COVID-19 Updates - July 9th

Dear friends,

We are now in Stage 2 of the Province's reopening plan, and more businesses and services are opening back up. Around the world, other areas are seeing rises in COVID-19 cases as people start to spend more time outside their homes and in public settings. COVID-19 is still present in our city, and until we have a vaccine, the risk continues to be real. We all have a part to play in protecting our community and fighting COVID-19, and for most of us, that begins with wearing a mask.

The City of Toronto's new bylaw, which is now in force, requires that we all wear a mask or face covering in any enclosed, indoor areas that are open to the public (with exemptions for children under two or people who cannot wear a mask due to a medical condition). That includes grocery stores, coffee shops, pharmacies, post offices, and any businesses that offer services to the public. 

Wearing a mask indoors can help reduce the spread of COVID-19. It's a simple, affordable, and reasonable action for each of us to take to save lives. Learn more about masks and face covering at toronto.ca/facemasks.

I wear my mask to protect you, and you wear your mask to protect me. Let’s all do our part to take care of one another. 

Sincerely, 

Joe


In this Edition

  1. Toronto Board of Health Calls on Province to Take Action to Protect Vulnerable Communities Impacted by COVID-19 
  2. Updates from Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health
  3. CampTO - City of Toronto Summer Camps 
  4. Survey - ActiveTO Quiet Streets 
  5. Stage 2 Reopening Progress - City of Toronto Services and Programs 
  6. Advice from Toronto Public Health on Safely Using Masks 
  7. Toronto COVID-19 Resource Map
  8. COVID-19 Information and Resources

Toronto Board of Health Calls on Province to Take Action to Protect Vulnerable Communities Impacted by COVID-19 

Disease preys on poverty – public health experts have long understood this. The social determinants of health, like income, race and ethnicity, and housing, affect who gets sick and who does not. That is why it is so important to know how vulnerable groups are being affected by diseases like COVID-19. We need to work together in order to address the root causes of the social determinants of health, and to contain the spread of COVID-19 in Ontario.

This morning, I released a letter to Ontario Minister of Health Christine Elliott and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams, that I sent on behalf of the Toronto Board of Health, summarizing our requests.  

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Toronto Public Health has been collecting and analysing area-based data to track the impact of COVID-19 on different communities. Last month, the City of Toronto began publicly releasing Neighbourhood Profile Maps, which illustrate the distribution of COVID-19 cases across the city. These maps show a consistent pattern of which communities are disproportionately impacted by this virus. The highest case rates are found in neighbourhoods where more people experience structural barriers, including racism and discrimination, and have lower household incomes. Many of these areas also have reduced access to amenities and services that are concentrated in the downtown core. In some communities in northwest Toronto, rates of COVID-19 are over 10 times higher than in other parts of the city.

On July 2, the Toronto Board of Health approved recommendations calling on the Ministry of Health to conduct proactive mobile testing in high-incidence neighbourhoods and for people in high-risk occupations, and asked the Province to work with the municipal and federal governments to support voluntary accommodation options in Toronto for people who test positive for the virus but are unable to isolate at home.

The letter also asks the Ontario Government to work with Toronto to share data on COVID-19 cases, and collaborate to identify which workplaces put employees at elevated risk and what additional protections should be in place for workers in the sales and service, trades and transportation, and manufacturing sectors, which have the highest rates of COVID-19 cases.

You can read the full letter here


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 daily updates on the current situation and response to COVID-19 in Toronto. You can view the daily press conferences live at 3:45pm, and access past updates here

Yesterday Dr. de Villa provided an update on our city’s overall data trend for COVID-19 cases. She shared that new COVID-19 case reports continue to remain low, though new cases are occurring and the virus is still spreading every day. 

She also shared some good news in our COVID-19 monitoring dashboard update. While our overall status continues to be yellow (medium-risk), our health care capacity category has gone back to an overall green status (low-risk) due to our acute care bed occupancy rate indicator. 

Dr. de Villa also spoke about the City’s new mandatory mask bylaw. She shared that as we look to the experiences of other jurisdictions this gives us more reason to promote the use of masks. When we keep our germs from others by wearing a mask, we help reduce virus spread and strengthen our ability to get our city back. Dr. de Villa spoke about how wearing a mask is important because:

  • We know that people can spread the virus to others before they have symptoms.
  • We also might not know if the people around us have a mother, father, or other loved one who is battling an illness or has a chronic condition that makes them more vulnerable from the impacts of COVID-19.
  • We all want our city and our local businesses to thrive, and we want people in our community to be healthy. 
  • Wearing a mask is a simple and inexpensive action we can all take to take care of each other and do our part to keep us moving forward towards Stage 3 of reopening. 

Read Dr. de Villa’s full update here.


CampTO City of Toronto Summer Camps

The City of Toronto’s summer camps across the city start on July 13 as part of the CampTO initiative, following the provincial government’s announcement that summer day camps can now operate.

To help reduce the spread of COVID-19, CampTO programs will meet health guidelines designed in consultation with Toronto Public Health and in alignment with provincial health guidelines for day camps. Guidelines include lower ratios of campers and capacity, physical distancing, mandatory health screening, and enhanced facility cleaning.

There are still spaces available at some CampTO locations, including at the new Canoe Landing Community Recreation Centre in CityPlace. Click here to learn more and to register


Survey ActiveTO Quiet Streets 

As part of the COVID-19 response, the City of Toronto launched the Quiet Streets program several months ago to enable local residents to have more outdoor space for physical distancing within their communities. Signs and temporary barricades have been placed on select neighbourhood streets to open up space for people who walk, run, bike, and use mobility devices by encouraging slow, local vehicle access only. Quiet Streets do not invite people to congregate or host social gatherings on the roadway.

In our Ward 10 community, Crawford Street and The Esplanade were selected as Quiet Streets.

The City has launched a survey to gather feedback on the Quiet Streets Program. Click here to access the survey and learn more

The ActiveTO program also includes weekend closures of major streets like Lake Shore Boulevard West to provide more space for outdoor physical activity, and an expanded cycling network to support safe transportation and relieve crowding on the TTC. Last week the Board of Health requested the Medical Officer of Health to support expansion of these existing initiatives to help people across Toronto stay healthy and safe.


Stage 2 Reopening Progress City of Toronto Services and Programs 

The City of Toronto is entering its third week in Stage 2 of the provincial reopening framework. Over the past two weeks, great progress has been made – helping people get active, businesses reopening, gradually resuming City operations, and exploring new, safe ways to offer services.

Click here to view a list of Stage 2 accomplishments from Toronto Public Health, Transportation Services, Parks and Recreation, Children’s Services, Shelter, Support and Housing, Licencing and Permits, and more. 


Advice from Toronto Public Health on Safely Using Masks

Under the Mandatory Mask or Face Covering Bylaw, everyone in Toronto is now required to wear a mask or face covering when entering indoor public spaces. Masks or face coverings are also mandatory when travelling on the TTC.

Click here for more advice from Toronto Public Health on how to safely wear a cloth mask or face covering. 


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