Peel, Ottawa, Toronto Facing Additional COVID-19 Restrictions

By: Laura Steiner, Editor/ Reporter

The Region of Peel, and cities of Ottawa and Toronto are facing additional restrictions in the battle against COVID-19. Ontario Premier Doug Ford made the announcement earlier this afternoon at his Friday news conference.

“The health experts presented the most recent health data which identified some alarming public health trends that require immediate attention and early action to keep people safe,” Ford said. The province saw its highest number of new cases of COVID-19 at 939 for today.

Toronto had 336 new cases, Peel at 150, 126 in Ottawa. The three regions are facing the following closures and restrictions as of 12:01 a.m. Saturday October 10, 2020:

  • Indoor gyms, and fitness centres (exercise classes and weight and exercise rooms)
  • Casinos, bingo halls and other gaming establishments
  • Indoor cinemas
  • performing arts centres and venues
  • Spectator areas in racing venues;
  • Interactive exhibits or exhibits with high risk of personal contact in museums, galleries, zoos, science centres, landmarks etc.
  • Prohibiting personal care services where face coverings must be removed for the service (e.g. makeup application, beard trimming.

Capacity will also be reduced for:

  • Tour and guide services to 10 people indoors and 25 outdoors
  • Real estate open houses to 10 people indoors, where physical distancing can be maintained
  • In-person teaching and instruction (e.g. cooking class) to 10 people indoors, 25 outdoors, with exemptions for schools, child care centres, and post-secondary institutions
  • Limiting team sports to training sessions

Schools, child care centres, and places of worship will remain open. “We need to halt this dangerous trend by tightening public health measures in Ottawa, Peel and Toronto in order to keep our schools open, protect our seniors and loved ones in long-term care homes, and avoid the need for harsher measures in the future,” Health Minister Christine Elliott said.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams is asking residents in the rest of the province to limit trips outside of the home, practice physical distancing and wear a non-medical face covering.

Ontario Provides Relief for Property Tax/ Business costs

Ontario Finance Minister Rod Phillips also announced new help for small businesses. $300 million will be available for businesses to use for fixed expenses such as property taxes, hydro, and natural gas.

“Since the outset of the pandemic the government has recognized that the health and safety of the people of Ontario must come first, while supporting workers and business-owners during this unprecedented global pandemic,” Phillips said. The new aid will be available to the three regions affected by these new restrictions.