I want to ensure you are receiving up to date information about the COVID-19 situation, current restrictions and the vaccine rollout. I send out a weekly e-newsletter and other important updates – please sign up for my email list if you are not already on it.
Please check https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/ for the latest information, resources and facts.
Please check the Changes to City Services webpage for updates on services and programs:
Councillor Fletcher’s Recent Email Updates
Residents who need to access, or are seeking information on, social and community supports and services, should call 211 for non-emergency requests and information. 211 is a 24/7 help line and web service that connects residents to social and community services. 211 is working closely with community agencies to ensure they are continually updating their database with the most up-to-date programming and resource information.
Province's Plan to Safely Reopen
The provincial government moved Ontario into Step 3 of its Three-Step Roadmap to Safely Reopen on July 16, 2021. The Province will gradually lift restrictions based on the province-wide vaccination rate and improvements in key public health indicators. We are currently still in Step 3.
The Roadmap to Reopen outlines three steps to easing public health measures. The province will remain in each step for at least 21 days to evaluate any impacts on key public health and health system indicators. If at the end of the 21 days the following vaccination thresholds have been met, along with positive trends in other key public health and health system indicators, then Ontario will move to the next step:
- Step 1: 60 per cent of adults vaccinated with one dose.
- Step 2: 70 per cent of adults vaccinated with one dose and 20 per cent vaccinated with two doses.
- Step 3: 70 to 80 per cent of adults vaccinated with one dose and 25 per cent vaccinated with two doses.
Check the Province's website for more information:
Check the City's COVID-19: Reopening Guide for Toronto Residents for more information on the dos and don'ts under Step 2: https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-reopening-recovery-rebuild/covid-19-guide-for-toronto-residents/
Mandatory Masks and Face Coverings
City Council voted unanimously in favour of requiring masks or face coverings in all enclosed public places to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
Effective July 2, 2020, masks or face coverings are mandatory when travelling on the TTC. Learn more here: http://www.ttc.ca/COVID-19/Masks.jsp
A growing body of scientific evidence suggests the use of masks and face coverings is an inexpensive, acceptable, and non-invasive measure to help control the spread of COVID-19. People may unknowingly pass the infection to others because they do not have symptoms (asymptomatic) or have not yet developed symptoms (pre-symptomatic). The highest risk for infection is with prolonged close contact.
The new bylaw will require businesses to adopt a policy to ensure masks or face coverings are worn in indoor public spaces under their control. The new bylaw will apply to all indoor spaces that are openly accessible to the public, including grocery stores, community centres, libraries, etc.
Physical distancing means limiting close contact with others. When outside of your home, practise physical distancing by staying two metres (six feet) away from others outside your household to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Learn more online here:
he TTC is continuing to implement measures to keep customers and employees safe, such as:
- Implementing demand-responsive bus service in addition to scheduled service
- Enhancing station management and passenger traffic flow with additional COVID-19 Customer Service Ambassadors and floor decals
- Continuing to distribute free masks across the system and in targeted distribution campaigns
- Continuing enhanced cleaning and disinfection of all public places, stations and vehicles with a focus on touch and grab points
- Making hand sanitizer available in every station at bus bays and on every streetcar and Wheel-Trans vehicle
Click here to check the TTC’s website for further details and updates.
Groups Offering Assistance
I’ve been reaching out to community members and wanted to share with you the groups I’ve heard about who are offering assistance. They are connecting volunteers with people who need help with tasks such as getting groceries, walking their dog or picking up medication.
Friendly Neighbour Hotline for low-income seniors
Open Monday to Friday from 9 am to 5 pm
The Pocket Community Association (for those who live in this neighbourhood)
Food Hamper Delivery Service
The City is working with the Red Cross and other partners to provide food hamper delivery to seniors and others in need who are unable to leave their homes. With support from United Way of Greater Toronto, this service is made available for qualifying seniors and others that are in self-isolation who do not have alternative access to food (through family, friends, availability of food delivery services) and are currently not receiving such assistance from another community food program. Call 1-833-204-9952 for eligibility and registration information.
