COVID-19 and Ward 10 Updates - November 20th

Dear friends,

We are living through one of the most difficult and uncertain moments in history. Nearly every city around the world is struggling to contain this virus and protect the lives and livelihoods of residents.

In this moment of unbelievable destabilization and sacrifice, our task today remains as it ever was - to continue to protect the health and wellbeing of all Torontonians. But, there’s no containing COVID without first protecting those who are most vulnerable. We need paid sick leave for workers, financial assistance for staff and businesses that have to close, accessible testing options, and community supports. Unless we do everything possible to scale up our response to protect frontline workers and our most vulnerable residents, we are all at risk. 

I know today's announcement that we are again heading into further restrictions is difficult to hear, and so much has already been asked of you these past few months. But time and time again, Torontonians have risen to the challenge. I know we can do it again.

Sincerely, 

Joe


In this Edition

  1. Province Announces New Lockdown Measures for Toronto and Peel
  2. Toronto Board of Health Calls on Province to Increase Transparency and Expand Supports for Communities
  3. Updates from Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health 
  4. Trans Day of Remembrance
  5. City of Toronto to More than Double its Supply of Winter Park Washrooms
  6. Argyle Street Bikeway Updates
  7. Virtual Celebration for 10th Anniversary of Redpath Waterfront Festival
  8. Bag of Toronto - Supporting Local Businesses
  9. Virtual Public Information Meeting: Florence Booth House
  10. City of Toronto COVID-19 Resource Map
  11. COVID-19 Information and Resources

Province Announces New Lockdown Measures for Toronto and Peel

The trend in COVID-19 cases in our city continues to move in the wrong direction. We need to take action to reduce community transmission and contain this second wave – in order to keep people safe and prevent a potentially devastating third wave.

With this in mind, the Province of Ontario has just announced new public health restrictions for the City of Toronto and the Region of Peel. We've seen around the world that when cases are surging, we need fast interventions to reduce contacts and stop transmission. Our Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa has advised that increased restrictions are necessary to reduce contact, and in turn, reduce transmission in our city.

The public health restrictions approved by the Province that will go into effect on Monday, November 23, include the following:

  • Gyms, arenas, and fitness facilities are closed
  • Personal care settings are closed
  • Non-essential retail open for curb-side pickup and delivery only
  • 50% capacity limits for essential businesses (grocery, pharmacies, hardware stores)
  • Outdoor dining (along with indoor dining) at bars and restaurants is closed; open for take-out and delivery only
  • New capacity limits for places of worship (maximum 10 people)
  • Indoor social gatherings with people outside of one's household are prohibited

You can find a complete list of the public health measures here:

https://www.ontario.ca/page/covid-19-response-framework-keeping-ontario-safe-and-open#grey

Dr. de Villa and Mayor Tory are continuing to ask people to stay at home as much as possible, with the exceptions of work, school, essential errands, and physical activity.

While the measures announced today are critical to protect residents, they come with significant costs – particularly for racialized and low-income households that have already been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.

We know that these lockdown measures will only work if everyone in our city has access to the supports they need. Staff at the City of Toronto and Toronto Public Health are working hard to develop a detailed implementation plan to increase outreach, supports, and testing in targeted areas. The City and Public Health will continue to support the Board of Health's call to the Federal and Provincial Government to provide financial supports communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, expand assistance for workers and businesses, and guarantee paid sick leave.


Toronto Board of Health Calls on Province to Increase Transparency and Expand Supports for Communities

At Monday’s meeting, the Toronto Board of Health unanimously approved my motion calling on the Ontario Government to publicly release the advice provided to the Chief Medical Officer of Health and the Ontario Cabinet by the provincial COVID-19 advisory tables. This information is currently kept confidential by the Province. 

At a time when we are asking people to make hard sacrifices in order to control the surge in new COVID-19 cases, public trust is more important than ever. Full transparency and accountability from the Province on the COVID-19 response is required.

The Board of Health also approved our call to the Provincial and Federal Governments to increase financial supports to communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, along with ensuring paid sick leave and support for businesses and staff impacted by public health restrictions. The Board will continue to push for increased access to testing options, along with health and social supports, in high-impact areas. 

Finally, the Board discussed the establishment of the new COVID-19 Immunization Task Force, which is leading planning for the rollout of the future COVID vaccine. The Board approved requests for the City to work with the Federal and Provincial Governments to prioritize access to the vaccine for vulnerable individuals and communities. 

Click here to access the full list of agenda items from Monday’s meeting.


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.

In her update Dr. de Villa spoke in support of today’s decision by the Province to implement lockdown measures for Toronto. 

She also added her voice to those urging senior levels of government to find ways to support people practically through the next few weeks – because it will allow more people to stay safely at home and that will help reduce and prevent the spread of infection, which is why we’re doing this to begin with.  

Dr. de Villa also encouraged everyone who is able to do so, to be diligent for the next 28 days about limiting contact to only those in your household. 

Read Dr. de Villa’s full update here.


Trans Day of Remembrance 

November 20th is Trans Day Of Remembrance where we honour and remember the transgender people whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence. Today and every day, we must do more to protect and support the Trans community.


City of Toronto to More than Double its Supply of Winter Park Washrooms

The City of Toronto will more than double its supply of winter park washrooms from 64 to 143 as part of its ongoing response to COVID-19.

City staff are presenting a plan and report to November City Council that will add 79 new winter washrooms across the city on top of the 64 locations typically available. The report comes in response to a request by City Council last month to explore expanding the number of public washrooms available throughout the winter.

Most of the City’s park washrooms are not winterized. Given the resurgence of COVID-19 in Toronto and the increased need for access to outdoor space through the winter months, staff have determined that an additional 28 park washrooms can be kept open. These additional locations were inspected to ensure they can remain open without damage to the infrastructure, and in some cases minor retrofits were made to support winter use.

Read the full update here.


Argyle Street Bikeway Updates

Concrete barriers were installed this week to add additional protection for the Argyle Street Bikeway at the Ossington intersection. Thanks to all of the community members who have been in touch to share feedback as road users continue to adjust to the changes on Argyle and surrounding streets. 


Virtual Celebration for 10th Anniversary of Redpath Waterfront Festival

The Redpath Waterfront Fesitval  is celebrating a decade on Toronto’s waterfront and has moved to celebrating virtually by producing a video highlighting the various programming over the past decade, alongside a virtual campaign on social media with weekly content focused on past festival favourites.

Watch the celebration video here

Learn more here


Bag of Toronto - Supporting Local Businesses

It's more important than ever that we celebrate and support local businesses. A new way to do this is through Bag of Toronto – a curated assortment of specialty products, delivered right to your door. A portion of the profits and all tips will support local charities in each neighbourhood. 

Support local businesses and two of our Ward 10 Business Improvement Areas (Ossington BIA and Queen West BIA) by ordering yours here: bagoftoronto.ca


Virtual Public Information Meeting: Florence Booth House

The Salvation Army invites you to learn more about the proposal to revitalize and redevelop Florence Booth House at 723 Queen Street West. Staff from Florence Booth House, the Project Team, and the City of Toronto will be present for a virtual public information meeting, hosted by The Salvation Army.

November 24, 2020 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm

To join online: FlorenceBoothHouse.com

View the meeting flyer here.


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