown Guide for Toronto Residents

To help Torontonians keep track of changes to public health guidelines and provincial regulations, the City has created an easy-to-follow Lockdown Guide. 

As with every City webpage, it can also be translated into 51 languages with the translate icon at the bottom of the page.

Click here to view the guide


City of Toronto COVID-19 Resource Map

The City of Toronto has created a COVID-19 Essential Service Mapping Tool

This tool has up-to-date service listings across Toronto, including food banks, meal delivery programs, community health services and more. Additional layers and details are being updated daily by 211 Toronto. 


COVID-19 Information and Resources

It is important to stay informed through credible sources, and to follow the advice of our public health professionals. Together we can limit the spread of COVID-19. 

Please visit the Toronto Public Health COVID-19 website for the up-to-date information and resources: toronto.ca/covid-19

Government COVID-19 websites

City of Toronto
Province of Ontario
Government of Canada

Telehealth Ontario
Call if you develop symptoms.
Telephone: 1-866-797-0000

Toronto Public Health Hotline
8:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Call if you have questions about COVID-19.
Telephone: 416-338-7600
TTY: 416-392-0658
Email: PublicHealth@toronto.ca

311 Toronto
Outside City limits: 416-392-2489
Call if you have questions about City services.
Telephone: 311
TTY: 416-338-0889