As part of the city’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Toronto City Hall and Metro Hall will close while some city staff have been told to work remotely.
The decision comes as Mayor John Tory follows the advice of the City’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Eileen de Villa.
City Hall, Metro Hall, and all civic centres will be closed to public access from March 18 until April 5, and many staff members will be working from home in order to increase social distance.
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The city will also be scaling back and/or modifying the delivery of all non-essential services until April 5.
“The City of Toronto needs to set an example and be a leader in flattening the curve. While the reduction of non-essential services is disruptive, we need to respect the advice of our Medical Officer of Health and prioritize the health and safety of our hardworking City staff, residents, and vulnerable populations,” Tory said in a release.
“I will continue doing everything I can to minimize the impact of COVID-19, protect our residents, and speed along an economic recovery for Toronto.”
Essential or critical services that will remain operational are those that:
- Are required to meet legislative requirements;
- Support employee and public health, safety and security;
- Enable critical community services and supports, including coronavirus mitigation and recovery;
- Support services necessary to keep essential services operating;
- Protect and operate vital infrastructure;
- Fulfill contractual, legal and financial obligations.
Examples of such include: emergency response by Toronto Police, Fire, and Paramedics; Toronto Water operations; emergency shelters; waste collection; and the ongoing response to coronavirus.
For those employees who are required to report to work in their regular locations, the City says it is complying with the best public health and occupational health advice available.
If people can stay home, please do stay home and limit your interactions with other people. We know from our medical professionals that engaging in social distancing will protect people’s health and the health of their family and their neighbours. #FlattenTheCurve pic.twitter.com/dSaoU0b7OA
— John Tory (@JohnTory) March 17, 2020
Toronto Public Health continues to encourage all residents to stay home if possible and reduce their interactions with other people.
With coronavirus on the rise, Toronto Public Health is reminding individuals who attend events and large gatherings to monitor their health for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. And if you’re not feeling well, they recommend staying home at this time. Also, due to unexpected cancellations, please check the event you plan to attend is still taking place. Keep up with COVID-19 news here.