COVID-19

I want to ensure you are receiving up to date information about the COVID-19 situation in the City of Toronto. I am sending out regular updates – please sign up for my email list if you are not already on it.

Please check https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/ for the latest information, resources and facts.

Please check the Changes to City Services webpage for updates:
https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-latest-city-of-toronto-news/affected-city-services/

Councillor Fletcher’s Email Updates

September 25, 2020
September 18, 2020
September 10, 2020
September 4, 2020
August 28, 2020
August 21, 2020
August 14, 2020
August 8, 2020
July 31, 2020
July 25, 2020
July 18, 2020
July 10, 2020
July 4, 2020
July 1, 2020
June 24, 2020
June 20, 2020
June 10, 2020
June 4, 2020
May 29, 2020
May 27, 2020
May 23, 2020
May 21, 2020
May 16, 2020
May 13, 2020
May 8, 2020
May 5, 2020
May 1, 2020
April 27, 2020
April 22, 2020
April 18, 2020
April 15, 2020
April 9, 2020
April 4, 2020
April 2, 2020
March 30, 2020
March 25, 2020
March 23, 2020
March 19, 2020
March 13, 2020
March 11, 2020

211

Residents who need to access, or are seeking information on, social and community supports and services, should call 211 for non-emergency requests and information. 211 is a 24/7 help line and web service that connects residents to social and community services. 211 is working closely with community agencies to ensure they are continually updating their database with the most up-to-date programming and resource information.

Mandatory Masks and Face Coverings

City Council voted unanimously in favour of requiring masks or face coverings in all enclosed public places as of July 7 to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Effective July 2, 2020, masks or face coverings are mandatory when travelling on the TTC. Learn more here: http://www.ttc.ca/COVID-19/Masks.jsp

A growing body of scientific evidence suggests the use of masks and face coverings is an inexpensive, acceptable, and non-invasive measure to help control the spread of COVID-19. People may unknowingly pass the infection to others because they do not have symptoms (asymptomatic) or have not yet developed symptoms (pre-symptomatic). The highest risk for infection is with prolonged close contact.

The new bylaw will require businesses to adopt a policy to ensure masks or face coverings are worn in indoor public spaces under their control. The new bylaw will apply to all indoor spaces that are openly accessible to the public, including grocery stores, community centres, libraries, etc.

Learn more here: http://councillorpaulafletcher.ca/update-on-mandatory-masks-and-face-coverings/

City of Toronto Moving into Stage 3 of Reopening

The City of Toronto entered Stage 3 of the provincial reopening on July 31, 2020, allowing for the safe restart of more businesses and services including playgrounds, additional recreational programs, indoor restaurant dining, gyms and sports facilities with certain restrictions in place.

Under the Stage 3 order and regulation made under the Province’s Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, nearly all businesses and public spaces can gradually reopen, with workplace safety and public health measures in place.

While Toronto enters Stage 3, residents are reminded to continue adhering to Toronto Public Health’s advice to practise physical distancing, stay within their social circle of no more than 10 people, wash hands often, and wear a mask or face covering where mandatory or when physical distancing cannot be maintained. Wearing a mask or face covering is required in indoor public spaces in Toronto. Beginning August 5, masks will be required in enclosed common spaces, including lobbies, elevators and laundry rooms, in condominiums and apartment buildings. The bylaw exempts those who cannot wear a mask for medical reasons, children under the age of two, and other accommodations.

A number of City facilities and amenities will be allowed to reopen in Stage 3, including the City’s playgrounds and play structures, community and recreation centres, and libraries. If a playground is busy, Toronto Public Health recommends finding another park or going back later. Toronto Public Health has created guidelines for parents and guardians to help children play safely at reopened playgrounds. Read the Toronto Public Library’s reopening plan for details on which branches and services will be available.

Physical Distancing 

Physical distancing means limiting close contact with others. When outside of your home, practise physical distancing by staying two metres (six feet) away from others outside your household or soical bubble to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Learn more online here:
https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-protect-yourself-others/covid-19-reduce-virus-spread/?accordion=physical-distancing

Large Gatherings and Events

Indoor gatherings of up to 50 people and outdoor gatherings of up to 100 people are now permitted in Stage 3 (as of July 31, 2020). These gatherings remain subject to compliance with physical distancing requirements of a two-metre distance from anyone outside your household or 10-person social circle. The City’s bylaws on physical distancing in City parks and squares remains in effect, as does the mandatory mask or face covering bylaw for indoor public spaces.

TTC

TTC is allowing back door boarding on buses. This change has been made to allow for further social distancing. Masks or face coverings are also mandatory on the TTC. Please continue to treat employees and fellow commuters with respect during your journey. Masks or face coverings are also mandatory on the TTC.

Click here to check the TTC’s website for further details and updates.

Groups Offering Assistance

I’ve been reaching out to community members and wanted to share with you the groups I’ve heard about who are offering assistance. They are connecting volunteers with people who need help with tasks such as getting groceries, walking their dog or picking up medication.

