Toronto cancels city-led special events until September 30, as city sees 40 new COVID-19 cases per day

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Toronto has canceled all major outdoor special events led by the city until the end of September, while the city continues to see about 40 new COVID-19 cases a day, officials said on Monday.Events that have been canceled include festivals and other large gatherings organized by the city or that receive city permits, said Mayor John Tory at a press conference at City Hall.

The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, scheduled for Sunday October 18, has also been canceled, but a virtual race will take place from October 1 to October 31.

And Nuit Blanche, a free contemporary art event all night long, will be online on October 3.

“To continue progress in reducing the spread of COVID-19, the city is extending the cancellation of outdoor special events directed and authorized by the city until September 30,” the city said in a statement. press Monday.

“All permits for special outdoor events until September 30 are canceled, as well as the permit for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on October 18. ”

The Toronto International Film Festival, meanwhile, will announce what it plans to do this year, said Tory.

The mayor said the city must make decisions based on the advice of public health officials.

Tory said the ban includes events held at city-run outdoor venues, but does not include permits for outdoor sports facilities and activities authorized by the parks, forestry and recreation division. city ​​that are authorized in step 2 of the province’s reopening plan.

This also does not apply to professional sporting events.

Runners at the start line of the 2019 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on Sunday, October 20, 2019. The event is canceled this year, but the organizers will organize a virtual race instead. (Christopher Katsarov / Canadian Press)

As for Nuit Blanche this year, it will not hold “large-scale events in person” to reduce the spread of COVID-19, the city said.

“Instead, Nuit Blanche will engage its broad audience through an enhanced digital experience, including new public archives of works presented at Nuit Blanche Toronto in the past, an expanded series of Nuit Talks, podcasts and dialogues in live, and online special events on October 3, “said the city.

Previously, to slow the spread of COVID-19, the city had canceled all the festivals and events organized by the city and authorized by the city, with a participation of more than 250 people until July 31 and those with an attendance of 25,000 people or more until August 31.

City Launches DriveInTO Entertainment Experiences

To help compensate for the loss of large-scale cultural events in Toronto, the city launched DriveInTO, a program that will offer “temporary car entertainment experiences” across the city this summer.

Tory said the programming will include movies, concerts and sports programming.

A view of Starlite Drive-in Stoney Creek, Ont. To help compensate for the loss of large-scale cultural events in Toronto, the city is launching DriveInTO, a program that will offer “temporary car entertainment experiences” this summer. (Starlite / Facebook)

Residents will be able to participate in the following places:

  • Ontario Place, which will present screenings. Free DriveInTO parties will include Hot Docs, imagineNATIVE and TIFF programming.
  • CityView Drive-In at 20 Polson Pier, which will offer concerts, screenings and shows. Free DriveInTO evenings will include programming from the Inside Out LGBTQ festival, the Reel Asian Film Festival, the Reelworld Film Festival and the Regent Park Film Festival.
  • Friday Night Lights at Downsview Park, presented by the Canada Lands Company and MADE, which will feature free movies made in Canada.
  • CF movie night at CF Sherway Gardens.

The mayor said the city has partnered with local film festivals to offer free programming to the public at Ontario Place and CityView Drive-In at 20 Polson Pier.

To assist event organizers in designing and producing these events, Toronto Public Health has created a COVID-19 guidance document for driving and driving entertainment.

Each DriveInTO location will be independently produced, programmed and labeled, said Tory.

City sees fewer people hospitalized due to COVID-19

City medical officer of health Dr. Eileen de Villa has reported 120 new COVID-19 infections in Toronto in the past three days. This means that the city now has a cumulative total of 14,897 cases.

A total of 1,120 people died from COVID-19 in Toronto, while 13,148 have recovered, an increase of 120 since Friday.

There are 151 people in the hospital, including 31 in the intensive care units and 26 intubated.

In late May, a nurse cares for a patient in the intensive care unit at North York General Hospital in Toronto. The patient is suspected of having COVID-19. (Evan Mitsui / CBC)

“Overall, we continue to see fewer people diagnosed and hospitalized with COVID-19 in our city,” de Villa told reporters.

“At this point in our epidemic, we see about 40 new confirmed cases and fewer than two people hospitalized every day because of this virus. In addition, the number of new active outbreaks continues to decrease. ”

De Villa said there were 108 active COVID19 outbreaks at the top of the city in May, but today there are only 13 active outbreaks.

Toronto Public Health is preparing guidance materials to assist residents and businesses when the city moves to Stage 3 of the province’s reopening plan, but de Villa said the city must continue to be vigilant.

She said TPH is closely monitoring other Canadian and American cities that have reopened, and notes that some are now reporting “sudden and alarming” spikes or increases in the number of infections.

“I fear that we will no longer see transmission of COVID-19 in our city if we are not careful,” said de Villa.

“This virus continues to spread in our community and as more people mix, unless we are vigilant, we will see more COVID-19 activity as we relax our public health measures . “

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