Toronto announces tougher measures in 12-week plan to stop the spread of COVID-19

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Mayor John Tory said Toronto officials “lock up the city as much as any municipal government” while announcing measures to protect residents in a 12-week plan to fight COVID-19 released on Wednesday.

These measures may not last the full 12 weeks, Tory said at a press conference, but residents should assume they will.

“The numbers are currently going in the wrong direction in Toronto,” said Tory.

The city says the following measures are now in place for up to 12 weeks:

  • All people with COVID-19 should stay at home for 14 days.
  • Everyone who has had close contact with someone who has COVID-19 should also stay home for 14 days.
  • Anyone who is not sick or has not traveled is strongly advised to stay at home, except for access to health care or medication, shopping once a week, walking dogs and exercising all the days while maintaining a physical distance of at least two meters.
  • People returning from international travel must stay at home under a federal ordinance.
  • Anyone over the age of 70, as the province announced this week, is strongly encouraged to stay at home as much as possible.
  • Only essential businesses should remain open, and these businesses should maximize physical distance and infection prevention and control practices, and limit in-person access to these businesses as much as possible.
  • Increased cleaning and active employee screening in all companies.

There are enforcement measures that the city can use in this case, said Dr. Eileen de Villa, the city’s medical officer of health.

“I hope we don’t have to go,” she said.

WATCH: Dr. Eileen de Villa talks about COVID-19 cases in the city

According to Dr. Eileen de Villa, COVID-19 cases have increased by 500% in Toronto in the past few weeks. 1:35

Tory said he had drafted regulations to enforce social distancing limits that would apply to any property in the city.

“If we need to use it … then it will be done,” he said.

De Villa said that on March 18, there were 145 cases of COVID-19 in Toronto, with 10 people hospitalized and four people in intensive care.

As of April 1, Toronto had 653 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 75 in hospital and 35 in intensive care. The city has reported 19 deaths. There are also 165 other probable cases.

Referring to a total of 763 cases the day before, De Villa said that this equates to a 500% increase in the number of cases over a two-week period.

“This is not a favorable trajectory,” said de Villa. “I am deeply concerned. “

The city says the economic loss to Toronto’s retail sector is estimated at $ 291 million in the past two weeks alone.

Tory said he knew everyone in Toronto wanted to get back to the current situation.

“To get to these better days, it will depend on our collective response as a city. “

Toronto is not the only municipality to step up legal action on Wednesday to stop the spread of COVID-19.

The neighboring city of Brampton has passed a by-law that prohibits people from standing within two meters of each other on public property, except people with whom they live, with penalties of up to 100 $ 000.

Meanwhile, the province has announced that those accused of breaching the state of emergency, such as running non-core businesses and meeting in groups of more than five, will need to identify themselves to the police. or enforcement officers.

Failure to comply will result in a fine of $ 750 and preventing an agent from issuing a ticket will result in a fine of $ 1,000.

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