Today has been a tough day for Ontario, with another 939 cases of COVID-19 being confirmed in the last 24 hours. And with Thanksgiving just around the corner, our community is going to be seeing the return of some restrictions to address the second wave of COVID-19 in Ontario.
While it is disappointing that this Thanksgiving we won’t be able to gather with family and friends like we normally would, the increased restrictions that were just unveiled are necessary in order to stem the spread of COVID-19. It is deeply frustrating that only after another record day of COVID-19 cases that the government is acting. We’ve known for weeks, if not months, that a second wave would be coming - and this government should have been more prepared.
But while I’m frustrated with the Ford government, there are so many people that I’m thankful for, and with Thanksgiving on Monday, I’m going to take a moment to highlight them.
To all the essential workers, community volunteers and leaders – thank you.
And if there is someone that you’re thankful to, I’d like to encourage you to nominate them for our Community Hero Awards, where I will be recognizing outstanding members of our community who are making a real difference during difficult times.
In this newsletter I will be covering the changes that have been made today to public health guidelines for Toronto, as well as the Ontario NDP’s new plan to reform long-term care in the province.
Finally, I want to just send a vital reminder to please be safe this weekend. We all need to make sure that we are wearing our masks, washing our hands, and staying at least two metres away from anyone with whom you do not live with.
Taking these steps will save lives.
Today’s new regulations in Toronto, Ottawa, and Peel
This afternoon, the provincial government announced that effective October 10, the following new measures will be implemented in Toronto, Ottawa, and Peel, that are a modified version of Stage 2 of the reopening plan.
These measure include the following:
- Reducing limits for all social gatherings and organized public events to a maximum of 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors where physical distancing can be maintained. The two limits may not be combined for an indoor-outdoor event;
- Prohibiting indoor food and drink service in restaurants, bars and other food and drink establishments, including nightclubs and food court areas in malls;
- Closing of: indoor gyms, fitness centres, indoor cinemas, performing arts centres and the prohibiting of personal care services where face coverings must be removed for the service.
- Schools, child care centres, and places of worship will remain open in these communities and must continue to follow the public health measures in place. Before-school and after-school programs will also be exempt from these new restrictions.
For the full list of new changes, please see the news release.
Planning for new, public and non-profit home care and long-term care system.
Today the Ontario NDP released their plan for create 50,000 new long-term care spaces, ending the wait for home care and long-term care, and within eight years, we have committed to making the entire system public and non-profit.
The COVID-19 pandemic shone a bright light on the issues in our long-term care homes across Ontario, and it has been made very clear that privatized long-term care home are delivering worse outcomes for their patients at a greater cost. It’s time for this vital piece of our health care system to return fully into public hands.
You can read more about our plan here.
From the Legislature
This week in the Legislature I had the opportunity to speak on a number of topics that you can see below!