** This below article has been updated with the more recent update from Jaye Robinson **
Please see link: here.
Dear Friends and Neighbours,
After the barrage of news over the past week, I am writing to provide some clarity on the most recent updates regarding the measures enacted in Toronto to contain the spread of COVID-19.
This morning, the Government of Ontario declared a State of Emergency under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. As a result of this declaration and its associated orders, the following establishments are legally required to close immediately in the Province of Ontario:
• All facilities providing indoor recreational programs and public libraries;
• All private schools and licensed child care centres;
• All bars and restaurants – note that the option to take-away food remains available;
• All theatres, cinemas, and concert venues.
These measures follow last week’s announcement that all public schools in Ontario will be closed until April 5, 2020. Gatherings of over 50 people are also prohibited at this time.
Today, Mayor John Tory announced that City Hall, Metro Hall, and all civic centres will be closed to the public as of Wednesday, March 18, 2020. All non-essential staff have been asked to work from home.
At this time, many non-essential services have been suspended, facilities closed, and most City-operated programs cancelled. For a full list of affected services, please visit: https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/affected-city-services.
Essential and emergency services, as well as garbage collection, water treatment, TTC, and road maintenance operations remain unaffected and will continue to operate uninterrupted.
Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Eileen De Villa, recommends that Torontonians stay at home as much as possible and continue to practice social distancing.
All travellers returning to Canada are required to self-isolate for 14 days. At present, the Federal Government is recommending that Canadians abroad return home as soon as possible.
Please note that updates provided by the City’s Emergency Operations Centre will be televised daily, at 3:45 p.m. For resources, information and advice related to COVID-19 in Toronto, please visit: https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19. For more information on the Government of Ontario’s response to COVID-19, please visit: https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus.
For more information on the Government of Canada’s response to COVID-19, including travel advisories, national updates, and federal financial support, please visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html.
In the coming days and weeks, we will continue to follow the professional advice of our Toronto Public Health team and the guidance of our Federal and Provincial counterparts.
Our team continues to be available to serve you by phone and email, in accordance with recommendations from our Medical Officer of Health. Please do not hesitate to contact our office at 416-395-6408 or .
In these times of uncertainty, it is heartening to see the residents of our City supporting our most vulnerable community members. I know Torontonians will continue to rally together in the face of adversity to meet the challenges before us in the coming weeks.
Warm regards, Jaye Robinson.
[Contains relevant updates up to the evening of March 17, 2020] ■
If you, or someone you know, is experiencing symptoms of the 2019 novel coronavirus, please contact Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 or your local public health unit. Before calling, it is recommended that you first use the Government of Ontario’s online self-assessment tool at https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19-self-assessment. Public Health has asked Toronto residents to avoid visiting an assessment centre unless they have symptoms.