COVID-19 and Ward 10 Updates - December 10th
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.
In this Edition
- Toronto’s COVID-19 Equity Action Plan
- TTC Buses Converted into Mobile Testing Units
- Toronto Public Health Holiday Guide
- Updates from Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health
- Lower Simcoe Underpass Flood Protection Study
- Shop Local to Support Our Small Businesses
- COVID-19 Pop-up Testing at Waterfront Neighbourhood Centre
- Lockdown Guide for Toronto Residents
- City of Toronto COVID-19 Resource Map
- 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.
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.
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: [email protected]
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.
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.
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.
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.
Email: [email protected]
Outside City limits: 416-392-2489
Call if you have questions about City services.