Government of Ontario

Chris Glover

MPP, Spadina–Fort York

Stay in the loop

COVID-19 Latest Update

Published on February 19, 2021

Dear Neighbours,

This afternoon, the Ontario government announced that it has extended all emergency orders under the Reopening Ontario Act (ROA) for at least another month. The emergency orders, which were set to expire today, have been extended until March 21. The full list of orders being extended can be found here.

The province also announced that the stay-at-home order for Toronto, Peel Region and North Bay-Parry Sound has been officially extended until March 8. This decision was made based on the  national COVID-19 modelling that was also released today. Health officials have predicted that, with the continuing spread of variants, even the current level of public health measures will not be enough to prevent a resurgence of the virus. The modelling shows the curve will spike to 20,000 cases per day by mid-March if public health restrictions are relaxed even further.

I know this is not the information any of us wanted to hear. We are now almost a year into this pandemic and it is taking a toll on everyone, and for many who have lost loved ones, it has been tragic. Our overall numbers are going down and, if we can contain the new variants, we can break the cycle of opening and closing.

To help us through this time, we need the government to provide paid sick days for workers, rent supports for residents and an eviction moratorium so more people do not become homeless. We also need rent and other supports for small businesses to make sure they make it through the pandemic.

This lockdown is difficult for many, especially since 52% of us in Spadina-Fort York live alone - the highest percentage in the country. So it’s very important that we maintain social connections while maintaining distancing protocols. The public health guidelines ask us to restrict ourselves to essential trips, but these essential trips also include going outside to exercise, which is important for both our physical and emotional health. 

People have also found innovative ways of connecting. In my area of Fort York, we have had online book and parent clubs and trivia games. We also had a robust pots and pans #togetherwedoit event every Friday in the first wave. Perhaps it’s time to start it again. Thank you Caroline Lama for sharing her vibrant artwork with us. See the Artist’s Corner below.

If you have some activities in your area or some ideas for social activities, please share them with my office and we will include them in the next update.

Stay safe,


Latest Developments

Emergency & Stay-at-Home Orders Extended

  • The Ontario government has extended all emergency orders under the Reopening Ontario Act (ROA) for at least another month. The full list of orders being extended by the Ontario government can be found here. The Stay-at-Home order and all existing public health and workplace safety measures will be extended for an additional two weeks in the Toronto and Peel Public Health Regions, along with the North Bay-Parry Sound District. More information can be found here.

Vaccine Update

  • Adults over the age of 80 will now be included in Phase 1 of the vaccine distribution plan. The Ontario government says that it will be up to each local public health unit to determine how people over the age of 80 will be notified. Some options discussed include going through a family physician’s office or a local advertising campaign. The Phase 1 priority groups include staff in retirement homes, adults receiving home care, Indigenous adults and health care workers in lower-risk community settings. This will also include professionals such as chiropractors, optometrists and registered massage therapists. Nursing-home and retirement-home staff and the highest-risk health care workers, as well as isolated and northern Indigenous communities, are still the immediate priority. Along with those 60-80 years old, the second phase of Ontario’s vaccine program prioritizes Black and racialized communities who are disproportionately affected by the coronavirus. It also focuses on those with high-risk medical conditions, essential employees such as teachers, those in the food industry and construction workers. More on Ontario’s vaccination program can be found here.
  • The Ministry of Health said that Ontario is developing an online site for vaccine appointments, while a customer service desk will also eventually be available for those not comfortable using the web portal. The scheduling software is said to be ready for use at the end of February or in early March. A call desk is also being set up for those who are not comfortable making appointments online and the province said it may reach out to some seniors through their family doctors.
  • Ontario is not submitting key COVID-19 data to the federal government's health agency, making it difficult to get a clear, national picture of how the first phase of the country's vaccination program is progressing. Since December 19, provinces and territories have been reporting the number of people vaccinated in three target populations that are top priority groups. The data is gathered by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and published once a week on its vaccine coverage website — with one key exception. "Data for Ontario are not included," reads a disclaimer on the PHAC site. The reason given is that the province's data is “not broken down by key population groups.” A spokesperson for Ontario's Ministry of Health said the ministry is working with PHAC to provide more data in “the near future.”

