Community News Update - October 14, 2020

Dear Community,

Today Ontario reported 721 new cases of COVID-19.

At first glance, this number would seem to show some stability after the explosion of cases last week. However, when we look a little deeper and consider that only 32,000 tests were performed (in comparison to the 40,000+ a day we were seeing last week), the number becomes very concerning. We have also reported 96 new cases in Ontario schools.

Every single day, it becomes clearer that we need this government to step up – and make sure that people get the supports that they so desperately need. That means that small businesses that cannot operate safely need to be receiving financial aids that will allow them to shut down for a while, and that we don’t send our students into packed classrooms.

But instead of getting support, schools are being forced to rely on corporate donations to provide safer classrooms. Just this week, the TDSB announced that they are receiving a donation of 500 portable air filters, that they will be installing in the schools that need them the most. While we can all agree that Danby, who are providing the donation, ought to be commended for the generosity, it is absolutely disgraceful that the provincial government was not on the ball and ready to provide adequate air filtration to our schools.

These units will be spread over 37 schools that the TDSB has determined are in the greatest need. Frankly, there are still many schools in Toronto that would benefit greatly from better air purification systems.

With all that said, while we’ll keep pressuring the government to do the right thing, we all need to make sure we are taking the steps we can in our own lives to limit the spread of COVID-19 in communities. Let’s make sure that we’re all washing our hands frequently, wearing our facemasks, and limiting our contact with anyone outside of our households.

In Solidarity,

Jill Andrew

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