Toronto Public Health: “We need to put up partitions and sheltering areas”

Toronto Public Health vice-chair questions city’s COVID-19 policy, calls for more personal protective equipment and sheltering in place

Toronto Public Health Vice-Chair says, “We need to put up a lot more partitions and to have a lot more sheltering areas.”

A concerned Toronto Public Health (TPH) Vice-Chair told CityNews this week that she was deeply concerned about the city’s COVID-19 (coronavirus) response.

“This is about our livelihood—they need to give us the space to work and to go to work and do our jobs,” said Councillor Janet Davis during a CityNews interview on Thursday, April 8.

Davis, who represents Ward 4, said she had been following various stories involving medical staff and hospitalizations and that, in response, she had become “extremely concerned” that the city’s strategy for responding to COVID-19 did not account for the needs of people who are marginalized or vulnerable.

“I saw a whole bunch of people who have no power anymore,” Davis said. “We need a strategy for them and we need to ensure that our healthcare workers get adequate protective equipment and we need a strategy for the people who are vulnerable … I don’t know how you protect all those people [when] we’re not telling them what’s happening.”

Davis, who is executive director of Ontario’s largest LGBTQ centre, agreed that the response needed to be robust. “This is a public health issue, and we’re dealing with it in the context of that.”

As part of her calls for action, Davis suggested that she was “extremely concerned” that Toronto Public Health (TPH) had not “put up partitions” in public spaces where vulnerable people congregate, such as food courts, shelters and even private homes. These spaces have become the last point of isolation for vulnerable individuals, she said.

“[They are] going to have to

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