Toronto offers tougher security measures as city prepares for Stage 3, second wave of coronavirus

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In a report submitted to city council on Tuesday, Toronto’s medical officer of health Dr. Eileen de Villa recommends several improved public health safety measures when the province passes Toronto through Stage 3 of the reopening and in the event of a second wave . of COVID-19.During a press conference, Mayor John Tory supported the report and many recommendations, including greater interior capacity and table size limits, mandatory staff selection, customers remaining seated in at all times – except for going to or returning from the washroom or paying – and that facilities are required to record client contact information and provide this information to Toronto Public Health as needed for contact tracing.

“We need to do everything we can to stop the spread of COVID-19 now, as we move to Stage 3, and in the event of a second wave,” Tory said. “The measures proposed today put us in a better position to respond quickly and safely to whatever is to follow.”

The report also recommends a stronger push for mobile COVID-19 testing in neighborhoods where data shows a high incidence of the virus, including northwest Toronto, and for demographic groups suspected of being at higher risk. high due to social determinants of health, including occupation.

“I welcome these recommendations from our medical officer of health and encourage city council to adopt them,” Toronto Board of Health Chairman Joe Cressy said in a statement. “The threat of COVID-19 has not gone away. It is essential that we continue to listen to public health experts, as we have done throughout our response to the pandemic. We cannot let our guard down.

The changes don’t stop at restaurants, as there is also a recommendation for the creation of an interim rule requiring that masks or coverings be worn in common areas of apartment and condominium buildings.

“While we can’t keep businesses closed forever, being prepared and proactive with responsible public health measures will go a long way in keeping customers and staff safe and in reducing the spread of the virus,” Cressy said. “Likewise, we need to make sure that people are protected in common areas of residential buildings and that physical distance is maintained in our parks and public spaces.”

According to the city, the recommendations echo a letter Tory sent to the provincial government earlier in the month, calling for enhanced public health-recommended measures to be implemented as part of the provincial Stage 3 ordinance. applied in Toronto.

“As the province of Ontario considers implementing these measures, the council is in a position to take measures that can complement any future action by the province,” the city said.

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