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Toronto cracks down with stricter enforcement to slow spread of COVID-19


TORONTO, ON., APRIL 12, 2020 – The City of Toronto’s COVID-19 Enforcement Team has begun stricter enforcement as part of the ongoing blitz in parks and public squares across the city. No longer focused on education, enforcement officers will now move almost exclusively to issuing tickets to people congregating in groups and using closed amenities in City parks. 

The Toronto Police Service and the City are partnered on the enforcement of City bylaws and all orders, with 160 Toronto Police community response units, neighbourhood officers, and specialty units such as Mounted and Marine, plus 200 Toronto Bylaw Enforcement Officers ready to respond. 

Toronto Public Health is reported yesterday at noon that there are now 2,065 cases of COVID-19 in Toronto. Of the cases, 1,795 cases are confirmed and 270 are probable, 196 are in hospital with 85 in ICU. In Toronto, there have been 79 deaths to-date. This data was extracted from the Integrated Public Health Information System at 12:30 p.m. The numbers may differ from other sources as data are extracted at different times. 

The most up-to-date COVID-19 case status data can be found on the City’s new reporting platform at toronto.ca/home/covid-19/media-room/covid-19-status-of-cases-in-toronto

On April 1, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health ordered the following individuals to self-isolate, under the Health Protection and Promotion Act: 

• All individuals with COVID-19 who are not hospitalized; 
• All individuals with signs and symptoms of COVID-19, or who are waiting for their test results; 
• All individuals who have had close contact with someone who has COVID-19 or has the signs and symptoms of COVID-19; and 
• People returning from international travel. 

Anyone over the age of 70 is strongly encouraged to stay home as much as possible and anyone who is not ill or has not travelled, is directed to stay home, except when accessing healthcare or medication, shopping for groceries once per week, walking their dogs or getting daily exercise while maintaining physical distancing of at least two metres. 

On April 2, Mayor John Tory introduced Emergency Order No. 1, regulating physical distancing in parks and public squares as part of the City’s ongoing efforts to encourage people from separate households to keep at least two metres distance between each other. 

Any two people who don’t live together, who fail to keep two metres of distance between them in a park or public square, can receive a $1,000 ticket – the maximum set fine available. In addition, failing to identify oneself (correct name, date of birth and address) to a police officer or a provincial offences officer (bylaw officer) investigating a matter under the Emergency Measures and Civil Protection Act carries a set fine of $750. 

Yesterday, the City received 300 complaints involving people using amenities or not practising physical distancing in parks. Bylaw officers spoke to 1,700 people regarding the closure of park amenities and distancing and issued 134 written cautions and 19 tickets – bringing the total to 103 tickets since April 4. 

In addition, the City received eight complaints yesterday related to non-essential businesses remaining open in contravention of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. Since March 24, Municipal Licensing and Standards has issued six charges and 46 notices to non-essential businesses. 

Based on public complaints received through 311 and in-field reports from officers, the following 20 parks have been identified as target areas: 

• Allan Gardens 
• Bluffer’s Park 
• Christie Pits 
• College Park 
• Corktown Common 

• Earl Bales 
• G Ross Lord Park 
• Eglinton Park 
• High Park 
• Humber Bay East 
• James Gardens 
• Port Union Commons 
• Rosetta McClain Gardens 

• Rouge Beach Park 
• Sherwood Park 
• Sunnybrook Park 
• Trinity Bellwoods 
• Woodbine Beach 
• West Deane Park 
• Underpass Park 

Officers will continue enforcing regulations in other parks across the city. Parking enforcement will also be patrolling hotspots and ticket those who continue to park in closed parking facilities. 

There is a growing number of reports to 311 of bonfires in the evening, particularly across the waterfront as the weather continues to get warmer. These bonfires are against the Parks By-law Section 608-10B(1) and carry a set fine of $300 for each individual at the bonfire. 

The advice from Toronto’s public health officials has been clear and consistent: To stop the community spread of this deadly virus, we must reduce all contact with others as much as possible. 

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

SOURCE: toronto.ca

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