COVID this week: improving

The number of new COVID cases in Weston in the past three weeks has declined slightly—a welcome change after weeks of increases. Over the past two weeks, the number of new cases has flattened.

There have been 51 new cases of community-transmitted COVID in the past 21 days, according to city data.

New community tranmissions, from the city.

Including outbreaks in healthcare facilities, there were 59 cases in Weston.

Last week, there had been 68 cases in three weeks. We have returned close to levels of two weeks ago, when there had been 57.

Two students at Weston CI were also diagnosed with COVID, the student cases in Weston.

COVID testing is not working out well at the Church Street site

The CBC says that some people getting tested at the recently-opened Church Street COVID testing centre are having to wait more than two weeks to get their results.

“What’s the whole point of going in for tests if you don’t even get the results until after the quarantine time? There’s no point. It defeats the whole purpose,” she said.

Faisal Hassan, NDP MPP for York South-Weston, says he received more than 25 complaints in a week about people waiting for test results from the Church Street assessment centre.

He says residents were concerned that without a result, they couldn’t return to work, go to school, or visit and provide essential care to loved ones in long-term care homes.

“We have been [identified] as a hotspot area and these delays are totally unacceptable,” he said.

The hospital told the CBC that their typical turnaround is three to five days.

In addition to the burdens they place on those being tested, long turnarounds make contact tracing impossible.

Upcoming events

The Weston GO and UPX will host an art exhibit this week. “Part 3”, by Kaya Joan, will be projected between 7 and 10 at night between October 21 and 24.

UrbanArts is launching an online painting workshop starting October 27.

Shakespeare In Action is launching a number of online programs:

Stroll Mount Dennis

If you’re looking for something to do in the middle—let’s hope—of the pandemic, the city has mapped out a tour of Mount Dennis that sounds like fun.

It includes a number of places I hadn’t heard of (and a few I had):

  • Portage Gardens Park
  • The Vendanta Society
  • An optical illusion box
  • Eglinton Flats and Topham Pond
  • Nyctophilia
  • The Pollinators mural
  • Welcome to Mount Dennis sign and mural
  • UrbanArts
  • Bala Avenue Community School

Neighbourhood Stroll: Mount Dennis

COVID rates in Weston are “alarming”

Frances Nunziata says that the COVID positivity rate in Weston is “alarming”.

New data that was reported this week on the overall percent of COVID-19 test positivity rates by neighbourhood indicates that rates in York South—Weston are alarming and disproportionately high compared to other parts of Toronto.

The city’s official numbers haven’t been released, but a Toronto ER doctor published a table that says Weston’s positivity rate is 8.3%—not, thankfully, the highest in the city, but still far above the “3% [that] should prompt shutdowns”

Weston has seen 68 new cases in the past three weeks, an increase of 11 over last week. Eight of the cases occurred in healthcare facilities.

Schools in Weston, however, have largely been free of COVID infections. Pelmo Park had one case in a teacher, but no other cases have occurred in schools in Weston. (There has been a handful of cases in schools that receive students from Weston.)

For Youth Initiative raised $50K for scholarships

The For Youth Initiative raised $50,000 for post-secondary students looking to go to college, university, or job training. That’s enough for 25 scholarships.

The FYI Scholarship program, now in its 15th year, is in commemoration of Jamal Hemmings and Amon Beckles, Toronto youth who were lost to gun violence in November 2005. Jamal and Amon were participants in FYI’s daily programs and will be remembered for their positive, vibrant personalities and dance skills. The FYI Scholarship Program supports our community’s youth towards a brighter future through funding support for various forms of education including: university, college, job training, education certification, trades or an apprenticeship program.