As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to surge, more charges have been laid against individuals in Toronto for breaking gathering rules.
On Monday, Toronto Fire Chief Matthew Pegg noted that since the December 30 city update, 20 charges have been laid as a result of large gatherings on private properties, including a place of worship, short-term rental properties, and residences.
Pegg also noted that seven charges were laid and notices given to retail stores including holistic centres, personal service settings, and pet grooming services.
Of the 118 restaurants and bars investigated in the last week, none were seen to be in violation of the COVID-19 orders.
Pegg said that two protests in public squares resulted in two charges being laid.
He added there is a continued problem of outdoor ice rink usage after hours and that closed ski and snowboard hills are still being used for various activities including tobogganing.
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On Monday, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa said that 974 more COVID-19 cases were reported, with 366 in hospital and 98 in ICU, as well as 38 more deaths.
De Villa also said that Toronto Public Health’s website will now include weekly updates every Thursday on data of outbreaks in workplace settings without compromising personal privacy. The workplaces settings will be categorized into grocery stores, pharmacies, offices, food processing sites, shipping and distribution, and construction.
The city’s top doctor also offered guidelines for employers and businesses on additional measures to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Some of these requirements include that businesses “immediately notify” public health if two or more employees have COVID-19 and designate a contact person with Toronto Public Health.
She added that there must be enhanced cleaning of high-touch areas, physical distancing, and regular checks of ventilation systems.
There is a total of 63,003 COVID-19 cases in the city, with 54,554 recovered, and 1,961 reported deaths.