COVID-19 - July 2 Update

I hope everyone had an enjoyable Canada Day celebrating with friends and family within your social circles. Even though celebrations had to be done virtually this year, there were a number of amazing events across the country and here of course in our City.  I hope that next year we can all see each other again in person at Earlscourt Park for my annual Canada Day Community BBQ.

To protect the health and safety of all residents of our City, Toronto City Council voted unanimously in favour of the recommendation from our Medical Officer of Health making masks or face coverings mandatory in all enclosed public places as of July 7.   This is to assist in reducing the potential spread of the COVID-19 virus and to support all of our efforts over these past few months to end the pandemic in our City.

While we are grateful that the number of new COVID-19 cases in Toronto continues to trend downward, we continue to see a number of new cases and we are learning from the experience and positive actions taken in other jurisdictions.

A growing body of scientific evidence suggests the use of masks and face coverings is an inexpensive, acceptable, and non-invasive measure to help control the spread of COVID-19. COVID-19 is spread through contact with the respiratory droplets produced by someone who is infected when they cough, sneeze, or even when they laugh or speak, including by individuals who may not have symptoms – known as being asymptomatic. Evidence suggests wearing a mask reduces the likelihood of droplets infecting those around an individual.

The bylaw will include exemptions for those who cannot wear a mask for medical reasons, children under the age of two, and other reasonable accommodations.

City of Toronto and Toronto Public Health staff are in the process of creating updated signage and guidelines to support businesses. Initial enforcement of the bylaw will focus on education and otherwise be complaint-based. Additional information for businesses and facility operators will be available on https://www.toronto.ca/facemasks/ in the coming days, prior to the bylaw coming into effect.

Before this week's Council decision on masks, the TTC Board had voted to make masks or face coverings mandatory on their vehicles and premises beginning today. Mask or face coverings are already mandatory on the City's ferries to Toronto Island Park, as well as in certain business settings such as salons and tattoo parlours, as prescribed by orders under the provincial Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.

Face masks and coverings do not replace the need to keep a distance of two metres or six feet from others, washing hands often, and staying at home when sick. A fact sheet on how to properly and safely wear and care for a non-medical mask is available on toronto.ca.

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.

I live in an apartment building and one of my concerns is what happens in older buildings, or even new ones, if elevators break down too much.  While an inconvenience at the best of times, these days it is important that elevators work effectively.
Elevators in apartment buildings and other kinds of towers are critical to moving people safely and quickly to their homes or offices.  There is always concerns about the reliability of elevators and recognizing this the Ontario Government has announced they are starting a review of elevator laws across the province to make them safer and more reliable.  The reliability of elevators and regulations around them became much clearer during this pandemic.  There is a link to information on the review below.  You can also share your thoughts, comments and recommendations at the link near the bottom of the page at this webpage.
https://news.ontario.ca/mgs/en/2020/07/ontario-reviews-elevator-laws.html

During the pandemic the courts closed and I was wondering when they will re-open?
The provincial government has announced that the court system for in-person proceedings will start to gradually re-open beginning July 6th, 2020.  Very specific public health safety protocols will be in place and these directives will need to be followed.  As noted, this will be a gradual process of re-opening with the expectation that further opening will continue through September.  Below is a link to the provincial announcement which will provide more details.  If you are unsure about what you wish to do at the courts, please reach out to them to confirm before attending in person.
https://news.ontario.ca/mag/en/2020/06/ontario-courts-gradually-resuming-in-person-proceedings.html

Local Updates

Green Line Public Meeting
Finding new parkland in the built-up downtown core is a challenge. The Hydro corridor that runs from Davenport and Macpherson Ave west and northwest towards Earlscourt Park presents a rare opportunity to create a linear open space amenity within a rapidly intensifying city.

A public meeting will take place on July 7 at 6:30PM. Visit http://toronto.ca/greenline to register and for more details.

Councillor Bailao speaking on modular housing

Schulich Panel on Affordable Housing
Join me on Tuesday, July 7 for a Schulich Real Property Alumni Association webinar about advancing Affordable Housing in Toronto. I will join a panel discussion about why good housing policy makes our city a better place for all. Register here.

Recent Announcements

Municipal

Community centres preparing for reopening
All City of Toronto community centres have now been returned for community use after helping with the COVID-19 response. Today, the City of Toronto finished moving about 200 homeless residents staying in temporary sites in vacant community centres into hotels. Before any of the centres reopen for use by the community, they will undergo cleaning as per all recommended protocols.

City of Toronto extends hours at select outdoor pools to help residents cool off during Heat Warning
Following the Heat Warning issued by Environment Canada, the City has announced that extended pool hours are now in effect. This is the first time this summer that pool hours have been extended.

The following six outdoor pools will be open, weather permitting, until 11:45 p.m. tonight and may continue to operate with extended hours until the Heat Warning is cancelled:

  • Alex Duff Pool, 779 Crawford St.
  • Earlscourt Park/Giovanni Caboto Pool, 1369 St. Clair Ave. W.
  • Monarch Park, 115 Felstead Ave.
  • Parkway Forest, 55 Forest Manor Rd.
  • Smithfield Park, 175 Mount Olive Dr.
  • Sunnyside Park/Gus Ryder Pool, 1755 Lake Shore Blvd. W.

City to open 15 Emergency Cooling Centres during Heat Warning
Environment and Climate Change Canada has declared a Heat Warning for Toronto for Thursday, July 2 through to Sunday, July 5.

The City of Toronto will open 15 Emergency Cooling Centres (ECCs) for the duration of the Heat Warning.

An interactive map is available to help those who need to locate an Emergency Cooling Centre near them.

City of Toronto update on COVID-19
There are 14,391 cases of COVID-19 in the city, an increase of 71 cases since yesterday. There are 209 people hospitalized, with 52 in ICU. In total, 12,503 people have recovered from COVID-19, an increase of 71 cases since yesterday. To date, there have been 1,096 COVID-19 deaths in Toronto. Case status data can be found on the City’s reporting platform.

Provincial

Ontario Provides Additional Funding to Support Municipalities and Urban Indigenous Community Partners
The Ontario government is providing municipalities and urban Indigenous community partners with an additional $150 million to continue to protect vulnerable people from COVID-19 by improving homeless shelters and creating opportunities for longer-term housing. This investment more than doubles the funding currently flowing to local municipal service managers and urban Indigenous program administrators through the Social Services Relief Fund.

Federal

Canada Extends Mandatory Requirements Under the Quarantine Act for Anyone Entering Canada
The Government of Canada extended the Emergency Order requirements related to mandatory isolation and quarantine until August 31, 2020, for travellers entering Canada. Anyone entering Canada—whether by air, land or sea—will continue to be required to isolate for 14 days if they have COVID-19, or have reasonable grounds to suspect that they have signs and symptoms of COVID-19, or quarantine for 14 days if they do not have signs and symptoms of COVID-19. The Order also clarifies when travellers are required to wear a non-medical mask or face covering. This includes a new requirement for individuals who are otherwise exempt from quarantine to wear a non-medical mask or face covering when in public settings if physical distancing cannot be maintained.

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