Residential Construction

Main Street Relief Grant Expanded

  • The Ontario government is expanding the number of small businesses that can apply for the Main Street Relief Grant to help offset the costs of purchasing personal protective equipment (PPE). Small businesses with 2-19 employees in all eligible sectors (expanded from 2-9 employees) including those in the arts, entertainment, and recreation sector, can now apply for up to $1,000 in financial support. This one-time grant reimburses main street businesses for up to $1,000 in PPE costs incurred since March 17, 2020. Eligible businesses now include those in the following sectors: retail trade; accommodation and food services; repair and maintenance; personal and laundry services; gyms and yoga studios; and arts, entertainment, and recreation.

Federal Benefits Extended

Travel Update

  • The federal government announced that, as of February 22, 2021, all travellers arriving by air will be required to reserve, prior to departure to Canada, a three-night stay in a government-approved hotel. These new measures are in addition to existing mandatory pre-boarding and health requirements for air travellers. These measures will apply to non-essential travellers travelling for discretionary purposes, and will not impact essential travellers/workers that will be exempt from these policies. More information on the new travel measures can be found here.

West Neighbourhood House Community Reference Panel

  • West Neighbourhood House (formerly St. Christopher House) has been working to support the community in Toronto’s west end for over 100 years. They have launched a special project —the West Downtown Neighbourhoods Community Reference Panel — to work with community members to plan for the future. They are looking for volunteers to take part in this project. The deadline to volunteer is February 25, 2021.

The Community Reference Panel will consist of 28 randomly selected volunteers representing the community. The panelists will learn from experts about the present and future challenges facing the community, deliberate on options, and create recommendations that will make West Neighborhood House —and the community— better prepared for the future. The Panel is an intensive, one-off process that will take place over a weekend and one additional Saturday. The project team will work with and support participants throughout the process. If needed, a stipend will be offered for participation. Our team will also provide further support if needed, including but not limited to lending tablets to enable internet access and providing individual learning assistance.

To learn more or volunteer, please visit www.westnh-checkin.ca, email [email protected] or call 1-866-508-1435.


Artist's Corner

Caroline Lama is an architect and a painter living in Toronto. The distinctive style in her colourful paintings and collages reflects the vibrant spirit, atmosphere and richness of the many places that she visited. In this piece entitled "Niagara Falls Triptych", the view shows the juxtaposition of random geometric shapes from different textural material ‐ wood, beads, metal, broken plastic toy pieces, cloth, lint, parchment paper drenched in cooking oil and matches. When viewed close‐up, you can see abstract geometric shapes. Moving away, the shapes merge into a clearer landscape.


Trustee Updates

Keep up with the latest news in our schools via our local trustees’ newsletters:

Trustee Norm Di Pasquale, Toronto Catholic District School Board

Click here

Trustee Stephanie Donaldson, Toronto District School Board

Click here


COVID-19 Facts & Figures

ONTARIO CASES

As of 4:00 pm March 1:

 

Tuesday March 2

Cases

302,805

NEW

966 – 0.3% increase

Deaths

6,997 (+11)

Recovered

285,262 (94.2%)

Tests completed in the previous 24 hours

30,767

Backlog – waiting to be processed

31,074

Total tests completed

11,110,935

% Positivity

2.9% (-0.2%)

 

Hospital:

  • Hospitalized: 677 (+18)
  • ICU: 284 (+4)
  • Ventilated: 189 (+14)

 

Vaccines:

As of 8:00 pm March 1:

  • Daily doses: 22,326
  • Total doses administered: 727,021
  • Total vaccinations completed (both doses): 264,896

 

Confirmed variant of concern (VOC) cases:

  • Lineage B.1.1.7 (UK variant): 542 (+7)
  • Lineage B.1.351 (South African variant): 27 (=)
  • Lineage P.1 (Brazilian variant): 3 (=)

 

CMOH new info:

  • Total Cases: 60+: 21.1%, 40-59: 28.9%, 20-39: 36.6%, under 20: 13.4%
  • Of today’s 966 cases: 60+: 147, 40-59: 249, 20-39: 389, under 20: 183

 

Schools Summary

 

Number of new cases reported today

Number of cases reported in the last 14 days

Number of cases reported more than 14 days ago

Cumulative total (total number of cases reported)

