City of Toronto officials are expected to provide an update on COVID-19 vaccination efforts on Wednesday afternoon.
The virtual news conference is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. You can watch the news conference live in this story.
Mayor John Tory is expected to speak to reporters after city council approved an extension of its COVID-19 bylaws until April 22 at a Wednesday meeting.
The bylaws include mandatory masking, requiring everyone to wear masks in all indoor public settings, such as businesses and common areas in apartments and condos.
Apartment buildings are also required under these bylaws to provide hand hygiene stations or hand sanitizer in common areas. Non-essential common areas are also supposed to be closed.
“These bylaws are a temporary and necessary response to the pandemic to help save lives and protect people,” Mayor John Tory said in a news release on Wednesday.
The news conference also comes after the Toronto District School Board asked students to take home their personal belongings and electronic devices as they prepare for the possibility of a switch to remote learning in the new year.
In a memo to parents and caregivers, the board said it hasn’t received any indication from Ontario’s education ministry that schools will close, but wants to make sure it can make a transition “smoothly and efficiently.”
“As we prepare for the winter break, we are of course looking ahead to the new year and what learning may look like as we return to school in January,” the TDSB said.
“As cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in Toronto, so too does the possibility of individual classes or schools moving to remote learning for a period of time.”
On Wednesday, Toronto reported 498 new cases of COVID-19. City pandemic data shows that there are 22 people in hospitals in the city with COVID-19, four in intensive care units and four needing ventilators to breathe. A total of 3,720 people have died of the virus in Toronto.
More than 88 per cent of Toronto residents aged 12 and older have received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while more than 86 per cent have received two doses, as of Monday.
The city said 35 per cent of children in Toronto age five to 11 have now received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine. The number represents more than one in every three children in the city.
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