Dear Neighbour,

I hope you all had a chance to relax during the long weekend.

There have been a few announcements since I last wrote to you. You will find them below.

The Legislature reconvened this afternoon to extend the province’s
state of emergency to May 12, 2020, which passed unanimously.  All emergency orders that have been put in place to-date will remain in effect.

Over the weekend, it was heartbreaking to hear reports of more
outbreaks in long term care facilities. Long-term care deaths from COVID-19 now account for almost half of all of Ontario’s deceased, according to the provincial data on infections. Today the Premier finally issued a new emergency order effective midnight that those who work in long-term care homes can only work in one home in order to reduce the chance of the infection spreading from one home to another. As you may recall, my colleagues and I had been calling for such measures. I hope this will be followed by an increase in wages and hours of LTC workers. Most of them are Personal Support Workers who work in multiple homes because they are hired only on a part-time basis and earn around minimum wage with no benefits. They have to patch together multiple jobs to be able to earn enough to live on.

COVID-19 has shown us everyday frontline workers are real heroes. They’ve always been the essential people who keep everything running, but the pandemic has highlighted their importance in a way that’s now impossible to ignore. It is only right that we ensure they have livable wages, workplace protections and mental health supports.

Wash your hands. Stay home (except if you must work). Be kind. We are all in this together.


Bhutila Karpoche,
MPP for Parkdale—High Park
COVID-19 Peak
According to public health officials, Ontario’s first wave is expected to hit the peak for COVID-19 cases this week. It is extremely important to note that even if the province does hit the peak, we must continue to remain vigilant or the numbers could get worse. 

I share this news mainly to let you know that all our efforts following the public health recommendations of staying home, maintaining physical distancing when we must go out and washing our hands regularly is working and so we must continue to do that. 

Updated modelling information will be released soon.
Extension of School Closures
  • Schools will not be re-opening on May 4, 2020, as previously scheduled.
  • The school year has not been cancelled yet.
  • The Minister of Education is expected to provide more details in the coming days.
Child Care
  • An emergency order has been issued that temporarily prevents child care centres from collecting payments from parents.
  • The order also ensures that child care spaces are protected.
Assessment Centres
  • Last week, the government announced that they would be ramping up COVID-19 testing. So far, approximately 100 assessment centres have been opened across the province.
  • Nearest COVID-19 Assessment Centre
    • St. Joseph's Health Centre here.
      Address: 30 The Queensway, Sunnyside Building, Main Floor East.
      Entrance: Sunnyside Avenue
      Hours: 7 days/week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Information on who should and should not visit an assessment centre can be found here.
  • The testing plan has been revised to reach 14,000 tests a day by April 29, 2020.
  • Ontario will now be proactively testing several priority groups, including:
    • Hospital inpatients;
    • Residents of long-term care and retirement homes;
    • Health care workers, caregivers, care providers, paramedics, and first responders, including police and firefighters;
    • Remote, isolated, rural and Indigenous communities;
    • Other congregate living centres, including homeless shelters, prisons and group homes;
    • Specific vulnerable populations, including patients undergoing chemotherapy or hemodialysis and requiring transplants, as well as pregnant persons, newborns and cross-border workers
    • Other essential workers, as defined by provincial orders.
  • Details of the enhanced testing strategy can be found here.
Reminder: For the most up-to-date information please visit Toronto Public Health, Ontario Ministry of Health, and the Public Health Agency of Canada. Contact information is available on my website here.
Community Office
While our office will be closing to the public as part of our efforts to manage the COVID-19 virus, we will continue to provide services for constituents via phone and email. Thank you for your patience and flexibility during this time. 

Phone: 416-763-5630
Copyright © 2020 MPP for Parkdale—High Park, All rights reserved.

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