City of Toronto supports province-wide Shutdown as COVID-19 cases increase

The City of Toronto continues to respond to COVID-19. Today, the Province of Ontario announced the entire province will move into the Shutdown Zone under the provincial COVID-19 response framework at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, April 3.

Toronto has been in the Grey Zone since March 8, with some modifications made to ease restrictions. As of Saturday morning, Toronto will join the rest of Ontario in the Shutdown Zone. In Shutdown, fitness classes and training, personal care services and indoor and outdoor dining are not permitted. Indoor social gatherings are prohibited, and outdoor social gatherings are limited to five or fewer people, with very limited exceptions. All persons attending any kind of permitted gathering must maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from any other person they do not live with.

Unlike the version of the Shutdown Zone that Toronto was in earlier this year, the Province has now amended the regulation to allow non-essential retail to remain open for in-person shopping with reduced capacity limits. According to the Province’s announcement, Toronto will remain in the Shutdown Zone for 28 days. For more information on the provincial Shutdown Zone, consult the regulations under the Reopening Ontario Act: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/200082.

As the rollout of mass vaccination in the city continues, Toronto Public Health has updated the online COVID-19 dashboard to now include information on vaccine delivery by age group. This information includes the number of residents per age group, and the total per cent of each population, who have received at least one dose of vaccine and of those who are fully vaccinated. Vaccine information on the dashboard will be updated on Mondays and Thursdays and is based on the most current 2021 population data.

Since the start of the pandemic there have been a total of 113,609 cases of COVID-19 in the city, an increase of 777 new cases today. There are 326 people hospitalized. To date, there have been 2,799 COVID-19 deaths in Toronto. In total, 103,272 people have recovered. Case status data can be found on the Toronto Public Health’s reporting dashboard: www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-latest-city-of-toronto-news/covid-19-status-of-cases-in-toronto/.

As the long weekend approaches and many families prepare to celebrate Easter, the City is urging all people to socialize and celebrate in-person with members of their own household only. Variants of concern continue to circulate in Toronto communities and the best way to keep your out-of-household loved ones safe is to celebrate virtually or by phone.

Following today’s Shutdown Zone announcement, the City is updating the online COVID-19 Guide for Toronto Residents with recommended and mandatory public health measures under provincial regulations and City bylaws: https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-reopening-recovery-rebuild/covid-19-guide-for-toronto-residents-grey/.

Quotes:

“I support the measures that the Government of Ontario announced today because they will help to save lives and they will, if we all do our part, allow us to get through this wave, to get more people vaccinated and to get back to the careful reopening path we were on. This is province-wide action – that scope is needed in order to have an impact. I know everyone is tired and everyone is frustrated but we cannot give up this fight. We cannot just let the third wave crash over us and react with a shrug of the shoulders. I believe we can get through this month, we can beat back this virus and we can still have a summer in our city.”

- Mayor John Tory

“I know this is not easy. It has been a long year and everyone wants to be done with this pandemic. But, COVID-19 is not done with us. Right now, we must all do everything we can to limit the spread of COVID-19 variants and stop this third wave. That means keeping our distance. It means booking your vaccination appointment if you are eligible, or helping your loved ones to do so. It means treating this third wave with the urgency it requires. All of us – governments and individuals – have a role to play. Together, we can do this.”

- Councillor Joe Cressy, Chair of the Board of Health

“Twice a week, I brief the media and Toronto residents about what we are seeing in regards to COVID-19. I report cases, including variants of concern and deaths. Each of those case statistics that I report is a person, embedded in a family, a friend to someone, a member of a community. When we speak about restrictions, we often focus on what we are giving up, and understandably so. Restrictions affect us personally and collectively. Restrictions also protect us, personally and collectively. This is a health measure, a life-saving measure, meant to protect you, your family, your friends and all of us as a community.”

- Dr. Eileen de Villa, Medical Officer of Health

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