Toronto is officially extending all COVID-19 bylaws until September
Ontario is at long last set to leave shutdown mode this Friday, June 11, and enter Step 1 of the provincial government's tri-phase Roadmap to Reopening framework — but many pandemic-time lockdown rules will remain in effect for the forseeable future.
Even after Doug Ford and company clears us all to move on to Steps 2 and 3, the City of Toronto's own municipal COVID bylaws will remain in effect.
Thanks to a vote at City Council today, some rules will remain in place for Toronto; specifically, until at least September 30, 2021.
Councillors voted this afternoon to formally extend the city's mandatory mask bylaw, physical distancing in parks and squares bylaw, and bylaw requiring masks to be worn in the common areas of residential buildings, as well as enhanced measures for establishments serving food and drink (when they can reopen).
All of these bylaws were set to expire today, but will instead now be in effect until "the end of Council's September 30 and October 1 meeting."
"The impact of COVID-19 continues in Toronto, with variants of concern increasing both the risk of transmission and the risk of serious illness or death," reads a report to council from medical officer of health, Dr. Eileen de Villa, dated June 1.
"It continues to be important to follow public health guidance, such as keeping a two metre distance from others, wearing a mask, and washing your hands frequently."
Dr. de Villa thus recommended extending the city's existing bylaws until the end of September, in addition to recommending that an assessment is performed regarding the need to continue each bylaw, each month.
"While vaccination levels continue to rise, with more than 72.3 per cent of the city's adult population having now received their first dose and more than 10 per cent having received their second dose, the impact of COVID-19 continues in Toronto with variants of concern increasing both the risk of transmission and serious illness or death," reads a release from the city announcing the extension on Wednesday.
"Extending the City's COVID-19 bylaws will help mitigate the risk of virus transmission through proven public health measures including physical distancing and wearing a mask or face covering."
"We continue to use the data to inform our decisions and today's step is no different," said de Villa on Wednesday.
"COVID-19 numbers are decreasing, but it remains a significant concern and we need to continue our efforts to reduce and limit virus spread."
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