Toronto to start monitoring malls for compliance with COVID-19 measures
Several new COVID-19 cases have been reported by businesses located inside malls in Toronto in recent days, and the city is ramping up enforcement in these establishments as a result.
According to the City of Toronto update on COVID-19 for Sept. 2, Toronto Public Health staff are set to begin attending shopping malls and retail spaces to ensure businesses are complying with public health requirements, such as physical distancing and mask usage.
#CityofTO update on #COVID19. News release: https://t.co/pzePkssoLS pic.twitter.com/HZXk5vrqHB— City of Toronto (@cityoftoronto) September 2, 2020
In the last week, at least four new COVID-19 infections were reported among employees of businesses within malls, including at Yorkdale Mall and Sherway Gardens.
"We know how this virus transmits, and we know that indoor spaces are at higher risk," said Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa during the city's press briefing Wednesday. "Yes there have been some cases in the last few days, some associated with businesses that are located within malls."
Malls in Toronto and throughout Ontario first shuttered as a result of pandemic-mandated government closure orders back in March, but many reopened in June under Stage 2 of the province's reopening plan.
While there are currently no plans to reintroduce lockdown measures related to malls, according to Dr. de Villa, the city is encouraging all patrons and employees to practice personal responsibility and adhere to the city's public health protocols.
"Those shopping in person are encouraged to shop at times when stores may be less busy or to try shopping online, when possible," notes the city's update.
"Residents should wear a mask and keep a physical distance while shopping, and always wash or sanitize their hands after being in a store or public place and not go out if they are feeling ill."
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