Community News Update - January 22, 2021

Dear Community,

Today, Ontario has reported another 2,662 cases of COVID-19, with 779 of those cases being found here in Toronto. These case numbers were found  from over 70,000 processed tests, and a positivity rate of 3.3%. While the case counts are still too high, the good news here is that our seven-day average of daily cases has shrunk for the 11th straight day, and the test positivity rate is the lowest it’s been since December.

So, let us double down on our efforts to battle COVID-19.

That means we need to limit our non-essential trips out, continue to wear our masks in public, and ensure that we are all maintaining our physical distance from one another. Taking these steps is essential to slowing the spread of COVID-19 in our community. I know that our community is working hard on this front, and I want to thank everyone for the sacrifices that you have already made and will continue to make to keep our community safe.

However, for some, staying home is not an option – especially our frontline workers.

For those workers, we need to ensure that we can provide them with safe transit options so that they can get to work, a task which we are currently failing miserably. In fact, just today a video has emerged of one worker’s commute on the TTC, where the bus is packed, and there is no viable way to maintain physical distancing.

These workers are disproportionately women – Black, Brown, and other communities of colour – and they do not have the luxury of working from home.

This is putting them at huge risk each and every day – and this issue must be addressed aggressively.

So today, I am calling on the Ford government to invest in our transit services immediately to add more busses to our busiest routes, cap rider numbers, and stop the spread of COVID-19 on our transit system.

You can click here to sign the petition.  

Finally, when I first began these COVID-19 emails, I began a campaign to request images, videos, or audio clips of our community’s original art that we could share in my newsletter to spread some positivity throughout our community.

The response was incredible, and in this new year I am planning to get this program back on track!

So, I’m making a new call for submissions! If you are interested in submitting your art, please email [email protected] or [email protected] with the art you would like to submit, and a brief description of the piece!

Have a safe and happy weekend!

In Solidarity,

Jill Andrew
MPP for Toronto—St. Paul's

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