Evening Update for April 16, 2020

April 16, 2020 

Dear Neighbours, 

I want to thank everyone for your efforts during this very difficult time. It is very important for all of us, to the best of our ability to follow the mandatory social distancing bylaw!

Please see the following update regarding COVID-19 key information and resources in the City of Toronto: 

City of Toronto media briefings

The City’s daily media briefings are available on the City’s Youtube channel youtube.com/user/thecityoftoronto and provide an update of the current situation and the City’s response to COVID-19 in Toronto. Reporters can call in ask questions of City officials, allowing them to participate remotely to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The City’s media briefings include live ASL interpretation and are closed captioned to ensure this information is accessible to as many people as possible. 

Supports for Toronto Seniors
The City and its many partners are working hard to protect and support vulnerable individuals, including older adults, throughout this COVID-19 pandemic. Many are facing challenges related to food security, mental health, access to information, tenant supports, and more. Please contact my office at councillor_ainslie@toronto.ca or 416-396-7222 for any questions. You may also refer to this page for details on supports: https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-financial-social-support-for-people/covid-19-seniors-vulnerable-people/ 

Significant changes to City of Toronto COVID-19 web page

The toronto.ca/home/covid-19/ web pages are the City’s primary communication channel to provide up-to-date and helpful information to the public. Details are updated every day. You may have noticed today that the COVID-19 pages have a new look. Strategic Communications has revised the page layouts and content has been mapped to clear topic areas to help the public find key information more easily. We’re now using a bullet menu template, a limited number of graphics, and concise content in plain language. Special consideration has been given to mobile users (who currently account for more than 50% of web visits).

Ongoing enforcement activities
Yesterday, the City received 397 complaints involving people using outdoor amenities or not practising physical distancing in parks. Bylaw and police officers cautioned 409 individuals regarding the closure of outdoor park amenities and the requirement for physical distancing and issued 30 tickets – bringing the totals to 294 tickets, 290 Notices and 8,962 cautions since April 3.  The City received 47 complaints yesterday related to non-essential businesses remaining open in contravention of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. Since March 24, Municipal Licensing and Standards has issued 19 tickets and 73 notices to non-essential businesses.

City of Toronto expands Digital Main Street program to help local businesses

The City is expanding its Digital Main Street program to help local businesses develop or expand their online services during this unprecedented time. The program includes online tools, connections to trusted digital vendors, structured online learning and a Digital Service Squad, who provide one-on-one assistance to help businesses grow and manage their operations. The expansion of the Digital Main Street program is a part of the Mayor’s Economic Support and Recovery Task Force’s short-term economic support and recovery plan for Toronto’s businesses. Local businesses can complete the Digital Main Street onboarding process and receive a free Digital Assessment and recommended to-do list at https://digitalmainstreet.ca/toronto/.

New Toronto Public Health data system enhances local COVID-19 response

Today, Toronto Public Health (TPH) launched a new technology solution, CORES, to enhance case and contact tracing work. Case and contact tracing are critical components of TPH’s COVID-19 response and work to reduce the spread of infectious diseases. Case and contact tracing information provides insight into how COVID-19 spreads from one person to another, the extent of community spread and how long the virus can incubate. CORES will allow TPH to quickly and easily document each individual case investigation efficiently and share data with the provincial Ministry of Health. It will allow TPH to better keep up with the volume of new reports and prioritize individual cases that require urgent follow-up, such as healthcare workers, as the local COVID-19 evolves.

City of Toronto continues to protect staff, residents in its long-term care homes The City of Toronto began measures when COVID-19 was first identified to protect staff and residents in its long-term care homes. Despite best efforts and proven measures to contain outbreaks, this virus has had a devastating impact on those who work and reside in long-term care homes, nursing homes and other institutions where our most vulnerable receive care. The City of Toronto operates just 10 of the more than 80 long-term care homes in Toronto, providing care for approximately 2,600 residents. To date, there are outbreaks in three of the 10 homes operated by the City.

In mid-March, the City of Toronto’s Seniors Services and Long-Term Care (SSLTC) division asked staff to choose the City as their primary employer in order to limit work locations and, therefore, minimize COVID-19 exposure for both themselves and residents. SSLTC also stopped all non-essential services and redirected resources to the essential long-term care operations, maximizing part-time frontline staff and using overtime to meet staffing needs during outbreaks. The City has also hired 50 nursing students and Personal Support Worker-certified individuals to support and backfill positions. More than 80 City employees from across the organization have been redeployed to SSLTC, and another 80 will be starting soon, with additional staffing support requested from the Emergency Operations Centre.

