As we head into another weekend—and as it looks like we are finally getting a stretch of good weather—I want to continue to urge you to use caution when moving about, and to stay home as much as possible.
While the City of Toronto and the Province of Ontario continue to loosen restrictions on some activities, we must not forget that COVID-19 continues to spread in our city.
Today, Ontario recorded the highest number of new COVID-19 cases in two weeks. Toronto has also seen an increase in our local COVID-19 cases, with Toronto Public Health connecting this to an increase in positive cases in long-term care homes as a result of overall increased testing in those settings. While it would appear that our community cases are still continuing to slowly decline, without wide-spread testing there is still so much we don’t know about how and where the virus is spreading in Toronto.
With low numbers of tests being processed and increasing numbers of positive cases, I urge everyone to continue to be vigilant. I will continue to remind you to keep six feet away from others when not at home, to avoid touching your face, mouth, nose or eyes, to wash your hands often and to wear a mask in settings where you cannot physically distance from others. These are the best ways to protect yourself from this virus.
To help encourage people to get fresh air and exercise safely, the City of Toronto will expand its ActiveTO major road closures this weekend. Vehicle access will be closed on the following roads for walking, running and biking this weekend from Saturday, May 23 at 6 a.m. until Sunday, May 24 at 11 p.m.:
- Lake Shore Boulevard West (eastbound lanes only) from Windermere Avenue to Stadium Road. The eastbound Gardiner Expressway off-ramp to Lake Shore Boulevard West (exit #146) will also be closed;
- Lake Shore Boulevard East (eastbound lanes only) from Coxwell Avenue to just south of Woodbine Avenue (Kew Beach Avenue); and
- Bayview Avenue from Mill Street to Rosedale Valley Road, and River Street from Gerrard Street East to Bayview Avenue.
To help stop the spread of COVID-19, Toronto Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa and Mayor John Tory strongly recommend that the public wear a face mask or face covering to protect others when in settings where physical distancing cannot be maintained. While wearing a face mask or face-covering in public can help protect others from your germs, Toronto Public Health officials continue to stress that a face mask or face covering has not been proven to protect the person wearing it from COVID-19, and is not a substitute for physical distancing and hand washing.
I also want to give you an update on the schedule and timing of these daily E-Blasts. Since the beginning of the epidemic, I have been committed to providing daily E-Blasts to match the daily updates the City was providing. The City has recently decided to change their schedule, and in keeping with the City of Toronto briefings, my E-Blasts will now occur on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays moving forward.
I hope you have a great weekend, stay safe and take care of each other.
Today’s Community Care shoutout goes to Meagan’s Walk for their feel-good virtual HUG video. This video offers an opportunity for members of the community to come together and celebrate their stories, and in some cases, memories of their children. The goal is to send the video around the world to unite us. Although apart, we can come together to support research into pediatric brain tumours that can improve and save the lives of children across the globe. People are asked to share the video on social media; please consider posting your own #TogetherWeHug video message. For those who are able to give during this challenging time please consider making a donation.
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!
COVID-19: Ongoing Tips to Reduce Virus Spread
The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed. If you are sick, even with mild symptoms, stay home and self-isolate.
As we slowly return to some sense of normalcy, we need to continue physical distancing to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Everyone has a role to play. The actions you take will help protect you and everyone in our community.
When you are unable to keep a six feet/two-metre distance from others, wear a mask or face covering. This includes when you are:
- in elevators, common areas, waiting rooms or shopping;
- using transit, taxi or rideshare services; and
- sick and going for a medical appointment.
Be respectful of others who choose not to wear a mask. Some health conditions make it hard to breathe when wearing a mask.
City of Toronto COVID-19 Updates
The outdoor season of the St. Lawrence Saturday Farmers Market will begin on Saturday, May 23, 2020. Outdoor farmers will be located on Market Street between The Esplanade and Wilton Street. Other farmers will continue to operate inside the Temporary Market. Lineup areas for the indoor and outdoor farmers will continue to start on Market Street for entrance to both areas. Visitors who are not from the same household are required to maintain a physical distance of two metres. All visitors are encouraged to wear a mask or face covering. Please visit stlawrencemarket.com for more information.
Toronto Public Health (TPH) is pleased to announce a partnership with the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO). Through this partnership, TPH will hire more local registered nurses to support case and contact management efforts and support public health work as we move towards the COVID-19 recovery stage.
The province is permitting Ontario corporations to conduct virtual meetings and to defer certain annual meetings in specified circumstances. It is also allowing the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services to accept copies of documents, electronic signatures on documents and electronic filing of documents. These changes are part of COVID-19 Response and Reforms to Modernize Ontario Act, 2020.
The province is investing in Ontario's first Virtual Action Centre, an online counselling and training portal, to support laid off and unemployed hospitality workers. The intention is to help apprentices by providing grants to purchase tools, protective equipment and clothing for their trade along with forgiving previous loans to purchase tools.
Government of Canada Updates
Government of Canada Announces an Online Tool, "Find Financial Help During COVID-19" to Assist Canadians in Accessing Financial Support
Today, the Honourable Joyce Murray, Minister of Digital Government, announced a web-based benefits finder tool, “Find financial help during COVID-19,” which can be found at canada.ca/coronavirusbenefits. The tool is meant to help people living in Canada determine which government benefits programs best meet their needs.
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, or to report people