The Province of Ontario today announced further measures in Toronto and Peel Region to slow the spread of COVID-19, effective this Monday, November 23. The City of Toronto supports all efforts to reduce and eliminate the transmission of COVID-19 in the city to protect the healthcare system and save lives.
There are 36,821 cases of COVID-19 in the city, an increase of 420 new cases today. There are 174 people hospitalized. In total, 30,838 people have recovered from COVID-19. To date, there have been 1,515 COVID-19 deaths in Toronto. Case status data can be found on the City’s reporting platform: www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-latest-city-of-toronto-news/covid-19-status-of-cases-in-toronto/. As part of Toronto Public Health’s ongoing data updates, information on deaths of people experiencing homelessness is also now available online: https://www.toronto.ca/community-people/health-wellness-care/health-inspections-monitoring/monitoring-deaths-of-homeless-people/.
Toronto entered the “Red – Control” zone of the provincial framework on November 14, with additional restrictions by order of Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health under S. 22 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act, including continued closure of indoor dining; closure of meeting and event spaces; continued closure of casinos and bingo halls; and closure of indoor fitness classes.
Today’s announcement adds further restrictions in Toronto, including:
- closing all outdoor dining and patios. Take-out, drive-thru and delivery options remain available and are strongly encouraged to support local businesses
- closing malls, except for essential businesses
- closing all non-essential retail, except for curbside pick up; large retailers with a grocery section can remain open at 50 per cent capacity
- limiting capacity of big box and essential business to 50 per cent capacity
- closing all indoor gyms and recreational programs, with some City-operated community centres open for community supports, such as food banks
- closing all hair salons, barber shops, nail salons and tattoo parlours.
Residents of Toronto are strongly encouraged to stay home, except for essential travel, such as groceries and other necessities, like medicine; healthcare appointments; exercise; school; child care; and going to work. By reducing the number of people who are out in the community, we reduce the number of potential contacts and exposures to COVID-19, which will drive down case counts.
Having family or friends who are not members of your household in your home for a social visit is prohibited under provincial orders. Essential support workers and emergency repairpersons are exempt. Outdoor organized public events or social gatherings are limited to a maximum of 10 people. Non-essential travel outside of one’s own community is strongly discouraged.
City of Toronto parks are open, and residents are encouraged to use them for exercise, including walking, but to do so only with those they live with.
To avoid future or prolonged restrictions following the strict measures announced today, it is important that Torontonians follow the advice and orders of public health experts to protect the healthcare system and to save lives. The City acknowledges how challenging and difficult this is for individuals, families, businesses, and the mental and economic health of the city.
While these restrictions are necessary to reduce contacts and the spread of COVID-19, they must be implemented alongside enhanced supports to protect frontline workers and disproportionately affected communities. The City of Toronto is working closely with its provincial and federal government partners to expand supports to frontline workers and vulnerable Torontonians. The City will have more to share on this in the coming days.
The City’s website is updated daily with the latest health advice and information about City services, social supports and economic recovery measures. Check https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/ for answers to common questions before contacting the Toronto Public Health COVID-19 Hotline or 311.
“We have to stop this virus now to save lives, protect our most vulnerable and, ultimately, to protect our economy. That’s why I support the provincial health measures announced today. We can’t have a healthy economy and build back better if people are sick and continue to get sick in greater and greater numbers. We simply cannot have a healthy economy without healthy people. This is a tough time in our fight against the virus. We all need to stay home as much as possible right now and follow the rules in order to protect ourselves and each other.”
– Mayor John Tory
“While I know that today’s news is difficult, nearly half of all of our COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic have occurred since October 1. We have to do everything that we can to prevent COVID-19 spread, protect our most vulnerable residents, preserve the capacity of our hospitals and save lives. Please reach out and take care of each other, especially now during these next few weeks, as we face these challenging times together.”
– Dr. Eileen de Villa, Medical Officer of Health
“We have to act fast in order to contain the current surge of COVID-19 cases in our city. Today’s announcement by the Province of Ontario is welcome news. But while enhanced public health restrictions are necessary to stop the spread of this virus and save lives, they will only truly work if everyone in can access to the supports they need. That means protecting those who are most vulnerable in our city by ensuring paid sick leave, increasing financial support for businesses and employees that have lost work, and expanding community-based testing options. Our City is continuing to work with our Provincial and Federal counterparts to ensure these enhanced measures are put in place.”
– Councillor Joe Cressy (Spadina-Fort York), Chair of the Toronto Board of Health