COVID-19 in Toronto: More than 300 still hospitalized, public libraries to start curbside pickup

The City of Toronto continues to be hard hit by COVID-19, with the city confirming 183 new cases as of Thursday.

Despite that, the province continues to loosen restrictions that will likely have a major effect on the city, for example its move Thursday to allow short-term rentals to begin operating again.

Further, there’s a weekend of nice weather ahead and Friday and Saturday could see large demonstrations.

It’s unclear how those events will affect the spread of the novel coronavirus in the city — people can be infected but symptoms may not show up for 14 days. Here’s a look at the latest data from Toronto Public Health:

  • Toronto has had 11,835 total cases — with 9,131 people having recovered.
  • About 365 people are still hospitalized, and 82 of those patients are in intensive care units.
  • There have now been 883 deaths linked to COVID-19.
  • The city’s northwest and northeast continue to report the most cases, though COVID-19 cases can be found in every neighbourhood.

On Thursday, CBC News reported that some 2,000 cases in Toronto can’t be tracked due to issues with data collection at testing labs.

Ontario, meanwhile, will release its latest COVID-19 data at 10:30 a.m. ET.

Health officials continue to urge Torontonians to practice physical distancing, where a mask when that’s not possible and wash your hands as much as possible.

Toronto Public Library to start curbside pickup

The Toronto Public Library announced today that 67 of its branches will be accepting online reservations for curbside pickup beginning on Monday.

A spokeswoman for the library system says that, depending on what items are requested, patrons will be able to get their materials as soon as Tuesday.

TPL says it has done an intensive clean of all of its locations and consulted with public health authorities on how to best go about curbside pickup.

Staff will be required to wear personal protective equipment and all materials returned to the library will be held in a 72-hour quarantine before being put back into circulation.

Physical distancing will be observed and the library suggests that anyone coming to pick up their materials should wear a mask.

The library had already opened the dropboxes at 70 of its branches to accept returns of some borrowed materials.

Toronto Public Library branches have been closed since mid-March. Though patrons still won’t be allowed inside, the library announced that 67 of its branches will be accepting online reservations for curbside pickup starting Monday. (Katherine Holland/CBC)

Books, magazines, DVDs, CDs and audiobooks are currently being accepted for return, but the library asks that customers hold on to other materials.

Public libraries across Ontario have been closed since mid-March to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

TPL  says it is not currently accepting donations of books or any other items.

City to close 3 major roads this weekend for ActiveTO

Meanwhile, the city is set to close sections of three major roads to vehicles this weekend for ActiveTO, in total making more than 10 kilometres of roadway available for pedestrians and cyclists.

The initiative, launched last month, involves creating quiet streets to help residents practise physical distancing while spending time outdoors.

The following roads are set to close from 6 a.m. on June 6 until 11 p.m. on June 7:

  • Lake Shore Boulevard West (eastbound lanes only) from Windermere Avenue to Stadium Road. As a result, the eastbound Gardiner Expressway off-ramp to Lake Shore Boulevard West (exit #146) will also be closed.
  • Lake Shore Boulevard East (eastbound lanes only) from Leslie Street to just south of Woodbine Avenue (Kew Beach Avenue).
  • Bayview Avenue from Mill Street to Rosedale Valley Road, and River Street from Gerrard Street East to Bayview Avenue.

“By giving people space to practise physical distancing while being outside for activity, we are supporting fundamental health advice while continuing to work to stop the spread of COVID-19,” Toronto Mayor John Tory said in a news release.

Meanwhile, Toronto city council voted for a 25-kilometre expansion of the city’s cycling network last week, most of which is expected to be ready for riders at some point this summer.


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