Toronto to step up aid for high-risk areas as second COVID-19 lockdown begins

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PUBLICITY

Toronto will modernize city buses to provide mobile testing in the northeast and northwest parts of the city, where the incidence of the disease is higher, Mayor John Tory said Monday.

Toronto will increase support for residents of parts of the city bearing a greater burden from the COVID-19 outbreak, Mayor John Tory said Monday.

“We have to fight this virus everywhere and we have to stop it everywhere,” Tory said, speaking during the city hall’s COVID-19 update.

He said the city will modernize city buses to provide mobile testing in the northeast and northwest parts of the city, where the incidence of the disease is higher, and use city vehicles to transport people to and from provincial test sites.

The city will also conduct expanded education and outreach, partnering with 11 community organizations to help residents in the regions access testing, access the city’s isolation facility, and access income and sick leave. existing.

The city has asked the provincial and federal governments for financial help, but Tory said he believes the other two levels of government will pass and the programs will be implemented immediately.

In addition, the city has called on the federal and provincial governments to grant paid sick leave to those without access, to reinstate a moratorium on evictions from rental housing and to extend income support to newcomers. newcomers to Canada who are not. currently eligible for emergency income assistance.

Monday marked the first day of Toronto’s second lockdown, after a second wave of the rapidly growing virus threatened to flood the healthcare system. The Region of Peel also reinstated the lockdown on Monday.

The personal care industry was closed again, including hair and nail salons; restaurants can no longer serve customers indoors or on patios and can only serve take-out; retailers can only provide curbside pickup. Public swimming pools and gymnasiums have been closed and recreation programs suspended.

Primary and secondary schools and day care centers remain open.

The second lockout will last 28 days, which would see restrictions lifted on December 21 if the numbers improve, but Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said a normal Christmas was “out of the question.”

Dr Eileen de Villa, the city’s medical officer of health, reported 331 new cases of COVID-19 in the city, noting that there have been 2,177 new cases since Wednesday, November 18.

Of all the COVID-19 cases reported since the start of the epidemic, 45% have been since October 1, she added.

York Regional Municipality’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr Karim Kurji, issued a class order under section 22 of the Provincial Health Protection and Promotion Act on Sunday, restricting events to special places , including banquet halls, conference rooms of hotels and convention centers, to no more than 50 people.

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It has also commissioned malls and stores to set maximum capacities for shoppers, and actively monitor and manage capacity, including queues.

“There is growing evidence that safe and prescribed physical distance rules and protocols are not followed in meeting and event spaces, malls and retail stores,” according to the press release. from York Region.

Failure to comply will now be punishable by a fine, on conviction, of up to $ 5,000 for one person and $ 25,000 for a corporation, per day.

Francine Kopun
Francine Kopun is a Toronto-based reporter who covers City Hall and municipal politics for The Star. Follow her on Twitter: @Noir

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