City of Toronto and Toronto Public Health working to support the province's safe reopening of schools

The City of Toronto continues to respond to COVID-19. Today, Mayor John Tory and Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa provided an update on the City’s measures to combat the virus and the Province of Ontario’s announcement that Toronto students will return to in-person learning on February 16.

Since the start of the pandemic there have now been a total of 87,969 cases of COVID-19 in the city, an increase of 444 new cases today. There are 352 people hospitalized. To date, there have been 2,430 COVID-19 deaths in Toronto. Toronto Public Health continues to migrate to the provincial information system for case and contact management, the central repository for COVID-19 data in Ontario. Data reporting has been affected as a result of the ongoing migration and impacts to reporting may continue in the coming days. The project is expected to be completed by next week with a corresponding return to full reporting. Case status data can be found on the City’s reporting platform:

Toronto City Council approves the extension of the City's mask bylaw

Today, Toronto City Council approved the extension of the City of Toronto's temporary mask bylaws until the end of City Council’s June 8 and 9, 2021 meeting. The Mandatory Mask By-law 541-2020, as amended by By-law 664-2020, were both extended, as these bylaws were set to expire at the end of the February 2 and 3, 2021 City Council meetings.

Wearing a mask as part of physical distancing and other public health measures can reduce the spread of COVID-19. Masks should always be worn when physical distancing is difficult. To continue to protect the health and safety of our communities by reducing the spread of COVID-19, By-law 541-2020 requires everyone to wear masks or face coverings in all indoor public settings such as businesses, and By-law 664-2020 requires mask wearing in common areas in multi-residential buildings such as apartments and condominiums. These bylaws will now be in place until 12:01 a.m. on the first day after the City Council meeting currently scheduled for June 8 and 9, 2021.

Toronto’s East Chinatown to welcome Year of the Ox with virtual celebrations

February 3, 2021 By Jayson Dimaano, Beach Metro News

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many major events were cancelled last year, and that is also the trend so far for 2021.

Last year at this time the East Toronto community was preparing for Lunar New Year celebrations.

However, many of the large gathering had to be cancelled at the last moment as the virus began to spread in Canada and the dangers of COVID-19 became apparent..

'1234-ABCDEF': Enforcement gap may be behind hundreds of bogus short-term rental licences

February 1, 2021 Jon Woodward, Videojournalist, CTV News Toronto

TORONTO -- A sweeping crackdown by short-term rental platform Airbnb has reduced the number of listings that don’t appear to be in compliance with new City of Toronto rules by the thousands – and a gap in enforcement may explain the hundreds that apparently remain.

An estimated 1,500 Toronto short-term rental listings still display licence codes that don’t match ones given out by city staff – including one code, “STR-1234-ABCDEF,” that Airbnb has now taken direct action against after a CTV News investigation.

City of Toronto unveils the Black Community COVID-19 Response Plan

Today, Mayor John Tory unveiled the City of Toronto’s Black Community COVID-19 Response Plan developed in December 2020 to provide enhanced support for Black Torontonians. The plan was developed as part of the TO Supports: Targeted Equity Action Plan and in response to data released in late 2020 that revealed the highest rates of COVID-19 cases in Toronto (26 per cent) and vaccine hesitancy experienced by Canadians (about 30 per cent) were among Black people of African and Caribbean descent.

City Council unanimously approves community safety and crisis response pilots

Toronto City Council has unanimously approved four community safety and crisis support service pilots that will test a new, non-police led approach to non-emergency, non-violent calls, including those involving persons in crisis and for wellness checks.

The pilots respond to Council's direction to staff in June 2020 for changes to policing in Toronto and for the City Manager to develop a non-police led, alternative community safety response model for calls involving Toronto residents in crisis. See:

City of Toronto proclaims February as Black History Month

Today, Mayor John Tory proclaimed February as Black History Month in Toronto, recognizing the history, heritage and contributions of African-Canadians in the city.

Residents are encouraged to take part in the programs the City of Toronto has planned, in addition to any virtual community-based programs and events that are taking place. To comply with current orders and regulations to help stop the spread of COVID-19, recognition and celebratory programs and events will be held virtually this year.

BRAUN: How many pot shops is too many?

January 31, 2021 By Liz Braun, Toronto Sun

While we’ve been in our COVID lockdown, things evolved in the world of legal pot.

Gone is the cannabis lottery. The rules have changed.

And the stores are multiplying.

Toronto grew from five pot shops to 40 in the first six months of 2020. According to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, there are 1,300 pot shop applications and 269 shops had opened in the province as of Jan. 15.

City of Toronto prioritizes health and safety measures across service areas to protect residents, staff and communities from COVID-19 and variants

The City of Toronto continues to respond to COVID-19 and is proactively taking steps to address COVID-19 variants, including the U.K variant. Toronto Public Health (TPH) continues to work with congregate settings, facilities and City divisions to increase infection prevention and control measures (IPAC) to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and any variant strains.

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