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Masks at work, early closing times part of T.O. COVID-19 plan

Toronto City Hall,  on July 8, 2019.
Toronto City Hall, on July 8, 2019.

The City of Toronto is implementing four areas of action to battle the coronavirus.

One is the earlier closures of bars and restaurants.

“We have seen other jurisdictions move to earlier closures and I support taking action on this,” Mayor John Tory said Wednesday during the city’s COVID-19 briefing.

There is also a move to mandate the wearing of masks in the workplace.

“We know co-workers can spread the virus to others,” Tory said.

He adds that while COVID-19 testing is a provincial mandate there has to be a move to have test results faster.

“There has to be targeted testing where we need it,” Tory said.

“We will make city properties available if that will help.”

The city’s outbreak management team is working with public health and hospitals to prepare for a resurgence of the virus in long-term care homes.

That could mean isolating a patient if necessary, and taking temperatures twice daily for people who enter homes.

“We will do everything possible … many lessons have been leaned from the first phase,” Tory said.

The city also has put out a large list of events that are pending or have been canceled .

“There is no joy for me canceling and event,” he said.

Tory says Christmas isn’t canceled and Santa will still come to town, virtually.

During the press conference, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa announced 129 new cases, bringing the city’s total to 17,971 cases, with 15,526 cases recovered.

“We were expecting to see more cases as we reopened … the resurgence of COVID-19 is concerning to everyone,” de Villa said.

She says people need to be vigilant when it comes to wearing masks, social distancing, and washing hands.

“We all have to do these things. They will work, but everyone has to choose to do them,” de Villa said.

“The virus will die out. It won’t be right away, but the infection rate will go down.”

She also asked people to start making responsible plans for Thanksgiving.

“It’s a time to gather and celebrate but I’m asking people to plan ahead. Life has changed and we all have to act like it,” de Villa said.

“Think about how to celebrate in a way that keeps us safe.”

Since Sept. 19, the new rules are that there can only be a maximum of 10 people gathering indoors and 25 in an outdoor setting.

Fire Chief Matthew Pegg says dedicated police officers, municipal licensing standards officers, and public health officers have enhanced communications to end these large gatherings.

“It’s a top priority for the city,” he said.

“Don’t plan, host, or take part in these gatherings.”

Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2020

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1 being least likely, and 10 being most likely

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