You can also call 211 for more information on programs and services.
In 2020 Toronto City Council voted in favour of a temporary bylaw requiring masks or face coverings in common areas in apartments and condominiums to protect the health and safety of our communities by reducing the spread of COVID-19.
This bylaw, recommended by the Medical Officer of Health and City Solicitor, will require building owners or operators to have a policy to ensure masks or face coverings are worn by individuals in the enclosed common spaces, such as lobbies, elevators and laundry rooms, and post corresponding signage. The bylaw came into effect on August 5, 2020.
Like the City’s existing mask or face covering bylaw, the recommendation includes exemptions for individuals who are unable to wear a mask or face covering for medical reasons, children under two years old, and other reasonable accommodations.
On June 29, 2020, City Council adopted new health and safety rules for apartment building owners and operators to follow during the COVID-19 pandemic. More information is available on the RentSafeTO for Building Owners webpage. If you have health and safety concerns, talk to your landlord or building manager first and submit a service request. If you get no action from your landlord and problems persist, contact 311 for the RentSafeTO team.
COVID-19 Assessment Centre
There is a COVID-19 Assessment Centre at Michael Garron Hospital (825 Coxwell Ave). It provides screening, assessment and testing for individuals in East Toronto. Please ensure you follow public health safety measures while waiting for your COVID-19 test, including physical distancing and wearing a mask or face covering.
As directed by provincial guidelines, assessment centres are no longer accepting walk-in assessments as of October 4, 2020. Appointments can be booked online using the online booking tool.
Visit https://www.tehn.ca/programs-services/covid-19-assessment-centre for more information.
East Toronto Health Partners (ETHP) opened temporary COVID-19 testing sites in the East End in to improve access to testing for community members.
The temporary testing sites offer drop-in and same-day appointments for local residents. The sites are run by a number of community, primary care, hospital and social services organizations in East Toronto working together to provide an integrated system of care across their communities.
Toronto Public Health Hotline
People are encouraged to check https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/ for resources and information. If you need further assistance, you can call the Toronto Public Health Hotline at 416-338-7600 which is open Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 8 pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm. They are receiving a very high volume of calls, so please only call if you cannot find the information on the website.
Please only call if you require medical advice as Telehealth Ontario is experiencing a high volume of calls. The phone number is at 1-866-797-0000. A Registered Nurse will take your call and they are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
An official global travel advisory is in effect: Avoid non-essential travel outside Canada until further notice. Please visit the Government of Canada’s website for further information and updates:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 15 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid close contact with people who are ill
- Stay home when you are ill
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then immediately throw the tissue in the garbage and wash your hands
- If you don’t have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your sleeve or arm
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
- Avoid shaking hands – try an “elbow bump” instead
Social Planning Toronto released the CovidHelpTO website to help front-line workers navigate the financial and housing support programs announced over the past couple of months.
The pace of change has been overwhelming, and there’s been a lot of confusion around the details of these programs. CovidHelpTO was designed to help you answer your clients’ most basic questions around financial and housing supports — such as eligibility requirements for the CERB, what help is available for people having trouble paying their rent, support for those who’ve recently exhausted EI benefits, and more.
Watch for translations into 10 languages, which will be added over the next week: Simplified Chinese, Tamil, Spanish, Farsi, Urdu, Korean, Bengali, Arabic, Somali, and French.
People looking for legal information on the numerous questions arising from the COVID-19 situation can find them on a special section of Community Legal Education Ontario’s (CLEO) Steps to Justice website at https://stepstojustice.ca/covid-19. The site, updated on a daily basis, gives answers to more than 50 legal questions, including questions about emergency benefits assistance, Employment Insurance, getting evicted for non-payment of rent, and what to do about a family law matter in the midst of the closure of the courts.