COVID-19 and Ward 10 Updates - June 10

Dear friends,

Tomorrow we’re entering the first stage of the Ontario Government’s Reopening Plan. Our numbers are trending in the right direction, and I know many of us are eager to resume the outdoor activities we’ve missed, like visiting a patio or attending an outdoor fitness class. 

While more activities will be permitted in Stage One, we still need to follow public health guidelines, and we need to keep getting vaccinated. Over 100 cases of the Delta variant, which is significantly more transmissible than the UK variant that caused our surge in the spring, have been confirmed in Toronto, and one dose of vaccine is less effective against this variant. That’s why we must get our most vulnerable fully vaccinated, with both doses, as quickly as possible. 

Toronto has launched our Sprint Strategy 2.0: we’ll be targeting mobile and pop-up clinics to 18 high-priority areas across our city, with first and second doses available for residents and workers. The 18 hot spot neighbourhoods included in this round of the Sprint Strategy are located in Scarborough, North Toronto, and Etobicoke, as well as East York – a full list is available here

By focusing on areas of our city with low vaccination coverage and high rates of COVID-19 during our first Sprint Strategy, we helped curb the third wave in our city. Now, we need to do it again. Through our data-driven approach, we can get vaccines out through mobile and pop-up clinics to vulnerable residents as quickly as possible, and help keep people safe. 

Sincerely,

Joe


In this Edition

  1. Province announces accelerated second dose roll out for hot spot areas including Toronto 
  2. Updates from Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health 
  3. Province Entering Step One of Reopening on June 11
  4. City of Toronto Outdoor Pools to Begin Opening this Weekend
  5. New ParkFitTO Outdoor Fitness Programming
  6. Ontario Place Redevelopment: Terms of Reference Approved 
  7. Community Consultation: 215 Lake Shore Boulevard East Development Application
  8. Community Consultation: Waterfront East LRT Extension
  9. Resources and Webinars for Small Businesses
  10. City of Toronto COVID-19 Vaccine Website
  11. COVID-19 Information and Resources

1. Province announces accelerated second dose roll out for hot spot areas including Toronto 

Today, the Ontario Government announced that they will be accelerating second dose timelines for people in seven hot spot areas across the Province, including the City of Toronto. This means that beginning Monday, June 14, anyone in Toronto who received their first dose of a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine on or before May 9th, will be eligible to book an accelerated second dose appointment at one of our City-run immunization clinics, through the provincial booking system. Beginning Monday, you can book your appointment here

These people will also be eligible to book an accelerated second dose through a participating pharmacy or health care partner directly. More information on the Province’s announcement on accelerated second doses is available here

People who received their first dose of AstraZeneca can safely combine vaccines and make an appointment to get the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine through the provincial booking system. However, the Province still requires that people who got an AstraZeneca shot wait three months (12 weeks) before getting their second vaccine dose. This a decision made by the Government of Ontario. 

Currently, the following people are eligible to book appointments at our City-run clinics through the provincial booking system:

First dose vaccine appointments: 

  • Anyone age 12 and above

Accelerated second dose vaccine appointments: 

  • People 70 years of age and above
  • Anyone who received their first vaccine dose on or before April 18 (Pfizer and Moderna only) 
  • First Nations, Métis and Inuit individuals, including non-Indigenous partners and household members
  • People with certain high-risk health conditions, such as transplant recipients and people undergoing chemotherapy or immunotherapy
  • Certain high-risk health care workers 

More information on vaccine eligibility is available here. 

To easily connect to resources including vaccine appointment bookings, information on vaccines and upcoming telephone town halls, Toronto residents can text “VACCINE” to 1-833-750-0888 or 833-750-0888 for more information.


2. 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 provided another update on the Delta variant, which was first identified in India. She said that evidence from other parts of the world shows that the vaccines are holding strong against the Delta variant and are continuing to protect people who are fully vaccinated, with two doses. 

While this is good news, Dr. de Villa mentioned that we need to exercise a lot of caution, as only one dose of vaccine has been found to be only 33% effective against the Delta variant, compared to nearly 90% for two doses. Because the vast majority of Torontonians currently only have one dose, letting our guard down now means that the Delta variant could easily surge, as is happening in the United Kingdom, where case counts have increased 90% in the past two weeks. 

Dr. de Villa also provided an update on Toronto Public Health’s case and contact tracing work. Over a three-day period, Toronto Public Health successfully reached 97% of newly reported confirmed cases of COVID-19 within 24 hours, and 84% of newly reported contacts. She said she is confident that Toronto Public Health can continue to improve this efficient rate.

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


3. Province Entering Step One of Reopening on June 11

The Provincial government announced it will move Ontario into Step One of its Roadmap to Reopen on June 11. Step One includes outdoor dining with up to 4 people per table (with exceptions for larger households), social gatherings and organized public events with up to 10 people, non-essential retail at 15 per cent capacity, and more. 

For a full list of what is permitted under Step One, visit the government of Ontario’s website here.

With Step One beginning on June 11, the City of Toronto CaféTO program is ready to support more than 1,000 local restaurants in accessing additional safe outdoor dining space for customers as well as for their staff.

