COVID-19 and Ward 10 Updates - April 30

Dear friends,

These are challenging times. The pressure on our hospital and health care system is very serious. It’s the essential workers who can’t work from home and who have kept us safe, who are at highest risk. That’s why last week our Medical Officer of Health announced new actions to tackle workplace outbreaks. But over a year into the pandemic we know that more needs to be done: essential workers still need the Province to enact adequate paid sick leave. Wednesday’s belated announcement from the Provincial government that workers will get 3 paid sick days does not go far enough to protect workers from a virus that requires 10 days of isolation.

I will continue to advocate strongly for workers to have at least 10 paid sick days, as recommended by our Medical Officer of Health, so everyone can stay safe and help stop the spread of COVID-19 in our community.

Our number one priority right now continues to be to get vaccines into the arms of our most vulnerable, as quickly as possible. That's why the City of Toronto and Toronto Public Health have partnered with hospitals, health care centres, community groups, and local residents to mobilize our Team Toronto effort. It's all hands on deck right now to get Toronto vaccinated.

Yesterday, the Province announced some immediate and planned changes to the rules for who is eligible to be vaccinated. Taking effect this morning, Torontonians aged 55 and older living in any part of the city are now eligible for vaccination at City of Toronto immunization clinics. Please see my updates below for more information on getting vaccinated right now, and how eligibility is expected to expand in the coming weeks.

Visit www.toronto.ca/covid-19 to book your appointment and stay up to date with the latest changes to eligibility.

I know everyone is tired of the pandemic and public health restrictions, and we will get through this. In the meantime: get outdoors, enjoy the spring weather, wear your mask and keep your distance, and stay safe. 

Joe


In this Edition

  1. Changes to Vaccine Eligibility
  2. Partnering with Settlement Agencies to Ensure Residents without OHIP Cards Can Access Vaccines
  3. Updates from Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health 
  4. Toronto Public Health COVID-19 Vaccine Town Halls
  5. ActiveTO Road Closures Begin this Weekend
  6. CaféTO Curb Lane Installations Will Begin May 8
  7. Virtual Public Consultations on Garden Suites
  8. Free Virtual Programs with College-Montrose Children’s Place
  9. Jane's Walk Toronto 2021
  10. Bag of Toronto - Supporting Local Businesses
  11. Resources and Webinars for Small Businesses
  12. City of Toronto COVID-19 Vaccine Website
  13. COVID-19 Information and Resources

1. Changes to Vaccine Eligibility

Yesterday, the Province of Ontario announced updates to their schedule for vaccine booking eligibility, dependent on anticipated supply increase.

This announcement about anticipated supply increase is good news, because it means we can continue to prioritize getting vaccines into the arms of those most at risk, as quickly as possible. 

Updates to Current Eligibility 

  • Finally, all Torontonians age 40 and above can currently book a vaccine appointment through the Province’s Pharmacy Program by contacting a participating pharmacy, regardless of what neighbourhood you live in. A list of participating pharmacies can be found here: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/vaccine-locations

Anticipated Eligibility Changes

With yesterday’s announcement from the Province, we also expect Toronto residents age 18 and up living in the "hot spot" postal codes defined by the Province, including M5V, M6K, and M5A in Ward 10, should be able to start booking appointments some time next week. 

The City is actively working to clarify with the Province what date the system will open up for these bookings. Further updates will be shared as soon as they become available. 

The Team Toronto vaccination network includes our City-run clinics and hundreds of others operated by hospitals, pharmacies and other healthcare and community partners. The full list of eligible groups with information on how to register for appointments at the various Team Toronto clinics is available on the City’s COVID-19: How to Get Vaccinated webpage.


2. Partnering with Settlement Agencies to Ensure Residents without OHIP Cards Can Access Vaccines

Every resident of Toronto — no matter where you live, what language you speak, or what your immigration status is — must be able to access a vaccine. The City has now partnered with settlement agencies to ensure access to vaccines for everyone in Toronto. 

Toronto is partnering with FCJ Refugee Centre and Access Alliance to help people without an OHIP card book COVID-19 vaccine appointments at our City-run clinics. 

Additional agencies are expected to start offering this service in partnership with the City in the near future. Updated information will be posted at www.toronto.ca/COVID19

Find more information, including how to contact both agencies here.


3. 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 on Mondays and Wednesdays at 2 pm, and access past updates here.

On Wednesday, Dr. de Villa spoke about how, while our vaccine supply is still limited, in Canada 30% of our population has now received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. She mentioned Toronto’s current Spring Strategy is proving to be effective at targeting the neighbourhoods and demographics that are at greatest risk of infection, and that it also indirectly reaches into workplaces to stop COVID spread, as these neighbourhoods are home to a large number of our essential and frontline workers.

Dr. de Villa also noted that Toronto’s hospital partners have now conducted two pilot workplace vaccination campaigns in Toronto, and that Toronto Public Health and our vaccination partners are reviewing these pilots to determine next steps as soon as more vaccine supply is available.

You can read Dr. de Villa’s full update here. 


