COVID-19 - April 27 Update

There were a number of major announcements from all levels of government over the weekend. The City has initiated a new program, CurbTO, which re-allocates road space to support physical distancing and help residents access essential businesses. City staff have already identified a series of hotspots and will be making temporary changes shortly. The first 10 include the intersection at Lansdowne Avenue and Dupont Street. More will be coming. I'm including some questions and answers in this e-mail.

The Mayor shared his concerns about Toronto’s ability to manage the financial impact COVID-19. Last week, I joined my voice with my Federation of Canadian Municipalities colleagues from across Canada in calling for $10-15 billion in emergency operating funding for municipalitiesThis funding will keep essential services running and Canadians safe and protected.

Premier Doug Ford also shared details about the phased approach the province will be taking to reopen the province. The first phase includes opening select workplaces that can modify operations to meet public health guidance, opening some outdoor spaces and allowing for a greater number of individuals to attend some events, and allowing hospitals to begin offering some non-urgent and scheduled surgeries and services. Stage two will allow for additional business openings and larger gatherings. Stage 3 will allow for the opening of all remaining workplaces and further relax restrictions on gatherings.

Today was also the first day for businesses to apply for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy. The new 75% subsidy helps eligible businesses prevent future job loss and encourages re-hiring workers. It is a stressful time for those who own a business in our City. The BusinessTO Support Centre provides one-on-one virtual support to help businesses complete applications for Government of Canada COVID-19 funding programs and to receive general business advice.

Our office continues to work to serve you remotely. If we can be of any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us by email at councillor_bailao@toronto.ca or by phone at 416.392.7012.

In community,

Ana

Questions from the Community!

Each day, we are working to answer important questions from our community. To keep you all informed, we will feature some of these questions each newsletter. Have a question you think would be good to share? Reach out to us at councillor_bailao@toronto.ca.

What is CurbTO?
CurbTO is a program designed to re-purpose the curb lane adjacent essential businesses to better support physical distancing orders from Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health. The program consists of two initiatives:

  1. Curb Lane Pedestrian Zones will provide overflow space for the public to line-up to enter an establishment while providing physical distancing space for other pedestrians using sidewalk facilities.
  2. Temporary Parking Pick-Up Zones will provide an opportunity for drivers and delivery agents to expedite food and medicine pick-ups by allowing them to temporarily park for up to 10 minutes in close proximity to the desired essential business in otherwise restricted parking areas.

Have hotspots already been identified?
Staff have identified a series of hotspots and will be addressing them immediately. Once the CurbTO program is underway, an online map will show both Curb Lane Pedestrian Zones and Temporary Parking Pick-Up Zones when they are installed.

How long will this program be in place?
This is a temporary program subject to the ongoing approval of the Medical Officer of Health and is regularly discussed and evaluated. As a result the program priorities may shift as circumstances change and recovery efforts take place.

How can members of the public identify areas of sidewalk crowding to the City?
Members of the public can continue to submit areas where physical distancing is a concern by calling 311.

Can businesses themselves contact the City directly if they would like assistance?
Yes. Businesses may access a request form to identify their needs and suggest potential locations for a CurbTO initiative near their business at toronto.ca/covid19BusinessTO

Local Updates

Workers’ Mourning Day
All flags on official flagpoles at Toronto City Hall and civic centres will be flown at half-mast on Tuesday April 28 to mark Workers' Mourning Day (National Day of Mourning for Persons Killed or Injured in the Workplace).

Securing Masks for Safehaven (Donate)
The compassionate and hard working staff at Safehaven continue to work to serve individuals with complex care needs. While they are taking every precaution available to them, any non-remote workplace brings its own risks. Though a generous donation from Great Gulf, I was pleased to be able to secure 100 masks for the Safehaven staff. I want to thank Great Gulf and Safehaven for all of their efforts to keep our community safe.

Interactive Resource Map
There are a lot of resources available across the City. From COVID-19 assessment centres to food banks, you can see the services you need.

Wash Your Hands PSA (Downloadable)
One of our amazing, creative residents from matthewparrishcreative.com has created a kid friendly PSA showing the importance of and the best way to wash your hands to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses.


Recent Announcements

Municipal

City of Toronto launches CurbTO plan to address more than 100 hot spots
Although pedestrian traffic has dropped dramatically across the city as people follow public health advice to stay home as much as possible there are hot spots on some sidewalks in some areas.

City of Toronto officials seeing promising signs public health measures are working
As Toronto moves into week seven of the Covid-19 public health emergency, officials are seeing promising signs that public health measures are working. Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Eileen de Villa, stressed the need to continue to practice social distancing and only leave the house for essential reasons, noting restrictions can be eased sooner if people continue to heed public health advice.

City of Toronto statement on notice of application regarding City emergency shelters
Toronto’s Shelter, Support & Housing Administration (SSHA) has worked tirelessly with Toronto Public Health, other City divisions, provincial and federal governments, and the community non-profit sector to rapidly tailor solutions for the city’s most vulnerable.

Provincial

Ontario Unveils Guiding Principles to Reopen the Province
Today, the Ontario government released A Framework for Reopening our Province, which outlines the criteria Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health and health experts will use to advise the government on the loosening of emergency measures, as well as guiding principles for the safe, gradual reopening of businesses, services and public spaces. The framework also provides details of an outreach strategy, led by the Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee, to help inform the restart of the provincial economy.

School Closures Extended to Keep Students, Staff and Families Safe
Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced that all publicly-funded schools will remain closed until at least May 31, 2020, as part of an effort to keep students, staff and families safe from COVID-19.

Ontario Supporting Frontline Heroes of COVID-19 with Pandemic Pay
In recognition of the dedication, long hours and increased risk of working to contain the COVID-19 outbreak, the Ontario government is providing frontline staff with a temporary pandemic payment.

Ontario Parks to Remain Closed until May 31, 2020
Provincial parks and conservation reserves will continue to remain fully closed to all recreational activities. Reservations for arrivals up to, and including, any further closure extension date will be automatically cancelled and reservation holders will receive a full refund with no penalty.

Ontario Allows the Redeployment of Staff to Better Care for Vulnerable People During COVID-19
On the advice of the provincial Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Ontario government is introducing new and amending some emergency orders under subsection 7.0.2 (4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to better support Ontario's long-term care homes and the deaf-blind community. The orders would allow for the redeployment of staff to ensure they can work where they are needed most during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Federal

Government of Canada launches applications for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (Background)
Today, the Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue, launched the application process for the CEWS. As of today, employers can apply for the CEWS through My Business Account or through the CRA’s online application portal, and their representatives can apply through Represent a Client.

Statement from the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada on COVID-19
Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, issued a statement to provide an update on COVID-19 in Canada.

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