Friday marked two full weeks that most Toronto residents have been working from home and practicing social distancing amidst the coronavirus outbreak in the city.
However, despite all the measures in place to curb the spread of the virus, including the closure of all non-essential businesses and playgrounds and park amenities and residents being directed to stay home, Toronto Public Health continues to report more confirmed COVID-19 cases every day, with the City now monitoring 339 cases as of March 26.
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In light of this, the City is urging landlords and condo boards to adopt new health and safety measures to protect residents from COVID-19. The City says large residential buildings that house a high number of units now require new practices and a rigorous cleaning routine to prevent viral spread.
“Making sure people are practicing physical distancing within vertical communities presents a unique challenge,” said Mayor John Tory in a statement on Friday.
“That’s why it’s imperative that Landlords and Condo Boards move forward with rigorous health and safety measures now to protect residents from COVID-19.”
To further protect residents living in condos and apartments, the City encourages building operators and staff to follow these guidelines:
- Alcohol-based hand sanitizer or a handwashing station with soap and water should be placed at all building entrances.
- Alcohol-based hand sanitizer should be available in all common areas that remain open, such as laundry rooms.
- Close non-essential common areas such as bathrooms, gyms, playrooms, playgrounds and other high traffic areas.
- Routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces in common areas, including doorknobs, elevator buttons, light switches, toilet handles, counters, handrails, touch screen surfaces and keypads, with common household cleaners and disinfectants.
- Organize the building to accept deliveries of essential goods, like medications, for residents to avoid non-essential trips outside.
- Post signage limiting the number of residents allowed in common areas, including laundry rooms and elevators, to ensure that individuals are able to maintain a two-metre distance. Consider allowing a maximum of three residents at a time in elevators.
- When showing units or suites for sale or lease, practice physical distancing – keep a safe distance of two metres from the resident and wash hands with soap and water, and or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, before and after the visit.
Landlords, Condo Boards urged to adopt new health and safety measures to protect residents from COVID-19 https://t.co/CBmk5S28jf
— Josh Matlow (@JoshMatlow) March 27, 2020
“It is impossible for renters to adopt life-saving hygiene and social distancing practices if hand sanitizer isn’t accessible and elevators and common areas are crowded,” said city councillor Josh Matlow, Ward 12, who has been very vocal about keeping Torontonians safe during the coronavirus outbreak.
“That’s why the City of Toronto is asking landlords to protect their tenants’ health by immediately implementing a COVID-19 action plan in their building.”
Here are what some buildings and property managers have already been doing in Toronto to help battle community spread.