Total Cases

262

1,072

7,741

8,813

Students

231

913

5,349

6,262

Staff

30

149

1,268

1,417

Not identified

1

10

1,124

1,134

Schools with a reported case: 640 (+110) – 13.26% of schools in Ontario

Schools closed: 23 (+3)

 

Congregate Settings Summary:

 

Resident Cases

Resident Deaths

Staff Cases

Staff Deaths

Active Outbreaks

Cumulative Outbreaks

Long Term Care Homes

14,958 (=)

3,867 (+2)

6,626 (+4)

10 (=)

89 (-2)

1,279 (+4)

  • Retirement Homes: 58 (+1) active outbreaks, and 757 (+4) outbreaks in total.
  • Hospitals: 28 (-3) active outbreaks, and 416 (=) outbreaks in total.

 

  • Of today’s 966 cases: 253 are in Toronto; 223 in Peel; 99 in York Region; 64 in Ottawa; 46 in Waterloo Region; 39 in Thunder Bay; 36 in Simcoe-Muskoka; 34 in Durham Region; 32 in Halton Region; 23 in Windsor-Essex; 23 in Hamilton; 19 in Sudbury; 13 in Brant County; 13 in Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph; and 11 in Lambton.

Construction & Road Closures

Cable Pulling and Containment: Continuous Weekend Work

Signalling work crews will be in the rail corridor between Jarvis Street and Corktown Common on: February 5-8, 2021 and February 19-22, 2021. Hours of operation will begin on Friday evening at 7:00 pm and continue until Monday morning at 6:00 am on each weekend mentioned above. Crews will be performing cable pulling and containment duties in preparation for new signal bridges. Heavy machinery such as vacuum trucks, excavators, jackhammers and boom trucks will be used. Metrolinx is working with subcontractors to ensure white noise backup beepers will be used wherever possible.

For more information, email [email protected] or call 416-202-3900.

Underground investigative survey on Simcoe Street, York Street, Bay Street and Queen Street West

To advance design concepts and other structural plans for the Ontario Line, Metrolinx will be surveying underground within tunnels to gather information and evaluate underground conditions. Work is scheduled to resume on January 29 and last up to six weeks, and will occur every day, including weekends, between 7 am and 5 pm Cooling fans will be placed on Simcoe Street at the corners of Queen Street West and Richmond Street. The fans, along with a portable generator will be located on the sidewalk, at the tunnel air vents and will run 24 hours per day for four weeks to cool the interior temperature of the underground tunnels. Fans and portable generators will be secured with sound proofing material to mitigate noise.

For more information, email [email protected] or call 416-202-5100.

Investigative night drilling work on Portland Street near Adelaide Street West

To advance design concepts and other structural plans for the Ontario Line, Metrolinx will be using small drill rigs to gather information and evaluate underground conditions. Work is scheduled to start January 27, 2021 between 9 pm and 5 am, Monday to Friday and last up to three weeks. Residents and businesses near the work site can expect to hear noise caused by a drill rig, trucks and other construction equipment related to this work.

For more information, email [email protected] or call 416-202-5100.

Signalling Work at Spadina and Bathurst North Yard

The USRC Signalling System Project is part of Metrolinx Signalling and Train Control Improvement Program designed to improve reliability of our signalling and train control systems. The work is scheduled to take place from January 22nd until March 2021 from 8:00 pm – 5:00 am. Construction noise can be expected during this work.

If you have any questions or concerns, please email [email protected] or call  416-202-6911.


Reaching Out

Birthday & Anniversary Greetings:

  • My office sends out congratulatory scrolls to people across the riding to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and other milestones! If you have a birthday coming up in the family and you would like to request a scroll, please email us at [email protected].

Calling Local Artists:

  • If you are a local artist, we would love to share your work with the community by publishing it in my newsletter and on this website. If you’re interested in sharing your art, please email us at [email protected]. Art submitted must be accompanied by a short description (50 words or less). Thank you for sharing your work with us and our community. 

Mental Health Supports

Need immediate help?

  • If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health or substance use emergency, call 9-1-1 or go to the emergency room of your local hospital.  
  • If you are not sure if it is an emergency, or just need to talk through the situation, consider reaching out to:

General Mental Health and Well-Being Resources

Covid-19 Specific Resources:

Resources for Students

Resources for Caregivers