City of Toronto bylaws officers are in force this weekend to apply physical distance measures in parks and green spaces, as COVID-19 cases in the city have exceeded 1,000.
In a press release issued on Saturday, the Toronto Public Health Unit (TPH) reported another 101 cases of COVID-19, bringing the city’s total to 1,026.
Twelve other deaths have been recorded in the city, said TPH. The death toll is now 25 dead.
TPH said 125 of the cases were in the hospital and 53 in the intensive care unit. During this time, 66 people recovered. Community transmission is the cause in 27% of cases.
As a result, agents of municipal by-laws are stepping up their application of the measures established by public health officials, particularly in city parks.
The law enforcement blitz comes a day after the city announced new physical distance regulations to help stop the spread of the virus. It prohibits people who do not live together from being less than two meters apart in city squares and parks.
The fine for violation of the regulations was set at $ 1,000. Earlier in the week, the province banned non-essential gatherings of more than five people.
Toronto Mayor John Tory said that if everyone makes a sacrifice and follows the rules, the faster the virus is defeated, which restores normal life in the city.
“The last thing you would want to do as mayor or whatever, is to close the playgrounds at a time when the kids are not in school and they must have a place to spend their energy,” a said Tory. “But the fact is, we couldn’t even be sure to tell people that this virus does not survive for a few hours on playground equipment.”
He also said that asymptomatic people could infect others without their knowledge.
Tory said he hopes the heavy fines will encourage people to stay two meters away from others. He said if you see a crowded park, run the other way.
“You know, that’s what people should do, is run the other way from these crowd scenes because that’s where this virus spreads not because someone gets walks around to broadcast it on purpose, but because a lot of people are wearing it right now and don’t know it, “he said.
He said he did not want the police or the by-law enforcement officers to issue a ticket throughout this weekend.
Starting at 1 p.m. Saturday, more than 100 vehicles were evicted from the Humber East and West Parks parking lot, the city said.
Despite public gathering restrictions, the city said 311 continues to receive complaints about non-core businesses that stay open and people who congregate in parks and green spaces.
The city said it has received 1,409 complaints to date about illegal behavior in the parks.
Meanwhile, the city said it had issued 34 notices of non-compliance with provincial ordinances.
Toronto police issued a total of 21 tickets to persons for non-compliance, two subpoenas to two companies, and nine notices of non-compliance.
Since March 24, TPH has visited 409 bars and restaurants identified as not complying with the restoration measures. Of these, 162 have been closed and 18 have received warning letters.
In addition, TPH visited 109 hair salons, hairdressers and other places of personal service. Four received warning letters and 105 were closed.