January 29th Weekly Update

Published on January 29, 2021
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Dear Neighbour, 

On January 25th, we marked the anniversary of the first confirmed COVID-19 case in the province of Ontario. Since then, Ontario has tragically lost 5,846 lives to this deadly virus. We mourn the passing of each and every person and offer our deepest condolences to their families, friends and colleagues. 

Recent evidence shows Ontarians' efforts to contain COVID-19 are working, with provincial trends in most key public health indicators trending down.

However, recent modelling suggests that the UK variant and other new variants remain a significant threat to controlling the pandemic and could become the dominant strain of the virus in the province by March 2021, posing an increased threat to public health and hospital capacity.
Ontario's first COVID-19 UK variant case was confirmed last month and was due to international travel. Since that time, 51 cases of the variant have been confirmed in the province. Evidence shows that the UK variant could be up to 56 per cent more transmissible.

Today, the Ontario Government announced a six-point plan today to stop the spread of new variants including the U.K variant. This includes: 

→ Mandatory COVID-19 testing of international travellers upon arrival at Pearson Airport, beginning February 1st at 12:01 pm. The government is also exploring additional testing measures at Pearson and land border crossings in the coming weeks.

→ Enhanced Screening and Sequencing by ramping up capacity to screen all positive COVID-19 tests in Ontario for known variants within two to three days of initial processing. Public Health Ontario (PHO) will also undertake and coordinate genomic sequencing efforts to identify new and emerging variants by sequencing up to 10 per cent of all positive tests by February 17, 2021.

→ Maintain Public Health Measures to prevent further spread given the latest details by the science table. 

→ Strengthen COVID-19 contact tracing and management by asking all asymptomatic contacts to repeat testing on or after day 10 of their quarantine, and the entire household of all contacts and symptomatic individuals will be asked to stay home until the contact has a negative test.

→ Enhancing protections for vulnerable populations by accelerating vaccination of residents in long-term care, high-risk retirement and First Nations elder care homes and;

→ By leveraging data by immediately establishing a genomics databank and real-time analytics dashboard to empower the province's public health officials and improve the government's planning related to pandemic response. This will enhance the province's capacity to identify known and emerging variants of COVID-19.

To learn more about today's plan, click here.
Yesterday was #BellLetsTalk Day, a national advocacy day for Mental Health. Every year, Canadians, through their interactions with the #BellLetsTalk hashtag on social media create a positive change, raise money and awareness surrounding mental health.

Mental health is just as important as physical health. Learn about the supports available to you from the Government of Ontario, and how to get help when you need it. Visit http://ontario.ca/mentalhealth to learn more. 

On January 27, we marked the annual commemoration of International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Each year, we honour the memory of the six million victims who were brutally murdered by the Nazi regime during the Holocaust. We keep their the memories alive and celebrate the great strength and resilience of the survivors.

We remind the world there is no place for acts of anti-Semitism, intolerance, hatred, or discrimination towards others in our society. And together we resolve, Never Again.
Four years ago today, solely on the basis of hatred and terrorism, six innocent people lost their lives and nineteen people were seriously injured at the Islamic Cultural Centre in Quebec City. Islamophobia has no place in our society. 

Today and everyday, I stand united with the Muslim community in Ontario and Canada. I grieve with the families and members of the community who were impacted by this senseless act. 
In an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and in adherence to the Stay-At-Home Order, my constituency office remains closed for in-person visits. My constituency staff and I will be working remotely at this time. We remain ready to assist. You can continue to contact us at (416) 781-2395 or email [email protected].
Stay safe, stay healthy, 
Robin Martin, MPP
Think you have COVID-19 Symptoms or have been in close contact with some who does? Click here for a self-assessment.
COVID-19 Assessment Centres in Ontario
For the most up-to-date COVID-19 information from the Government of Ontario visit ontario.ca/coronavirus
Download the COVID-19 Alert App Today! Click here
  • The City of Toronto continues to respond to COVID-19 and is proactively taking steps to address COVID-19 variants, including the U.K variant. Toronto Public Health (TPH) continues to work with congregate settings, facilities and City divisions to
  • increase infection prevention and control measures (IPAC) to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and any variant strains.
  • The extension recommendation is for bylaws that were originally set to expire at the end of the February 2 and 3, 2021 City Council meeting and include.
    → The Physical Distancing in Public Spaces bylaws (322-2020 and 323-2020)
    → The Mandatory Mask bylaws (541-2020 as amended by 664-2020); and
    → COVID-19 amendments to Chapter 354, Apartment Buildings 
    → the COVID-19 amendments to Chapter 545, Licensing.
  • Extreme Cold Weather Alert – seek shelter, check on loved ones
    The Warming Centres are located at the following:
    → 129 Peter St.
    → 5800 Yonge St.
    → Exhibition Place, Better Living Centre, 195 Princes’ Blvd.
    → Scarborough Civic Centre, 150 Borough Dr.

Authorized by the CFO for the Eglinton-Lawrence PC Association