COVID-19 and Ward 10 Updates - October 1st
The reality is that when it comes to COVID-19, we are in a very different place than we were back in August. The time has come to take stronger action, together.
Recently, our Medical Officer of Health advised Torontonians to limit all interactions with anyone outside their immediate household and essential supports. This does not apply to schools and workplaces, but to social interactions that are driving increases in cases. For Toronto, this means the 10-person social bubble is over – we need to focus now on limiting contact and keeping one another safe.
Please continue reading below for updates on new measures recommended by our Medical Officer of Health to tackle rising cases and transmission, and what each of us can do to stop the spread of this virus and prevent new spikes in cases.
In this Edition
- City Council Approves Measures to Combat COVID-19 Resurgence in Our City
- Creating Pathways Out of Homelessness
- Provincial Government Updates to COVID-19 Testing Criteria
- ActiveTO Extended Through October
- Updates from Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health
- BigArtTO - On Now
- Fall Recreation Program Schedules
- Black Speculative Arts Movement Canada Wins Waterfront Artist Residency Program
- Share Your Island Story
- Nuit Blanche Online
- City of Toronto COVID-19 Resource Map
- COVID-19 Information and Resources
City Council Approves Measures to Combat COVID-19 Resurgence in Our City
COVID-19 cases are rising rapidly in Toronto. The swiftness of this change shows how dangerous this virus can be, and how we need quick, targeted interventions to fight new surges in cases.
Since day one we said we would be guided by the best available evidence and experts. On Wednesday, Council expressed unanimous support for our Medical Officer of Health to pursue additional measures she deems necessary to fight this surge and help keep us safe. With that in mind, Council also approved the following measures, recommended by Dr. de Villa. To prevent COVID-19 activity and outbreaks in establishments serving food and drinks, these businesses will be required to:
- Limit the total number of patrons permitted to be inside at any one time to 75 (down from 100)
- Maintain a customer log for each patron, not just one person from the party
- Limit the maximum number of people able to sit at each table, both inside and outside, to six people (down from 10)
Keep background music and any other background sounds, no louder than of normal conversation (with the exception of live performances carried out in accordance with the provincial Stage 3 regulation).
The new measures will come into force next Thursday, October 8.
Council also voted to extend the current mandatory masking, physical distancing, and bar and restaurant by-laws, until the first meeting of 2021, and to call on the Ontario Government to increase workplace safety by mandating masks in non-public work areas, and facilitate greater use of the COVID Alert App.
Council also called on the Province and Federal Government to provide financial support to employees and businesses affected by current and future public health measures. Targeted restrictions will help prevent the spread of COVID and financial relief will mitigate economic impacts.
Toronto Public Health and the City of Toronto are continuing to work actively with the Ontario Government to consider additional measures as they relate to workplace safety, indoor dining at bars and restaurants, health and fitness club operations, and other areas of concern.
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 approved today will help to increase safety for workers, customers, and all Torontonians.
Creating Pathways Out of Homelessness
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Toronto already had the largest and most extensive shelter system in Canada. While City staff manage our shelters and administer services to people experiencing homelessness, participation from all levels of government is required to address this crisis.
Ending chronic homelessness is not a tagline. It’s possible, if Governments act.
This week, City Council has adopted an action plan for prioritization in the City's Intergovernmental advocacy work on housing and homelessness, which will complement the City's HousingTO 2020-2030 Action Plan.
This plan to acquire vacant buildings and build new supportive housing – if the Federal & Provincial Governments step up – will create a pathway out of homelessness for 3,000 people.
The challenge we are facing today did not occur overnight. It was created through years of inadequate funding for social housing, services for people experiencing homelessness, and access to physical and mental health supports. This crisis is also a chance to fix the longstanding issues of our current system and invest in new solutions, including permanent affordable and supportive housing.
Provincial Government Updates to COVID-19 Testing Criteria
The Province has recently updated the COVID-19 testing criteria. Find out who should get tested and learn more here.
ActiveTO Extended Through October
Good news, Toronto: Our weekend ActiveTO street closures have been extended through October.
The popular weekend closures have provided space for thousands of people to be physically active while ensuring physical distancing, and contributed to the overall wellbeing of residents. The routes run adjacent to some of Toronto’s busiest and most popular trails where people can walk, run, bike, and explore the outdoors.
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 this week, Dr. de Villa spoke about the strengthened bylaws to prevent the continued resurgence of COVID-19.
She also stressed that you get COVID-19 from people, not from places. In that respect, in Toronto we have to acknowledge that the extent of the infection spread and the nature of city life means that the concept of the bubble – or the social circle – no longer reflects the circumstances in which we live.
It was a sensible approach to exiting the strict isolation and restrictions of last spring. It was an effective model for safely establishing contact between people – at that time. But with re-opening and the return to school, times have changed. And that is what you need to think about before you make a decision to socialize with others outside of your household.
Dr. de Villa spoke about how where you go in the city is less important than what you do when you are there. The decisions you make as you go about your activities are in many ways the most important way to fight COVID-19. That is why we need to limit contact with people we don’t live with.
Dr. de Villa closed her update by reminding us that there's an immediate, rising risk in Toronto of continued and significant COVID-19 resurgence. The City is responding in every possible way, and we need you to do your part, and to think carefully about how to protect yourself as you go about your daily activities.
BigArtTO - On Now
Experience art illuminated at BigArtTO, a city-wide public art celebration featuring free access to over 200 hours of temporary public artworks projected onto local buildings and landmarks. Created by Toronto artists, the projections will play Wednesday through Saturday in each of Toronto’s 25 wards, allowing residents access to artwork without having to leave their neighbourhood.
BigArtTO in Spadina—Fort York
September 30th — October 3rd
Location: Malting Silos, 9 Eireann Quay
Time: 8 – 11 p.m.
Description: A composition for an elegy to what once was and all that remains or a score for the past, the present, the future tenses by Erika DeFreitas (projections).
Fall Recreation Program Schedules
Recreation programs have changed to help you stay safe and take part in your favourite activities. There are still spaces available at locations in Ward 10.
Learn more or register at http://toronto.ca/newwaytoplay
Black Speculative Arts Movement Canada Wins Waterfront Artist Residency Program
Following an open call put out by Waterfront Toronto and the Waterfront BIA, and a jury review of 32 applications, Black Speculative Arts Movement Canada (BSAM Canada) was awarded the first Waterfront Artist Residency.
The aim of the 16-month residency is to create meaningful, experiential encounters with the community, activate underutilized spaces along the lakefront, and draw new audiences to the waterfront. It will complement ArtworxTO: Toronto's Year of Public Art 2021.
Share Your Island Story
The Island means something different to everyone. As part of the upcoming Toronto Island Park Master Plan project, the City is reflecting on the unique role the Island plays in the lives of Torontonians of all walks of life – before we collectively reimagine its future.
We want to hear from you! Share a post, send a video, write a story, make some art – whatever feels right. Because every Island story is worth sharing.
Nuit Blanche Online
The 15th annual Nuit Blanche Toronto will be reimagined as a virtual experience on Saturday, October 3, starting at 7 p.m. until October 12. This year, North America’s largest free contemporary art event will be delivered in a special digital format to ensure the safety of attendees and artists during the COVID-19 pandemic. The online event will present five streams of programming that will include talks, podcasts, a release of the 14-year archive called Nuit History, live streams, and artworks in augmented and virtual reality.
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
Call if you develop symptoms.
Toronto Public Health Hotline
8:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Call if you have questions about COVID-19.
Outside City limits: 416-392-2489
Call if you have questions about City services.