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City of Toronto update on COVID-19

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TORONTO, ON. Oct. 19, 2020 — Today, Mayor John Tory, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Eileen de Villa, and Fire Chief and General Manager of the Office of Emergency Management Matthew Pegg provided an update on the City’s measures to combat the resurgence of the virus in Toronto.

There are 24,624 cases of COVID-19 in the city, an increase of 268 new cases today. There are 107 people hospitalized. In total, 20,803 people have recovered from COVID-19. To date, there have been 1,337 COVID-19 deaths in Toronto. Case status data can be found on the City’s reporting platform.

In support of the City of Toronto Health Equity Action Plan approved by the Board of Health earlier today, Toronto Public Health has launched two additional maps on the City’s reporting dashboard. One map shows COVID-19 per cent positivity by neighbourhood and the second shows testing rates across the city. The Medical Officer of Health noted that neighbourhood data should always be considered in combination with other indicators of pandemic activity, including number of cases, case rates and testing rates. The Board also supported Dr. de Villa’s recommendations to increase access to testing in high-transmission neighbourhoods, make public health information more accessible and available in more languages, increase infection prevention and control supports for community agencies and call on the Province of Ontario to implement a stay on residential evictions and ensure paid sick leave for all workers.

Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health has now called for Torontonians to take a different approach to Halloween this year to help stop the spread of COVID-19, including recommending against door-to-door trick-or-treating. While trick-or-treating is not recommended, there are a number of fun and creative ways to celebrate Halloween including hosting a virtual costume party, decorating your home, carving a pumpkin or making Halloween-themed cloth masks.

Province of Ontario regulations under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act set social gathering and organized public event limits at 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors, prohibit indoor food and drink service in restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments, limit capacity for certain activities, prohibit games and scrimmages for sports teams and more.

The City’s COVID-19 enforcement team continues to respond to complaints and enforce provincial orders and bylaws across the city, including in bars, restaurants and parks. Yesterday, the City received 22 complaints related to parks use and physical distancing, 11 complaints related to businesses and 10 complaints related to gatherings on private property. Officers issued five notices to non-compliant businesses.

All people in Toronto should be adopting steps for self-protection. Dr. de Villa recommends individuals only consider leaving their homes for essential activities such as work, education and fresh air and exercise. As much as possible, residents are asked to limit contact with people not in the same household, keep at least six feet apart from people not in the same household and wear a mask when outside of their homes, especially in indoor settings and when physical distancing is difficult. Residents should wash hands frequently and remain at home when ill.

Toronto Public Health also encourages residents to download the COVID Alert app , which can help to notify individuals who are exposed to COVID-19 in the community.

The City’s website is updated daily with the latest health advice and information about City services, social supports and economic recovery measures. Check toronto.ca/covid-19 for answers to common questions before contacting the Toronto Public Health COVID-19 Hotline or 311.

SOURCE City of Toronto NEWS RELEASE

Read more top stories at TOtimes.ca and MTLtimes.ca.

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