The City of Toronto’s COVID-19 Enforcement Team – a partnership between Toronto Police Service and the City – continues to carry out an enforcement blitz in parks across the city, enforcing closures and physical distancing to protect the health and safety of our community.
Toronto Public Health is reporting there are now 2,225 cases of COVID-19 in Toronto. Of the cases, 1956 cases are confirmed, an increased of 161 confirmed cases from yesterday, and 269 are probable, 208 are in hospital with 85 in ICU. The numbers may differ from other sources as data are extracted at different times. The most up-to-date COVID-19 case status data can be found on the City’s new reporting platform at https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/media-room/covid-19-status-of-cases-in-toronto/.
The advice from Toronto’s public health officials has been clear and consistent: to stop the community spread of this deadly virus, we must reduce all contact with others as much as possible.
The City’s Enforcement Team is now focused on stricter enforcement in 20 high-use parks. Initially, the team provided public education to individuals not observing orders and public health recommendations. Yesterday, the team moved to almost exclusively issuing tickets. Municipal Licensing & Standards (MLS) officers issued 48 tickets for the use of closed park amenities and not practising physical distancing – 32 per cent of the total number of tickets issued since enforcement began nine days ago on April 3.
Any two people who don’t live together, who fail to keep two metres of distance between them in a park or public square, can receive a $1,000 ticket – the maximum set fine available. In addition, failing to identify oneself (correct name, date of birth and address) to an officer investigating a matter under the Emergency Measures and Civil Protection Act carries a set fine of $750.
Officers participating in this weekend’s blitz have reported lighter use of some busy parks. Yesterday, MLS officers spoke with 286 people regarding use of amenities and social distancing, an 83 per cent decrease from Friday. Complaints to 311 about behaviour in parks decreased by almost 39 per cent yesterday from the previous day. Officers did report continuing issues with individuals and groups with off-leash dogs in Trinity Bellwoods Park and people lingering in Muskoka chairs and starting bonfires in waterfront parks.
The City’s website is updated daily with the latest health advice and information about City services and social supports. Check https://www.toronto.ca/covid-19/ for answers to common questions before contacting the Toronto Public Health COVID-19 Hotline or 311.
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