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Toronto's top doctor recommends extension of COVID-19 bylaws until June

Last Updated Jan 28, 2021 at 1:39 pm EDT

A Toronto Transit Commission bus driver wears a mask and gloves as he drives a bus in Toronto on Tuesday, April 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Toronto’s medical officer of health is advising the extension of its COVID-19 temporary bylaws until the City Council’s meeting in June.

Dr. Eileen de Villa says the recommendation comes with the currently enforced, but temporary bylaws set to expire at the end of the February 2 and 3 council meeting.

These include Toronto’s Physical Distancing in Public Spaces and the Mandatory Mask bylaws. City Council will debate the extension recommendation at its next meeting which begins on Tuesday.

De Villa says she will also conduct a monthly assessment regarding the need to continue each bylaw.

“At this critical stage in our fight against COVID-19, we must use every tool we have to keep one another safe. Right now, that includes extending the City of Toronto bylaws mandating mask usage and physical distancing requirements,” said Mayor John Tory in a statement.

“While I know we all want this period to be over, these measures will help us continue to protect ourselves and others at a time when it’s more important than ever.”

RELATED: Ontario to provide pandemic modelling update as daily case counts decline

On Wednesday, de Villa revealed that between August of 2020 and last week, the City’s 3-1-1 line received almost 2,000 calls about improper mask usage in shared residential spaces.

The data reveals that 75 percent of the complaints are linked to residential apartment buildings and 25 percent are related to condos.

In an effort to further increase enforcement efforts, Tory says a dozen of ‘263’ locations that received complaints will get in-person visits.

A group of government advisers is set to release Ontario’s updated COVID-19 projections this afternoon.

The new data comes two weeks after the province invoked a stay-at-home order in a bid to halt surging case spread.