COVID-19 - May 14 Update

The province has released specific details on their actions to begin easing of restrictions under Stage 1 of its plan to re-open the Ontario economy. Included in these measures, as of Tuesday (May 19) scheduled surgeries, construction work, retail stores (outside of malls), pet groomers, non-contact sports, boat marinas and kennels can resume their operations. The City of Toronto will be working as quickly as possible to ensure that all retailers have the necessary support and information they need to protect their employees and patrons, as we did for retail curbside pickup. While businesses are allowed to open up, they must put in place all appropriate measures recommended by public health officials. In accordance with this restart, the City will be opening City golf courses, starting Saturday and are working towards re-opening Dog Off-Leash areas imminently, pending provincial authorization.

As we continue to discuss a restart, it is important that we all continue to practice appropriate physical distancing. As we are 9 weeks into this shut-down, we need to take a measured approach to prevent us from having a resurgence of the Covid-19 virus.

The Mayor also announced further information on ActiveTO, a program announced last week to allow for greater physical distancing. Starting today, the City has begun the roll out of creating 57 km of quiet streets throughout the city. This includes traffic calming measures and opening spaces for pedestrians and cyclists and is in addition to the already existing CurbTO program. This is an important program for us to implement, as we continue to support residents in their efforts to physically distance as they go about their lives. In our community, we have two locations included in the initial installations: Brock Avenue, Emerson Avenue and Cowan Avenue from Dupont Street to King Street West, and Winona Drive from Eglinton to Davenport. I look forward to having additional locations included as we move forward with this program. If you wish to suggest a location for creating quiet streets or expanding the cycling network, please email active_TO@toronto.ca, copying our team.

In the coming days, we hope to have more details on how we can implement a plan to support restaurants and businesses through the closure of roadways and sidewalks to provide additional space for dine-in operations through the summer months. These measures will not only allow people to enjoy their favourite restaurants while remaining safe, but support our local businesses as they work to recover from the shut down. I encourage businesses and BIAs to share their ideas for our community.

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 a condominium, are there any written guidelines about maintenance during this Covid-19 public health situation?
Yes, the City has prepared a document outlining the requirements and guidance to keep multi-residential buildings safe for residents during this time including cleaning protocols. Click here to access this information.

I have a flight booked to travel which is going ahead, where can I find out information about flying out of Toronto Pearson?
There have been strict protocols put across Canada within the country’s airports and with respect to flying. It is important that you be very familiar with them before travelling to the airport. Toronto Pearson Airport maintains a web with all the information you will need to safely plan to take your flight. More info.

Local Updates

See You Soon Toronto
A collaboration between Lifetime Developments’ Brian Brown, graphic artist Ben Johnston and television reporter Tyrone Edwards, See You Soon Toronto presents limited edition apparel and art, with 100% of proceeds going back to COVID-19 relief efforts.

Funds from the Limited Edition Collection will be dedicated to See You Soon Toronto Inc., a not-for-profit founded to support the hospitality industry, frontline workers and mental health support services. Funds will be distributed to deserving beneficiaries impacted by COVID-19 who need it most. Some of the causes we will be supporting include: Fred Victor Mental Health Services; Feed the Frontlines TO; and Lifetime Charitable Foundation.

City of Toronto beginning construction on key projects
Over the next couple weeks, the City of Toronto will begin construction on a number of key projects to renew and improve aging infrastructure. With traffic volumes on Toronto’s roads down between 45 and 65 per cent as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the City recently announced that construction is moving forward this year and work will be accelerated on as many important projects as possible.

City Hall Live performances move online to support artists
City Hall Live Online, in partnership with Unison Benevolent Fund, is working to support Toronto artists during the COVID-19 pandemic. Check out the music series, which features two performances a day, Monday to Friday from noon to 1 p.m., until June on Facebook Live. More than 100 local artists will be compensated for their 30-minute virtual performances.

COVID-19 Emergency Benefit for People Receiving Social Assistance
The COVID-19 Emergency Benefit which was introduced as a one-time benefit in April 2020, has been extended and is now available in each month up to and including July 2020. This benefit is available for people receiving assistance from Ontario Works (OW) or Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) who may have had additional costs related to COVID-19. This benefit will help cover the additional costs of emergency needs such as hygiene and personal protective supplies, cleaning supplies, non-medical transportation, or additional costs for staple foods. The amount is $100 for a single person and $200 for a family. For more information, please see the attached fact sheet. 

A Framework for Reopening our Province
In "A Framework for Reopening our Province," the government presented Ontario’s approach to reopening our province in order to have people return to work. The framework provided the principles the government will use to reopen businesses, services and public spaces in three stages, while maintaining the health and safety of the people of Ontario as our top priority.

Recent Announcements

Municipal

ActiveTO program launching with 57 kilometres of Quiet Streets and Victoria Day weekend major road closures
Today, Mayor John Tory announced the ActiveTO program developed by Toronto Public Health and Transportation Services will start to be rolled out across the city to provide more space for people to be physically active and improve physical distancing as part of the City's restart and recovery in the wake of COVID-19.

Service at Jesse Ketchum Early Learning and Child Care Centre resumes today
Child care service at Jesse Ketchum Early Learning and Child Care Centre, one of the licensed child care centres that provides care for the children of essential and critical service workers, resumed today. The centre suspended service at the end of April due to a COVID-19 outbreak amongst some staff and children.

City of Toronto update on COVID-19
Toronto Public Health continues to see new infections in the city. There are 8,097 people infected with COVID-19 in Toronto, an increase of 153 since yesterday. There are also 5,851 people who have recovered from the virus, an increase of 196 since yesterday. Additional case status information can be found on the City’s reporting platform at toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-latest-city-of-toronto-news/covid-19-status-of-cases-in-toronto.

Provincial

Ontario Announces Additional Workplaces that Can Reopen
Today, the Ontario government announced the retailers, seasonal businesses and health and community service providers who will be permitted to open or expand their services on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., provided that the general trend on health indicators continues to improve as part of the first stage of the government's reopening framework. The workplaces opening as part this stage are well-positioned to put workplace safety measures in place and get more people back to work, while not overburdening public transit and other services.

Ontario Marks Children and Youth in Care Day
Today, Jill Dunlop, Associate Minister of Children and Women's Issues and Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, released a statement to recognize Children and Youth in Care Day.

Federal

Statement from the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada on COVID-19
In lieu of a daily in-person update to the media, Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, issued the statement linked above today.

Starting June 1, 2020, Parks Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada will gradually resume some operations at selected national parks, national historic sites, national marine conservation areas and national wildlife areas
The health and safety of all Canadians, including visitors, employees, and local communities, is the priority for the Government of Canada in the operation of federal protected places. Parks Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada are following the advice of public health experts and continue to make every effort to limit the spread of COVID-19.

The CBSA reminds travellers of restrictions ahead of the long weekend
With the upcoming Victoria Day long weekend and the warmer weather ahead, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is reminding all travellers that the travel restrictions announced in March are still in place at all of Canada’s international border crossings.

Statement from Minister Ng on joint commitment with WTO members to support small businesses
The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, today issued the statement linked above.

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