New Measures to Curb COVID

New Measures to Curb COVID

The Province has announced immediate measures to curb the very alarming rise in new COVID cases.

Ontario had a record 939 new cases today, topping the previous record of 797 set yesterday. Toronto also saw a very alarming 326 new cases today. The weekly Toronto total was 1900, down slightly from last week’s 2001 but still a dangerously high number to be levelling off at. That number needs to be driven way down before a true second wave, widely expected this fall and winter, sweeps over …

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Changes to Visitor Policy at Long Term Care Homes

Changes to Visitor Policy at Long Term Care Homes

Effective October 5, Long-Term Care (LTC) homes in Ontario will be restricting entrance to staff members, essential visitors and essential caregivers to ensure that all long-term care homes are able to continue to keep residents safe and to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The new Provincial guidelines state that:

Essential visitors include a person visiting a very ill or palliative resident.
An essential caregiver provides direct support to the resident, such as feeding, personal hygiene or assistance in decision-making.
This person could be a family member, from the …

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Frightening Numbers Require Decisive Action

Frightening Numbers Require Decisive Action

The careless disregard that a relatively small number have shown for the wellbeing of others has sent us backwards into the frightening world of out-of-control COVID and pandemic shutdown.

This week, Toronto had an astounding 2001 new cases. That’s almost 50% more than the 1104 cases which sounded loud alarm bells last week. As recently as early August, Toronto had less than 100 new cases in a week.

Today, Toronto Public Health reached the unhappy conclusion that pleas to act responsibly were not working and much more …

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Backlog of COVID Testing a Growing Concern

Backlog of COVID Testing a Growing Concern

Yesterday I received a call from my son’s school.  He was in the office with an upset stomach, a condition he deals with from time to time.  As “nausea” was one of the screening symptoms for COVID-19, I picked him up resigned to the fact that we’d be spending today standing in line at a local testing site.

As it turned out, the Ontario government also announced new screening rules yesterday, indicating that a student showing a single, less severe symptom, such as a runny nose …

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A Note from John About COVID-19 – Sept 25

A Note from John About COVID-19 – Sept 25

I was holding out hope that recent COVID spikes would cause enough Toronto residents to change their behaviour for us to see a leveling off the upward trend. After today, with its 237 new cases, I’m finding that increasingly less likely.

That’s at the tail end of a week that saw Toronto cases hit 1,104 – up from previous weeks of 617, 385, 265, 206, and 161. Simple math shows that, over those five weeks, the number of cases increased by 685%. Project that ahead to …

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New COVID-19 Distancing Restrictions

New COVID-19 Distancing Restrictions

The Province has responded to an alarming rise in new COVID cases in Toronto, Peel and Ottawa with new restrictions on meeting size and much tougher penalties for those who don’t follow the rules.

The size of social gatherings, such as backyard barbecues or parties, has been reduced to 25 people outdoors and 10 indoors.

Fines for those who organize gatherings above those numbers can range from $10,000 to $100,000, with the possibility of up to a year’s jail time. All guests who attend illegal events face …

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Our Collective Responsibility

Our Collective Responsibility

Before the cold weather sends us indoors, before students are fully back to school, and before the second wave hits, COVID cases are rising at an alarming rate.

This week’s Toronto total is 617, up from 385 last week and 285 the week before. As recently as early August, we had it down to 141. You only need to chart that on the back of an envelope to see where this is heading.

Public Health officials began sounding the alarm several weeks ago when numbers started going …

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Pandemic and the Opioid Crisis

Pandemic and the Opioid Crisis

The number of COVID cases and deaths tell only part of the tragic story that has been unfolding in our city since March.
In Toronto alone, 27 people died in July from opioid overdose. That’s almost one death per day and the highest monthly total ever recorded in Toronto. In the first five months of the pandemic, opioid overdose deaths increased by 85%. In British Columbia the situation is even worse, with a 200% increase compared to the same period last year.There appear to be three …

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What’s New in COVID – July 17

What’s New in COVID

I spend lots of time – maybe too much – tracking this invisible but deadly threat, compiling reliable information I hope will help keep us safe. I’m careful, in this space, not to offer my own projections, and I encourage you to do your own research.

We should rely on advice from public health officials, based on a body of evidence they have at a point in time, while keeping in mind that this sometimes takes a while to emerge. Only after it …

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Sports Returning to Toronto

One of the signs that lives are slowly moving back to normal is the return of professional sports, at least to our TV screens.  For many fans, the entertainment and social activity that comes with watching a game has been a big gap, as it has been for many restaurant and bar owners that rely on game night business as a key source of income.

With professional athletes flocking to Toronto for Major League Baseball and the NHL’s playoff “hub” site hosting 12 teams, there are …

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COVID-19 Assessment Centres

COVID-19 Assessment Centres

A number of dedicated assessment centres have been established across Toronto to facilitate assessment and testing. Toronto Public Health (TPH) is not an assessment centre and testing is not provided at TPH offices. OHIP coverage is not required to be seen at a COVID-19 Assessment Centre. The assessment is provided at no cost to the individual. For more on assessment centres, click here.

Who Should Visit an Assessment Centre?
People experiencing at least one of the following symptoms of COVID-19:

Fever (temperature of 37.8C or greater)
New or worsening …

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Update on Yonge Resurfacing/Repurposing of Curb Lane During Pandemic

Update on Yonge Resurfacing/Repurposing of Curb Lane During Pandemic

The resurfacing of Yonge Street between 401 and Finch has now been shortened to one-week, beginning Monday, June 1, to minimize the inconvenience to pedestrians and businesses. The work is being done as a temporary fix to hazardous conditions on sections of the road.

From June 1-6, traffic will be reduced to one lane in each direction. Curb lanes will be closed, but 10-minute parking for restaurant delivery and pickup will be added at each side street, close to Yonge. Please support our great local restaurants …

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