Councillor James Pasternak’s Statement on COVID-19

Dear Neighbour,

I am writing to provide you an update on COVID-19 (coronavirus), how your local government is responding to it, and what our community can do to collectively prevent the spread of this virus.

I want to assure you that city staff from all divisions are working to ensure the safety of residents across this city, and that our local government has assembled a COVID-19 task force compromising of key staff and agencies working to maintain public safety.

We all have a responsibility to limit the spread of this virus by practicing good hygiene, and we can do so through regular handwashing, coughing into sleeves instead of hands, and minimizing unnecessary trips. It is also important that we remain calm and work together to protect our families, colleagues and loved ones, especially seniors and those who are immunocompromised who may experience infection more severely.

COVID-19 symptoms range from common to severe respiratory illnesses. Know what to look out for:
· Fever
· Cough
· Muscle aches and tiredness
· Difficulty breathing
· Less commonly, people experience a sore throat, headache and diarrhea.

I am proud to see how our community has responded so far, how individuals have improved their hygiene practices. I would like to give you some helpful tools so you can continue practicing proper hygiene, self-monitor, and know who to contact for assistance:
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 15 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an
alcohol-based hand sanitizer
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
• Avoid close contact with people who are ill
• Stay home if you are ill
• Self-isolate if you have been out of the country within the past 14 days
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then immediately throw the tissue in the garbage and wash your hands
• If you don’t have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your sleeve or arm
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

If you suspect you have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, use the Ministry of Health’s online self-assessment tool at www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19-self-assessment.

For medical advice, you may contact Telehealth Ontario, a free, confidential service at 1-866-797-0000. A Registered Nurse will take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also contact the Toronto Public Health Hotline at 416-338-7600. They provide translation into other languages and are open Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. – 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Toronto Public Health will continue to provide credible up-to-date information at www.toronto.ca/coronavirus

Sincerely,
Councillor James Pasternak
Ward 6, York Centre
Chair, North York Community Council
Chair, Infrastructure and Environment Committee

About James Pasternak

Councillor James Pasternak has represented York Centre (Ward 6) in Toronto City Council since 2010. He sits on the Mayor’s Executive Committee and Chairs the Infrastructure and Environment Committee as well as the Chair of North York Community Council.

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