COVID-19 - May 20 Update

All three levels of government today updated their guidance with respect to wearing masks. The City’s Chief Medical Officer today confirmed that wearing masks in public when it is not possible to physically distance, is now recommended. You can find information on face coverings and when to use them here, and how do so safely and responsibly.

This afternoon, Mayor Tory called on employers to advise their employees to wear non-medical face masks and provide them if possible. To set an example, the City has purchased 100,000 masks to provide to City employees and is encouraging them to use them when they are unable to physically distance.

The City has announced that it has begun the process of re-opening additional park amenities, and by the weekend 850 picnic shelters and sports fields will be open again. Permits for these facilities continue to be cancelled until June 29. If you wish to use any of these fields, please continue to practice proper physical distancing measures and to wait if there is no opportunity to use a field safely.

The City will be expanding its ActiveTO major road closures to help people maintain physical distancing when outside. Closures for vehicles will be place on more roads so pedestrians and cyclists will have additional space.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provided additional information on the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses, including with respect to application documents and updated criteria. The program will be open for applications beginning on May 25. With rent being a top concern for our small businesses, I will continue working with our team and our BIAs to put in place all supports possible.

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.

We usually visit national parks during the summer months. Are they open? Can we visit?
Canada's national parks were closed due to the Covid-19 public health emergency. The Government of Canada has announced that starting June 1, 2020 there will be limited access to national parks as the re-opening process begins. Visitors will be required to respect physical distancing directives and other public health safety measures. Link to the federal government's parks web page which contains details of the changes coming. Some provincial parks have re-opened in a limited way and there is also a link to the provincial government's web page which contains details.

I am expecting to be able to return to work soon. Where can I find out about public health safety requirements for different workplaces?
The Ontario Government has put together guidance from the Ministry of Labour that provides direction depending to sector you in. The primary responsibility of employers and employees who return to work is safety and healthy workplaces. The ministry's guidance for each sector can be found here.

Local Updates

ReelAbilities Film Festival

ReelAbilities Film Festival Toronto (https://www.facebook.com/reelabilitiesTO/) is taking place on May 20-24! RAFFTO is Canada's largest film festival showcasing disability and Deaf culture and narratives and is 100% digital and entirely barrier-free.

Check out the entire festival at https://reelabilities.org/toronto/!

City of Toronto reopening waste Drop-off Depots to the public
The City of Toronto, under the guidance of the Medical Officer of Health, is gradually reopening City facilities and restarting operations where it is safe to do so. As part of the City’s phased resumption of services, Drop-off Depots (Transfer Stations) are now partially reopening to the public.

 Starting on Tuesday, May 19, at 6 p.m., Bermondsey and Ingram Drop-off Depots will open to the public on weeknights for drop-off of recycling, garbage, and yard waste. Hours of operation are as follows:

  • Bermondsey: Monday to Thursday from 6 p.m. to midnight and 12:30 a.m. to 6 a.m., Fridays from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Ingram: Monday to Friday from 6 p.m. to midnight and 12:30 am to 6 a.m.

In addition, Bermondsey, Ingram, as well as Scarborough Drop-off Depots will be open to the public on Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for drop-off of recycling, garbage, and yard waste, as well as household hazardous waste.

 Toronto Zoo reopens this weekend
The Toronto Zoo will open for a drive-through experience starting Saturday. Visitors can tour around the Zoo from the comfort of their car for a 45-minute safari adventure starting May 23. Tickets will be on sale starting May 22 and must be purchased in advance. For more information, please visit torontozoo.com/scenicsafari

Article on Toronto Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. De Villa
This is a wonderful article on our city’s Chief Medical Officer of health and her approach before and during the pandemic to keep us all safe.

Recent Announcements

Municipal

City of Toronto expands ActiveTO major road closures this weekend
Mayor John Tory announced today that the City of Toronto will expand its ActiveTO major road closures footprint this weekend to provide residents with more space to physically distance while outdoors and getting exercise, while helping stop the spread of COVID-19. Vehicle access on parts of more major roads will be closed for walking, running and biking this Saturday and Sunday.

City of Toronto reopening more than 850 park amenities this week
Today, Mayor John Tory announced the City of Toronto will open more than 850 park amenities this week, following the Province of Ontario’s amendments to an order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. The City of Toronto closed all parks amenities in March, based on public health advice and ahead of the provincial order to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the city.

City of Toronto strongly recommends face coverings or non-medical masks be worn when physical distancing cannot be maintained
To help stop the spread of COVID-19, today Toronto Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa and Mayor John Tory strongly recommended that the public wear a face mask or face covering to protect others when in settings where physical distancing cannot be maintained.

City of Toronto update on COVID-19
There are 9,129 cases of COVID-19 in the city, an increase of 263 cases since yesterday. There are 413 cases in hospital, with 92 in ICU. In total, 6,735 people have recovered from COVID-19, an increase of 119 cases since yesterday. To date, there have been 716 COVID-19 deaths in Toronto. Case status data 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

As Ontario Reopens, People Urged to Continue Following Public Health Advice
As the Ontario government carefully and gradually reopens the province, those taking public transit, returning to work or going out shopping are being urged to continue to adhere to public health advice as the best line of defence against COVID-19. To assist the public, the Ministry of Health today released specific recommendations on how to choose, wear and care for appropriate face coverings used in public where physical distancing is not possible, along with additional safety measures for provincial transit agencies.

Ontario Reduces Financial Barriers to Postsecondary Education

The Ontario government is reducing financial barriers for full-time students attending postsecondary education. Starting today, those most in need can apply to the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) for the 2020-21 school year.

Federal

Government announces support program for large employers is open for applications
Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry Navdeep Bains, today announced the opening of the application process for the government’s Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF). The program will support Canada’s largest employers, whose needs during the pandemic are not being met through conventional financing. LEEFF will help successful applicants keep their operations going.

Prime Minister announces opening of program to protect jobs and help businesses
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced that application documents and updated criteria for Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses are now available, and that the program will be opened for applications beginning on May 25.

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