City Hall Live Online

City Hall Live Online, a showcase of Toronto musicians, kicked off today at noon and featured a performance by The Weather Station, introduced by Mayor John Tory. The series will run Monday through Friday from noon to 1 p.m., with two shows per day until the end of June. This series will directly compensate more than 100 local artists for 30-minute performances from their homes, livestreamed via Facebook Live at https://www.facebook.com/City-Hall-Live-106149534367134/. Toronto-based musicians can apply for City Hall Live and other City of Toronto Music Office programs at http://www.toronto.ca/music. More details here: https://www.toronto.ca/business-economy/industry-sector-support/music/support-opportunities/artist-opportunities/ 

City of Toronto to continue yard waste collection for another two weeks

The City of Toronto will continue yard waste collection for another two weeks from April 20 to May 1 to accommodate residents. The start of seasonal yard waste collection was suspended in March as part of the City’s COVID-19 response to ensure adequate staffing levels to continue the core collection of garbage, blue bin (recycling) and green bin (organics). The City recently resumed yard waste collection for a two-week trial period from April 6 to 17 and has determined that it can continue to provide the service for an additional two weeks.

A list of food banks and soup kitchens in Ward 24 can be found here: https://bit.ly/2RcvdRV 

Please remember to call ahead to book to ensure they are properly stocked. For those interested in volunteering, food banks are always looking for volunteers, so please feel free to save and share this information.

The City’s website is updated daily with the latest health advice, and information about City services and social supports. Check https://www.toronto.ca/covid-19/ for answers to common questions before contacting the Toronto Public Health COVID-19 Hotline or 311.

You can also reach me by telephone at 416-396-7222 or email me at councillor_ainslie@toronto.ca 

All my Best, 

Paul

April 16, 2020 Morning Update on COVID-19

April 16, 2020 

Dear Neighbours, 

I want to thank everyone for your efforts during this very difficult time. It is very important for all of us, to the best of our ability to follow the mandatory social distancing bylaw!

Please see the following update regarding COVID-19 key information and resources in the City of Toronto: 

City of Toronto to continue yard waste collection for another two weeks

The City of Toronto will continue yard waste collection for another two weeks from April 20 to May 1 to accommodate residents. The start of seasonal yard waste collection was suspended in March as part of the City’s COVID-19 response to ensure adequate staffing levels to continue the core collection of garbage, blue bin (recycling) and green bin (organics).

Residents are asked to put their yard waste out before 7 a.m. on their regularly scheduled garbage/yard waste collection day. If yard waste is not picked up on collection day, residents are asked to leave it out until it’s collected. It is not necessary to call 311 to report a missed collection. 

If possible, residents should use a yard waste bag. Otherwise, a rigid open-top container can be used. Brush and branches should be secured in bundles no longer than 1.2 metres (4 feet), no wider than 0.6 metres (two feet) and no heavier than 20 kilograms (44 lbs). Full news release here: https://bit.ly/3cmJAeB 

City of Toronto’s City Hall Live performances move online to support artists during COVID-19 pandemic

To help support Toronto artists and lift the spirits of residents during this outbreak, the City of Toronto, in partnership with Unison Benevolent Fund, is moving its City Hall Live performance program online.

Under the necessary restrictions in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19, artists will take their show online. The first City Hall Live Online livestreamed event is today, April 16 at noon and will feature The Weather Station. The series will run Monday through Friday from noon to 1 p.m., with two shows per day until the end of June. More than 100 local artists will be directly compensated for 30-minute performances from their homes, livestreamed via Facebook Live at https://www.facebook.com/City-Hall-Live-106149534367134/. Toronto-based musicians can apply to be considered for City Hall Live and other City of Toronto Music Office programs at http://www.toronto.ca/music. Full news release here: https://bit.ly/3bfZGqr 

Is Your Agency Collecting Data to Assist with COVID-19 Response Efforts? 

Let covidupdates@211ontario.ca know of any programs and services being offered in your community that your organization is tracking!

211’s Service Navigations are using this data to assist the hundreds of people from across the GTA who are calling 2-1-1 everyday for support and resources during this pandemic. To update your organization’s 211 record, fill out this form: https://211ontario.ca/tell-211-about-changes-in-services/.

A list of food banks and soup kitchens in Ward 24 can be found here: https://bit.ly/2RcvdRV 

Please remember to call ahead to book to ensure they are properly stocked. For those interested in volunteering, food banks are always looking for volunteers, so please feel free to save and share this information.

The City’s website is updated daily with the latest health advice, and information about City services and social supports. Check https://www.toronto.ca/covid-19/ for answers to common questions before contacting the Toronto Public Health COVID-19 Hotline or 311.

You can also reach me by telephone at 416-396-7222 or email me at councillor_ainslie@toronto.ca 

All my Best, 

Paul