I think it's safe to say that most of us are relieved to leave 2020 in the past. It was a tumultuous year but I am hopeful that 2021 will bring positive changes. Although we are still very much living through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the rollout of vaccines is a welcome light at the end of the tunnel.
The City is making important progress in vaccinating staff and residents of City-operated long-term care homes. Last week, approximately 800 staff members and more than 20 essential caregivers began to be vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.
Starting December 31, the Moderna vaccine began to be administered to long-term care home residents. Within the first three days, almost 600 residents were vaccinated on-site at long term care homes across the City. Vaccination of more residents and staff continues this week.
The Ombudsman's Report on How the City of Toronto Handles Flood Claims was considered at the January 4 meeting of the General Government and Licensing Committee. I'd like to thank residents who made deputations at the meeting and spoke to their experiences with the City's flood claim process.
I moved a Motion on the Item to direct the City to look into whether residents who have experienced multiple basement flooding incidents between 2018-2020 could be provided with a one-time no-fault grant. This Item will go forward to a vote at the next City Council meeting. Back to Top
PollinateTO Community Grants
Grants of up to $5,000 are available to support the creation of pollinator gardens in Toronto. Gardens can be on private or public land, and must be visible to the public. A priority will be placed on funding projects in Toronto’s Neighbourhood Improvement Areas (NIAs). NIAs in York South-Weston are: Rustic, Keelesdale-Eglinton West, Rockcliffe-Smythe, Beechborough-Greenbrook, Weston, Mount Dennis.
Community groups, non-profit organizations, school groups and other resident-led groups are encouraged to apply by January 18, 2021. More information about the PollinateTO Community Grants is available at www.toronto.ca/PollinateTO Back to Top
Local Pop-Up COVID-19 Testing
COVID-19 testing is available at:
Jane Street Hub, 1541 Jane Street on:
Tuesdays: January 5, 12, 19, 26 from 3 - 7 PM
Saturdays:January 16, 30 from 11 AM - 3 PM
Bring your OHIP card or piece of ID or something with your name on it (passport, bill). If you have symptoms, or think you may have been in contact with someone with COVID-19, come get tested! Back to Top
City Releases New COVID-19 Workplace Outbreak Data
Toronto Public Health (TPH) has launched new content on its monitoring dashboard to illustrate how the pandemic is affecting workplace settings. TPH released the findings and trends from recently collected COVID-19 case data on current and historical workplace outbreaks, organized by business sector.
As of Jan 7, 2021 all workplace outbreaks will be published weekly in the following categories determined by Public Health Ontario and based on the North American Industry Classification System:
Bar, restaurant, nightclub and other entertainment venues
Event venues, and religious facilities
Non-institutional medical health services including doctor’s offices, physiotherapy clinics, dental settings and wellness clinics
Personal service settings including hair salons, tattoo parlours, nail salons and spas
Recreational fitness facilities, group fitness classes, team sports and related events
Retail settings including grocery stores, pharmacies and malls
Food processing plants
Offices, warehouses, shipping and distribution, construction, and manufacturing settings
Other workplaces and community settings not captured in these categories
TPH is disclosing workplace outbreak information where a public health risk exists when there is:
evidence of sustained transmission of COVID-19 in the workplace;
a significant proportion of staff have been involved in the outbreak;
significant duration of the outbreak and the approximate time for a positive case to generate a second and third positive case, or cases; and
the workplace is large enough that risk of privacy concerns are mitigated.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, TPH, along with the provincial government, has developed and promoted extensive guidance documents on how to prevent and manage COVID-19 spread in the workplace. This includes providing tailored guidance documents for specific settings and sectors. All of these documents are available online.
Additionally, TPH has issued new requirements to businesses and organizations given the continued acute rise in COVID-19 infections in Toronto. TPH has also issued a letter of instruction to those businesses currently permitted to operate under the Reopening Ontario Act. The letter outlines additional measures to take to further limit opportunities for COVID-19 spread including:
Immediately notifying TPH of two or more people who test positive for COVID-19 within 14 days that are connected to the workplace setting by calling 416-338-7600.
If two or more people test positive for COVID-19 within 14 days that are connected to a workplace, the employer must provide a designated contact to work with TPH to immediately implement any additional required measures to reduce virus spread.
Providing contact information for all workers within 24 hours to support case and contact tracing, and notify the Ontario Ministry of Labour, Training, and Skills Development and any other relevant government authorities.
Following enhanced infection prevention and control recommendations to help reduce virus spread such as ensuring hand sanitizer and hand-washing facilities are available, and that there is rigorous and frequent environmental cleaning in all high-touch public areas.
Conducting a regular review of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems to ensure they are functioning well.
Minimizing instances of more than one individual travelling together in a vehicle for work, or ensuring face coverings are worn in the vehicle and driving with the windows open.
Ensuring a two metre physical distancing between workers throughout the workplace in lunchrooms, change rooms and washrooms. This includes installing one-way walkways to reduce close physical interactions and implementing physical barriers, such as plexiglass, when physical distancing is not possible.
TPH also recommends that employees are informed of income replacement and workplace-related benefits they are entitled to if they have to isolate due to virus symptoms, when they are being tested for COVID-19, or if they are a close contact of someone who tests positive for COVID-19. Licensed child care programs, schools and school boards are currently exempt from these instructions due to sector-specific legislation, directives and guidelines governing COVID-19 measures in these settings.
TPH continues to remind residents to only leave their homes for essential activities such as work, education and fresh air and exercise. As much as possible, residents are asked to limit contact to people in the same household, keep at least two metres (six feet) apart from people not in the same household and wear a mask when outside of their homes, especially in indoor settings and when physical distancing is difficult. Washing hands frequently and remaining at home when ill are essential to reducing the spread of COVID-19.
For the latest updates from the City of Toronto, please click here.
For the latest updates from the Federal Government, please click here.
For the latest updates from the Province of Ontario, please click here.