Community News Update - October 9, 2021

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Dear Community,
 
In COVID-19 news, Ontario reported another 573 cases this morning, along with ten more deaths as a result of the virus. This now marks the fifth consecutive day that we’ve seen declining case numbers, bringing our seven-day average to 551 cases per day.
 
According to experts, it appears that there are now clear indicators that the fourth wave of this pandemic is beginning to slowly subside. While this is exciting news, it's important that we do continue to follow all public health protocols, in our efforts to continue to drive down cases of COVID in our community. 

Along with this news, we also learned today that starting tomorrow, October 9, capacity limits are being lifted for:

  • Concert venues, theatres and cinemas
  • Spectator areas of facilities for sports and recreational fitness (would not include gyms, personal training)
  • Meeting and event spaces (indoor meeting and event spaces will still need to limit capacity to the number that can maintain physical distancing)
  • Horseracing tracks, car racing tracks, and other similar venues
  • Commercial film and television productions with studio audiences.

 
This means that in these spaces, they will now be allowed to operate at 100% capacity. 
 
Note: You will still need to provide your vaccine certificate to enter these spaces.
 
If you still need to get vaccinated, you can book a vaccine appointment here.

Of course, this is Thanksgiving weekend, and this time around Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health has approved holiday gatherings – with some guidelines on capacity limits, masking and more.

Here are the details:

If you choose to host an in-person gathering:

  • do not exceed the gathering limit of 25 people indoors and 100 people outdoors
  • have the fewest number of people possible at your gathering
  • use outdoor spaces whenever possible
  • provide all the necessary supplies, including hand sanitizer, soap and water
  • open windows, if possible
  • clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces
  • ask guests not to attend if they have symptoms, even if they are mild
  • make a list of guests attending in case your local public health unit needs it for contact tracing
  • remind people of public health advice to follow during the event
  • wash your hands before and frequently when preparing and serving food
  • have everyone wash their hands before and after eating

If you choose to attend an in-person gathering:

  • you should not attend if you have any symptoms, even if they are mild
  • wash your hands or use hand sanitizer regularly throughout the event
  • consider participating virtually or not attending the event if you are immunocompromised or at higher risk of severe disease or exposure to COVID-19

Regardless of how you’re celebrating this year, I want to wish everyone a safe and relaxing Thanksgiving.

 
Yesterday, I had a great time catching up with my friend Honey Novick, at her annual Pop-Up Arts, Literature, Poetry and Music event at Oriole Park titled, LITER-ART-I.

This event came to life last year, when Honey was awarded the Canadian Senior Artists Resource Network (CSARN) Mentor Award, and decided to turn around to give back by organizing this annual event.

Along with Honey, I want to send a big shout out to the artists who joined, Michael Bar, Bill Jermyn, Ruth Jenkins, and Prof. Evelyn Marras for your contributions to the afternoon.

I was also able to spend a little time with Bev Katz Rosenbaum, to celebrate her new novel about the stress of life during the pandemic. I joined her at her book signing at the Another Story Bookshop, and I want to thank Anjula Gogia, and their whole staff team there for their great work putting on the event.
 
If you’d like to check out Bev’s new book, its title I’m Good and Other Lies, and can be found here.

I also had the pleasure of spending some time canvassing in the Cedarvale area, collecting petition signatures for the naming of a local laneway after the late Evelyn Green.
 
Evelyn made our community her home for almost 50 years and spent countless hours volunteering at Castleview-Wychwood Towers, and with St. Clair West Senior Services. She also acted as a Homestay host for international students and was recognized as a Cultural Ambassador of Canada. 

Her son, Jason still lives in their family home and connected with my office about this idea, and I could not be more thrilled to support it.
 
If you would like to add your name to the petition you can sign online here.

I also chatted with the great folks from the Toronto Jazz Festival about the vital importance of Little Jamaica in the history – and present – of Black culture in Toronto.

Keep an eye out for this interview soon!

 

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