Toronto officials to provide update after Ontario unveils COVID-19 projections

Toronto Mayor John Tory, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa and Head of Emergency Management Matthew Pegg will be providing an update on the city’s response to COVID-19 update beginning at 3:45 p.m.

The briefing follows the province’s unveiling of what Premier Doug Ford has said are “stark” modelling projections for the spread of COVID-19 in Ontario

Since Jan. 15, 2020, Greater Toronto Area public health units account for 53 per cent of Ontario’s more than 3,200 cases of the virus.

Meanwhile, the number of available intensive care beds in certain parts of the Toronto area is rapidly shrinking as the number of COVID-19 patients surges higher, according to data obtained by CBC News.

On Thursday, city officials announced a new bylaw prohibiting people from standing within two metres of each other in some parts of the city, with fines of up to $5,000 for those who don’t comply.

The bylaw will remain in effect for at least the next 30 days and is limited to interactions in city parks and squares, where where city officials say they are seeing the most problems with crowding. The bylaw is also limited to two or more people who don’t live together.

Toronto Public Health advised this week that people limit their time outdoors to essential trips, but the updated guidelines still allow for walking pets or getting daily exercise so long as physical distancing of two metres is possible.

The measures come as temperatures creep upward with the start of spring, with some converging on parks and boardwalks, raising concerns that the rules may not be being taken seriously enough.


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