Today, Toronto City Council approved the extension of the City of Toronto’s temporary mask bylaws and the COVID-19 amendments to Chapter 354, Apartment Buildings until the end of Council’s January 2022 meeting.
Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa recommended extending the Mandatory Mask bylaw (541-2020 and 664-2020) and the COVID-19 amendments to Chapter 354, Apartment Buildings addressing various matters.
COVID-19 continues to circulate in Toronto, predominately as the Delta variant. The variant is more than twice as transmissible as the original virus and the risk of hospital and ICU admission after infection is two to three times higher. In an indoor environment, transmission as a result of the Delta variant may occur quickly between an infected person and many others, especially among the unvaccinated. Ensuring people are properly wearing masks or face coverings in public spaces is crucial to stopping the spread of COVID-19.
To continue to protect the health and safety of our communities, the City’s mask bylaws require everyone to wear masks in all indoor public settings such as businesses and require masks be worn in common areas in multi-residential buildings including apartments and condominiums. The COVID-19 amendments to Chapter 354, Apartment Buildings also require COVID-19 specific measures be taken in apartment buildings, including mandatory hand hygiene stations or hand sanitizer in common areas, closing non-essential common areas consistent with provincial restrictions, increasing cleaning and posting Toronto Public Health signage. With Council’s approval today, these bylaws will now be in place until 12:01 a.m. on the first day after the Council meeting scheduled for January 2022.
These bylaws are a temporary and necessary response to the ongoing pandemic. In addition to the recommended extension until January 2022, it is further recommended that Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health continue to conduct a monthly assessment regarding the need to continue these bylaws.
Read the full report on the City’s website.
“Public health evidence shows masks keep people safe and are an important way we can help each other as Team Toronto continues to make vaccination progress. Right now, while the virus is still active in communities in our city, extending the COVID-19 mask bylaws is the right thing to do. I want to thank the vast majority of people who continue to do the right thing and wear masks when they are out and about in public.”
– Mayor John Tory
“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, evidence has shown that public health measures like requiring masks in indoor settings and maintaining physical distance have been greatly effective at reducing transmission. With the ongoing risks of a fourth wave, and in order to proceed with safety and caution, the best path forward for our city is to continue to follow the advice of our Medical Officer of Health and extend our local bylaws that have helped to limit virus spread in our city.”
– Councillor Joe Cressy (Spadina-Fort York), Chair of the Board of Health
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