To help protect public health and reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, today Toronto City Council approved a recommendation from Toronto Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa to extend the City of Toronto’s temporary COVID-19 bylaws until the end of Council’s September 30 and October 1 meeting. The bylaws were originally set to expire today.
While vaccination levels continue to rise, with more than 72.3 per cent of the city's adult population having now received their first dose and more than 10 per cent having received their second dose, the impact of COVID-19 continues in Toronto with variants of concern increasing both the risk of transmission and serious illness or death.
COVID-19 is spread from an infected person to a close contact by direct contact or when respiratory droplets from the infected person enter the eyes, nose or mouth of another person. Extending the City’s COVID-19 bylaws will help mitigate the risk of virus transmission through proven public health measures including physical distancing and wearing a mask or face covering.
The bylaws to be extended are:
- Bylaws 322-2020 and 323-2020, which regulate physical distancing in City parks and public squares
- Bylaw 541-2020, that requires people wear masks or face coverings in common areas of businesses, apartments and condominiums
- Chapter 354, Apartment Buildings, which regulates apartment building standards, and includes temporary amendments such as the need for mandatory hand hygiene stations and public health signage, increased cleaning protocols and the closure of non-essential common areas
- Chapter 545, Licensing, specifically temporary amendments that require food and drink establishments to implement measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 (i.e. through signage, capacity and table limits, etc.) and maintain customer logs
Council also approved the recommendation that the Medical Officer of Health continue to conduct a monthly assessment, informed by data that tracks the spread and impacts of COVID-19, and report back to Council should the bylaws need to end, be extending or amended further before the new expiry date.
A link to the report on extending bylaws adopted today, with more details on the applicable bylaws is available online: www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2021/cc/bgrd/backgroundfile-167457.pdf.
City is in the process of updating the COVID-19: Guide for Toronto Residents with what will and will not be permitted as of this Friday, when Toronto enters Step One of the Province of Ontario’s Roadmap to Reopen: https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-reopening-recovery-rebuild/covid-19-guide-for-toronto-residents/. Residents are encouraged to check back often to ensure they are following the most up-to-date public health guidance, provincial regulations and City bylaws.
“We have come a long way in our fight against COVID-19 and we want to make sure our case numbers continue to go in the right direction so that we can proceed with a safe and cautious reopening. As we start to gradually reopen thanks to increasing vaccination numbers, we need to remain vigilant to protect our community. I ask everyone to continue following public health guidance, provincial regulations and the extended bylaws while we continue to work towards vaccinating as many people in the city as possible.”
– Mayor John Tory
“We continue to use the data to inform our decisions and today’s step is no different. COVID-19 numbers are decreasing, but it remains a significant concern and we need to continue our efforts to reduce and limit virus spread.”
– Dr. de Villa, Medical Officer of Health