GTA

Toronto has 2,670 cases of COVID-19 as city launches new donation web portal

Toronto now has 2,670 cases of COVID-19, the city’s medical officer of heath reported on Wednesday.

Dr. Eileen de Villa said 121 people have died of the virus in the city, while 148 people have recovered.

A total of 243 people are in hospital, with 94 in intensive care units, De Villa told reporters at a daily news briefing at city hall.

Currently, there are 41 outbreaks in long-term care homes in Toronto.

De Villa said she asked her staff to provide data on the number of deaths and cases at long-term care homes because she knows there is a great deal of public interest in the most current figures.

Eatonville Care Centre in Etobicoke has 54 confirmed cases. The home has reported at least 27 deaths so far.

Kipling Acres in Etobicoke has 23 cases and four deaths, while Seven Oaks in Scarborough has 96 cases and 22 deaths.

The Willowdale Welcome Centre in North York, a shelter for refugees, has 20 cases but no deaths, she reported.

De Villa also expressed condolences to the families of long-term care home residents who have died.

Mayor announces launch of DonateTO: COVID-19 portal

Mayor John Tory announced that the city has launched a new web portal, DonateTO: COVID-19, to support relief efforts.

The portal, or webpage, a “one stop shop,” will allow businesses and residents to donate products, services and funds to aid the city in its efforts to help people disadvantaged during the pandemic.

More than $1.5 million worth of goods and services have been already donated.

Tory said the city will accept donations of many kinds of goods and services to assist in what he calls “the war effort.”

Personal protective equipment is most in need, including isolation gowns, surgical masks (Level 2 and 3) that meet Health Canada standards, thermometers, N95 respirator masks, face shields, health-care grade disinfectant wipes, nitrile or vinyl gloves and hand sanitizer.

Food and financial gifts are also especially welcome, he said.

“Governments aren’t alone in this fight against COVID-19,” Tory told reporters. “I’m very heartened by the fact that since the very early days of this pandemic, residents and businesses have stepped forward to help. We’re all in this together.”

Tory said the city has received the following donations from corporations:

  • Hudson’s Bay has donated of 2,117 units of cookware, dinnerware, towels and bed linens and mattresses with a value of $335,000 to the city’s rapid rehousing shelter project.
  • Sleep Country Canada has donated more than $150,000 worth of mattresses, adjustable bases, bed frames, sheets, pillows and mattress protectors to the city’s rapid rehousing shelter project.
  • GlobalMedic, in partnership with Proctor & Gamble, has donated personal care products and cleaning products for vulnerable residents valued at $330,000.

“It is this type of partnership that we’re so used to seeing in the city of Toronto. It’s the Toronto way,” Tory said.

The city said in a news release on Wednesday: “The City of Toronto is working hard to support everyone impacted by COVID-19 and there are many ways the community can support the relief efforts, including donations of personal protective equipment, other goods and services, food and financial gifts.

“All donations help the city, in coordination with our community partners to enhance much needed services and supports, especially for the most vulnerable and those who support them.”

Speeding, stunt driving on the rise, police say

The city is reminding drivers in Toronto to slow down and obey the rules of the road amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Following posted speed limits prevents crashes, keeps street safe and ultimately reduces strain on the city’s health care system, the city added.

“Drivers should stay off the road as much as possible and only travel for essential reasons,” the city said in a news release on Wednesday.

There has been a dramatic drop in the volume of traffic on city streets, the city noted.

Toronto police, however, report that there was a 35 per cent increase in speeding tickets from March 15 to 31 and a nearly 200 per cent increase in the number of stunt driving incidents compared to the same period last year.

This week, officers from the police’s Vision Zero enforcement team will step up their patrols for motorists who are speeding or stunt driving.

The city also reminded drivers that all red light cameras in Toronto are active and tickets are being issued to motorists who disobey traffic signals.

CBC

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