In late April, the City of Toronto, in consultation with Toronto Public Health, made the clear decision to move forward with its CaféTO installation schedule as planned. The intent was to ensure as many approved local restaurants and bars as possible could be ready to open immediately when outdoor dining was permitted by the Province. Installation of curb lane cafés, which includes installing traffic safety equipment and following detailed traffic safety plans, began as planned on May 8 and has continued throughout May and into June. 

The City is committed to continuing to make CaféTO more accessible. Workers have already installed 650 asphalt curb ramps, and the City expects to double the number of ramps installed last year, when 375 were put in place.

All approved curb lane (on-street) cafés from each of the first two CaféTO registration windows have been installed and are ready to use immediately by restaurants, starting Friday. Similarly, registered and approved operators will be permitted to set up safe and accessible sidewalk cafés right away. Learn more here


4. City of Toronto Outdoor Pools to Begin Opening this Weekend


Alex Duff Memorial Outdoor Pool, 779 Crawford St

In order to help residents beat the heat this weekend, 10 City of Toronto outdoor pools will open early on Saturday, June 12, as the City moves into Step One of the Province of Ontario’s Roadmap to Reopen. An online reservation system allows Toronto residents to reserve 45-minute swim sessions in advance – you can book your reservation now. 

The remaining outdoor pools will open for the season on June 19, go to full hours when school is out on June 30, and remain open until Sunday, September 5. The City’s wading pools will operate from Wednesday, June 30 to Sunday, September 5. Hours of operation and swim times vary by location and can be reviewed online.

Like last summer, the capacity at outdoor pools will be reduced to 25 per cent to ensure adequate space for physical distancing. Staff have worked closely with Toronto Public Health (TPH) to meet guidelines to ensure people can swim safely at outdoor pools. Patrons visiting the City’s outdoor pools will be required to sign in and provide their first name and an email or phone number to facilitate TPH contact tracing should it be required.

Learn more here.


5. New ParkFitTO Outdoor Fitness Programming

This week, the City announced the launch of ParkFitTO, a new pilot initiative offering residents outdoor fitness programming. With provincial restrictions still in place, the City of Toronto’s recreation centres will deliver fitness programs during the summer season at outdoor locations.

With ParkFitTO, the City is offering outdoor drop-in fitness workouts as well as weekly outdoor group fitness and walking programs. In order to facilitate drop-in workouts, a number of the City’s recreation centres will move fitness centre and weight room equipment outdoors into parks and other spaces adjacent to community centres.

ParkFitTO will operate from June 14 until September, and will follow public health guidelines to ensure the health and safety of participants. ParkFitTO provides both free and affordable paid options for individual and instructional group fitness.

Learn more here.


6. Ontario Place Redevelopment: Terms of Reference Approved 

Ontario Place comprises 155 acres of public land on the waterfront, in the heart of Toronto. It is nothing short of a critical public asset for our whole city and province. 

In May, City staff released a report on the Province of Ontario - City of Toronto Engagement on the Future of Ontario Place and Exhibition Place, including a proposed Terms of Reference. Following months of negotiations with City staff, the Ontario Government made significant commitments related to its Call for Development process. These include a guarantee to not push through plans unilaterally; a commitment to coordination with next-door Exhibition Place alongside reducing the barrier effect of Lake Shore Boulevard; recognition of the major heritage and public space resources at Ontario Place; and a commitment to engagement and consultation with the public as a necessary step going forward.

This week, City Council approved the Terms of Reference, along with my additional motions to prioritize the heritage significance of the site, and the need for immediate and robust public engagement by the Province on the development process. The motion also directed City staff to undertake public engagement on matters under municipal jurisdiction.

Building on this progress, the next task is for the Province to bring all proposals for Ontario Place out from behind closed doors and into public view, for all to see. I am working closely with our downtown community, City staff, and my Council colleagues, along with our local Member of Provincial Parliament, to ensure that people have an active voice in this process. With collaboration, engagement, and openness, we can create an Ontario Place for all.


7. Community Consultation: 215 Lake Shore Boulevard East

The City is hosting a virtual community consultation for the development application for 215 Lake Shore Boulevard East – Phase 2.

Tuesday, June 22nd
7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Click here to learn how to join virtually or by phone

The community consultation meeting will introduce the proposal, review the policies and regulations that apply to the site, and discuss your questions and comments.

View the meeting notice to learn more about the application.


8. Community Consultation: Waterfront East LRT Extension

The City of Toronto, in partnership with the Toronto Transit Commission and Waterfront Toronto, has completed the Waterfront Transit “Reset” study, including a comprehensive assessment of needs and options for transit improvements for the waterfront area.

Join a virtual community consultation to learn more about ongoing work for the Waterfront East Light Rail Transit (LRT) Extension:

Monday, June 21st
7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Register on Zoom in advance.

Learn more about the Waterfront East LRT Extension on the City’s webpage here.


9. 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:

B Corp 101 Workshop: Learning to Measure What Matters
Learn how to measure your company’s current impact in the areas of governance, employee relations, community and the environment, and then use these results to guide you forward as a social entrepreneur.
Tuesday, June 15, 10am – 12pm
Register 

Ask the Expert: Marketing & Sales
Marketing your business has never been as important as it is today. This webinar will show you how to successfully market your product or service using easy and affordable sales and marketing tactics.
Friday, June 18, 9:30am – 12:30pm
Register 

Click here for more upcoming webinars


10. 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. 


11. 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