4. Toronto Public Health COVID-19 Vaccine Town Halls

Toronto Public Health invites people who live, work or study in Toronto to a Town Hall about COVID-19 vaccines.

Dr. Vinita Dubey, Associate Medical Officer of Health, will answer your questions about:

  • COVID-19 vaccines available in Canada
  • Vaccine safety and benefits
  • How to get vaccinated and who is eligible
  • Ways to reduce COVID-19 spread

You can choose one of two session dates during the first week of May. No registration required.

Session 1
Tuesday, May 4, 2021 from 1 to 2:30 p.m.
Join the session 1 online Webex Event – password (if required): Toronto123
Or join by telephone: 416-915-6530 – access code: 133 103 9748

Session 2
Wednesday, May 5, 2021 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Join the session 2 online Webex Event – password (if required): Toronto123
Or join by telephone: 416-915-6530 – access code: 133 098 6039

Click here to learn more.


5. ActiveTO Road Closures Begin this Weekend

People need opportunities to get outside and enjoy the outdoors, safely. That's why our first ActiveTO road closures will begin this weekend (May 1 & 2) on Lake Shore East, Bayview Avenue, and River Street. 

I know many residents enjoyed getting outside and cycling and jogging on Lake Shore West last year. I'm working with City staff to ensure that Lake Shore West will be again open for cyclists and pedestrians soon.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the cancellation of the Spadina Expressway, we're also planning to open up the Allen to cyclists and pedestrians on June 6.  

Get outside, explore, and stay safe. Learn more here


6. CaféTO Curb Lane Installations Will Begin May 8

The City of Toronto’s CaféTO curb lane installations will begin on Saturday, May 8, as planned to ensure there will be no delay for participating restaurants when outdoor dining is permitted again.

CaféTO curb lane locations provide expanded outdoor dining space by reallocating the public right-of-way on Toronto streets for use by restaurants and bars that have registered and been approved for the program. Installation of these locations takes time and requires crews, equipment and the preparation of detailed traffic plans. Installing these locations on schedule ensures that they will be immediately available to operators when public health orders permit outdoor dining.

Outdoor dining continues to be prohibited in Toronto right now while the city remains in shutdown under the provincial COVID-19 response framework. The decision to move forward with the installation schedule was made in consultation with Toronto Public Health and with careful consideration given to the significant impacts felt by the restaurant and bar industry.

Learn more here.


7. Virtual Public Consultations on Garden Suites

The Garden Suites Study is one of several studies that the City Planning Division is undertaking to expand housing options in Neighbourhoods as part of the Expanding Housing Options in Neighbourhoods (EHON) work program (EHON website), endorsed by City Council in July 2020.

Public engagement on Garden Suites is currently underway with the Garden + Suites Survey and a series of virtual community consultation meetings where residents can learn more, ask questions, and share comments about Garden Suites.

Meeting Details:

Date: Tuesday, May 11, 2021
Time: 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Date: Wednesday, May 12, 2021
Time: 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Date: Thursday, May 13, 2021
Time: 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

These meetings will be Online and phone-in only. To join pre-registration is required at http://www.toronto.ca/cpconsultations

Additional information about the Garden + Suites study is available at the study website.

For more information on Garden Suites, please contact the City Planning project leads David Driedger [email protected] and Allison Reid [email protected]


8. Free Virtual Programs with College-Montrose Children’s Place

College-Montrose Children’s Place provides free programs and resources for children 0-6yrs old, their parents and caregivers. Virtual programs include play-based learning activities, social time for children and adults, as well as topic specific workshops (nutrition, infant related etc.) One on one support is offered along with information about other community resources. Visit cmcp.ca for more information.


9. Jane's Walk Toronto 2021

Jane’s Walk Toronto 2021 will include over 30 virtual walks, 2 engaging online panels, a baking sesh, and 3 film screenings. 

May 7th to 9th. All free. All online. 

Visit http://janeswalkfestivalto.com to learn more and register.


10. Bag of Toronto – Supporting Local Businesses

It's more important than ever that we celebrate and support local businesses. One way to do this is through Bag of Toronto – a curated assortment of specialty products, delivered right to your door. 

Bag of Toronto is back for a special Mother’s Day edition. 

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

A portion of the profits and all tips will support local charities in each neighbourhood. 


11. Resources and Webinars for Small Businesses

Sign up for BusinessTO News, a weekly newsletter that focuses on available resources and supports to help mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on Toronto businesses. Learn about the current health situation, changes to City services, resources, and economic support. 

Upcoming free webinars:

Social Media for Your Business
Social media is an invaluable tool for small businesses, whether you’re just starting out or have been established for years. Learn how to leverage the power of social media to grow your online community, drive sales and reduce marketing costs.
Tuesday, May 4, 10 – 11:30 a.m.
Register 

Click here for more upcoming webinars


12. City of Toronto COVID-19 Vaccine Website

Protect yourself and others, get the COVID-19 vaccine when it’s your turn.

Visit toronto.ca/covid19vaccine for up-to-date eligibility information. 


13. 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: [email protected]

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