Today, the Province of Ontario announced clarifying measures and enforcement protocols around the newly implemented vaccine certificate. Starting on September 22, proof of vaccination status will be required to eat indoors at restaurants and bars, to enter a gym, movie theatre, sporting venue, or concert, and to use a large meeting and event space. Ontario residents will need to either print or download their second dose receipt from the government website until an “enhanced” certificate becomes available on October 22. They can also use a receipt signed by an Indigenous health provider or a receipt from “another jurisdiction.” The new rules will not impact children under the age of 12 who are not yet eligible for the vaccine.
Late last week, we saw new cases of COVID-19 rise to 825 new cases. This is not the trend we want. Last Thursday, the Ontario Science Table confirmed that we are indeed in the fourth wave and that an 85% vaccination rate is needed in order to avoid a full lockdown this autumn.
On Friday, Health Canada announced that it has authorized the Moderna vaccine for children as young as 12 years of age to help in the fight against COVID-19. Health Canada has reported that so far any adverse reactions are consistent with those among the adult population including swelling at the site of injection, fatigue, and headaches, and that these reactions typically only lasted three days. We don’t have information yet as to when they’ll begin administering Moderna, and I will keep you updated as more information becomes available.
This past Friday August 20, the Province of Ontario, the City of Toronto, and the St Lawrence Neighbourhood Association agreed on a settlement to preserve a significant portion of the Foundry buildings, located at 153-185 Eastern Avenue in the West Don Lands and Corktown neighbourhood.
I want to start by expressing my concern for the people of Afghanistan as soldiers and democracy workers from the United States and Canada plan to leave after twenty years on the ground in support of the country’s struggling democracy.
Last week, the Province announced their plans for back to school in September. The goal is to get as many students back in the classroom and learning alongside their peers as possible. Part of this plan includes mandatory masks while indoors for grades one through 12, and is recommended for students in kindergarten.
I hope everyone had a relaxing and enjoyable long weekend. I am grateful to have been able to spend some quality time with my family. I’m so proud that over 70% of eligible Toronto residents are fully vaccinated, but there is still some work to do in getting the city across the finish line. I look forward to the Team Toronto Home Stretch Vaccine Push, and its focus on meeting people where they are: neighbourhoods and communities.
As this long weekend approaches, I hope everyone is making the most of the warm weather and finding opportunities to stay cool. This pandemic has both felt like a lifetime and a blur. As each of us makes a slow return to the activities we’ve enjoyed, I want to gently remind everyone that it’s ok to feel anxious about re-opening. We have each been through a historical and traumatizing event, and are still navigating it.
Today, Ontario is reporting 127 new cases of COVID-19, including 34 in Toronto. The province has entered Step Three of the reopening plan and 60.8% of all eligible Ontarians 12 years and older have been fully vaccinated and 78.9% have had at least one dose. While this is exciting news, the vaccination trend is slowly decreasing. I know that’s because many of you have already been vaccinated, and I am still encouraging everyone who can to get their doses to do so. Everyone is now eligible for expedited second doses, and this continues to be our best strategy to keep everyone safe from further outbreaks. This includes children under 12 who are currently not eligible.
On Friday, the Province of Ontario announced that we will be moving into Step Three of their Re-Opening Plan, on Wednesday, July 21, 5 days ahead of their 21-day benchmark. Step Three focuses on the resumption of additional indoor activities, and includes outdoor social gatherings and organized public events with up to 100 people with limited exceptions; indoor social gatherings and organized public events with up to 25 people (including religious services, rites, or ceremonies); Indoor dining is permitted with no limits on the number of patrons per table with physical distancing and other restrictions still in effect and much more. Read a full breakdown of changes here.