East for East
647-780-5719 or 647-466-5326
support@eastforeast.com
https://www.eastforeast.com/

Friendly Neighbour Hotline for low-income seniors
1-855-581-9580
Open Monday to Friday from 9 am to 5 pm
http://uhnopenlab.ca/project/hotline/

The Pocket Community Association (for those who live in this neighbourhood)
https://pppweb.thepocket.ca/

Food Hamper Delivery Service
The City is working with the Red Cross and other partners to provide food hamper delivery to seniors and others in need who are unable to leave their homes. With support from United Way of Greater Toronto, this service is made available for qualifying seniors and others that are in self-isolation who do not have alternative access to food (through family, friends, availability of food delivery services) and are currently not receiving such assistance from another community food program. Call 1-833-204-9952 for eligibility and registration information.

Business and Employment Concerns

I have been in touch with many of our local businesses and Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) about their concerns and how they will get through this situation.

The City is doing everything possible, in full cooperation with the provincial and federal governments, to minimize that impact and see an economic recovery take place as soon as possible.

The City has created the Economic Support and Recovery Task Force to identify immediate and longer-term economic recovery strategies for residents and businesses, with a focus on supporting those segments of the economy that are most strongly impacted by COVID-19, such as tourism, hospitality and entertainment. Click here to learn more.

Supports for residents including expedited access to employment insurance benefits as well as protection for renters and job protection for those who are unable to work as a result of COVID-19 are available from the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario. More information and instructions for accessing employment insurance benefits are available at:
https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/corporate/notices/coronavirus.html

Further information on resources for Canadian businesses from the federal government is available here:
https://www.canada.ca/en/services/business/maintaingrowimprovebusiness/resources-for-canadian-businesses.html

Read the Premier’s announcement on job protection for workers during the COVID-19 situation here:
https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/03/premier-ford-announces-job-protection-for-workers-during-the-covid-19-situation.html

Residential Tenants

Toronto City Council has voted in favour of a temporary bylaw requiring masks or face coverings in common areas in apartments and condominiums to protect the health and safety of our communities by reducing the spread of COVID-19.

The new bylaw, recommended by the Medical Officer of Health and City Solicitor, will require building owners or operators to have a policy to ensure masks or face coverings are worn by individuals in the enclosed common spaces, such as lobbies, elevators and laundry rooms, and post corresponding signage. The bylaw comes into effect on Wednesday, August 5.

Like the City’s existing mask or face covering bylaw, the recommendation includes exemptions for individuals who are unable to wear a mask or face covering for medical reasons, children under two years old, and other reasonable accommodations.

Toronto Public Health has created guidance documents for commercial and residential buildings.

On June 29th City Council adopted new health and safety rules for apartment building owners and operators to follow during the COVID-19 pandemic.  More information is available on the RentSafeTO for Building Owners webpage. If you have health and safety concerns, talk to your landlord or building manager first and submit a service request. If you get no action from your landlord and problems persist, contact 311 for the RentSafeTO team.

COVID-19 Assessment Centre

There is a COVID-19 Assessment Centre located at 825 Coxwell Ave – the entrance is off of Mortimer Avenue, west of the Michael Garron Hospital Emergency Department. This location provides screening, assessment and testing for individuals in East Toronto who are experiencing possible symptoms of COVID-19.

The Assessment Centre is not open for walk-in visits at this time. Please call ahead to book an appointment: 416-469-6858. Patients who do not have symptoms should not visit the COVID-19 Assessment Centre.

Toronto Public Health Hotline

People are encouraged to check https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/ for resources and information. If you need further assistance, you can call the Toronto Public Health Hotline at 416-338-7600 which is open Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 8 pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm. They are receiving a very high volume of calls, so please only call if you cannot find the information on the website.

Telehealth Ontario

Please only call if you require medical advice as Telehealth Ontario is experiencing a high volume of calls. The phone number is at 1-866-797-0000. A Registered Nurse will take your call and they are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Travel

An official global travel advisory is in effect: Avoid non-essential travel outside Canada until further notice. Please visit the Government of Canada’s website for further information and updates:
https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/latest-travel-health-advice.html

Prevention Measures

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 15 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are ill
  • Stay home when you are ill
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then immediately throw the tissue in the garbage and wash your hands
  • If you don’t have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your sleeve or arm
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
  • Avoid shaking hands – try an “elbow bump” instead

COVIDhelpTO

Social Planning Toronto released the CovidHelpTO website to help front-line workers navigate the financial and housing support programs announced over the past couple of months.

The pace of change has been overwhelming, and there’s been a lot of confusion around the details of these programs. CovidHelpTO was designed to help you answer your clients’ most basic questions around financial and housing supports — such as eligibility requirements for the CERB, what help is available for people having trouble paying their rent, support for those who’ve recently exhausted EI benefits, and more.

Watch for translations into 10 languages, which will be added over the next week: Simplified Chinese, Tamil, Spanish, Farsi, Urdu, Korean, Bengali, Arabic, Somali, and French.

Home

Legal Information 

People looking for legal information on the numerous questions arising from the COVID-19 situation can find them on a special section of Community Legal Education Ontario’s (CLEO) Steps to Justice website at https://stepstojustice.ca/covid-19. The site, updated on a daily basis, gives answers to more than 50 legal questions, including questions about emergency benefits assistance, Employment Insurance, getting evicted for non-payment of rent, and what to do about a family law matter in the midst of the closure of the courts.

COVID-19 legal questions?