Despite these uncertain times, I hope you are all finding moments to connect with friends and loved ones (virtually and/or at a distance of course!).
The Government of Canada has indicated that we are starting to see a positive impact of the social distancing efforts of Canadians in some areas, however Canadians need to avoid complacency and continue to stay home, particularly if they feel symptoms of any respiratory illness, to flatten the curve. We are at a critical juncture in our COVID-19 response efforts, and your continued cooperation is needed.
Some residents are reporting seeing groups of people standing too close together on sidewalks, in parks, or while they wait for front line services. Thank you for your concerns. I hear you, and I will continue to encourage all residents to stay at home as much as possible. We know that even if you don't have symptoms of COVID-19, you could become infected by others.
The long term success of our ability to slow the spread of COVID-19 depends on everyone practicing physical distancing, and taking care of our health, physically and mentally.
If you are struggling, I want to remind you about our mental health resource page. There are services available to you. Please use them if necessary.
It is also important to remember that in Downtown Toronto, many residents live in very small condos or basement apartments and don't have access to backyards in which to safely be outside. Fresh air and access to sunlight are critically important for our long term mental health as this period of social isolation prolongs.
As a city, we need to keep looking for ways to make it easier for people in the crowded downtown core to safely practice physical distancing. I am committed to working on that. So to all residents of Ward 13, I ask you to continue doing your part to physically isolate, but try not to judge your neighbours too harshly.
The advice from the all our medical officers of health is still that you can go for a walk if you:
- have not been diagnosed with COVID-19;
- do not have symptoms of COVID-19;
- have not travelled outside of Canada in the past 14 days.
Taking walks with my family is an important part of my routine. My family is lucky. We're not sick and haven't travelled in the last 14 days (or in months). We limit our walks to every third day, keep physical distance, we are staying out of restricted areas such as playgrounds, and are always following all protocols, including regular hand-washing.
If, like me, you live in a small space, be thoughtful about how you access common spaces and the outdoors. Don’t crowd elevators - if there is someone on the elevator, wait for the next one if you can. On narrow sidewalks where it isn’t possible to give the required distance, check to see if it safe to stand to the side and wait until people have passed.
Do you have other tips for practising physical distancing in the density of downtown? I’d love to hear them. Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I want to thank each and every one of you for taking these measures seriously to ensure that you do not put your family, friends and others at risk For more tips on social distancing, please visit toronto.ca/covid19.
Please be aware that the Federal Government’s mandatory post-travel quarantine is also now in effect. Those returning from international travel must now self-isolate for a period of 14-days, or risk fines and/or prison time.
Thank you for your resilience, it is an honour to represent you.
Community Care in Ward 13
This weekend’s huge shout out goes to Glad Day Lit, who has set up an emergency fund to help LGBTQ2S artists, performers & tip-based workers. A huge number of queer and trans people rely on revenue that can’t be traced back to an employer, so financial supports for businesses and employers will not help us.
Many of us will face a crisis before government help arrives. Artists, performers, tip-based workers - these are just some of the people who are are experiencing a swift and brutal loss of income. On top of that, many LGBTQ2S people are not supported by their family of origin and have a weak financial support network.
As of Saturday, March 28th, over 1,300 people have asked for emergency help. Through their hard work, Glad Day has already supported 250 people. Learn more at https://www.gladdaylit.ca
Please continue to email my office at email@example.com to share examples of community care in your neighbourhood and ways you are supporting your community at this time. I’ll be happy to promote it, space permitting, in our communication to the residents and business owners in Ward 13. Every bit goes a long way!
Keep Practicing Social Distancing!
I know it has been challenging, but the single best way for Torontonians to support each other right now is to stay home and practise physical distancing to prevent COVID-19 spread. I recognize that physical distancing and self-isolation measures can take a toll but they are critically important right now.
- If you have symptoms of illness, do not leave your home under any circumstance until you have spoken with a medical professional and been given the all clear.
- If you have just returned from international travel, you are subject to a mandatory 14-day isolation under the Quarantine Act. Do not leave your home under any circumstance for 14 days.
- And even if you are not sick and have not traveled, unless you work in an essential industry, stay at home.
The city of Toronto has begun to open child care for essential and core service workers. To support members of this essential and critical workforce, licensed child care service will be available at no cost to families, funded by the Province of Ontario, for children under age 12. Services will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week—a first for the City. Visit the City of Toronto's website to find our if you are eligible and to apply.
The City of Toronto is urging Landlords and Condo Boards to adopt new health and safety measures to protect residents from COVID-19. Large residential buildings with a high number of units require new practices and a rigorous cleaning routine to prevent viral spread. Learn more about what Landlords and Condo Boards can do to protect residents.
No one should be profiting off this crisis. This weekend Premier Doug Ford announced new penalties to combat price gouging and hold offenders accountable for raising prices significantly on the necessary goods Ontarians need to protect themselves and their families from COVID-19.
Premier Doug Ford announced Saturday that he was slashing the number of people allowed to gather at a time from 50 to five. Up to 10 people will be allowed to gather at funerals, and child-care centres looking after the kids of front-line workers can have up to 50 people on site. There’s also an exception for households with more than five people.
The Government of Canada has announced new domestic travel regulations; as of Monday at noon, any person exhibiting symptoms will be denied from boarding airplanes or trains. Inter-provincial travel is not banned, but residents are encouraged to limit any non-essential travel.
The Government of Canada’s confirmed that options to register for direct deposit to receive the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) will be available through Revenue Canada’s My Account. Registering for direct deposit is encouraged as it will expedite the receipt of funds.
The Prime Minister has also said that he has engaged with the Prime Minister’s Youth Council to receive suggestions for additional support for youth including internet and mobile phone service for isolated communities and mental health supports.
COVID-19 Information and Resources
Now is the time 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.
Phone lines for telehealth, TPH and 311 continue to experience very high volumes. Please help keep the phones lines open for people who are sick by visiting the Toronto Public Health COVID-19 website for up-to-date information and resources: toronto.ca/covid-19
Call if you develop symptoms!
Toronto Public Health Hotline
8:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Call if you have questions about COVID-19.
Outside City limits: 416-392-2489
Call if you have questions about City services.
Thank you for your resilience, it is an honour to represent you.