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Man dead following shooting in Malvern, police say

BT Toronto | posted Monday, Sep 21st, 2020

A man has died following a shooting in Toronto’s Malvern neighbourhood, police said Sunday.

Police said they were called to the Sheppard Avenue East and Morningside Drive area at around 6:06 p.m.

A 29-year-old man was found without vital signs by responding officers, police said. Paramedics transported the man to the hospital where he was later declared dead.

Photos and video from the scene show a taped-off section of Bradworthy Court with what appears to be gunshell casings on the ground.

The incident remains under investigation and police ask anyone with information to contact them. Tips can also be left anonymously with Crime Stoppers.

Missing man Chandulal Gandhi found dead in Brampton conservation area: police

BT Toronto | posted Monday, Sep 21st, 2020

Police say an elderly man that went missing in Rexdale last week has been found dead in a Brampton conservation area.

Chandulal Gandhi, 83, went missing from the Kipling Avenue and Steeles Avenue West area on Sept. 15th.

Investigators said they found his body in the Claireville Conservation Area on Sunday afternoon.

Police Supt. Ron Taverner said the body was found in a remote area of the park.

He added that the coroner believes Gandhi likely died of exposure.

“it’s a very very sad situation,” he said.

Investigators are unsure how Gandhi got to that location, but the investigation continues.

First student case of COVID-19 in TDSB school reported at York Memorial CI

BT Toronto | posted Friday, Sep 18th, 2020

The first case of a student testing positive for COVID-19 in a TDSB school was reported at York Memorial Collegiate Institute Thursday.

In a letter to parents, the school’s principal says the case was detected prior to the first day of school “when students had not yet formally returned.”

Principal Donna Drummond says the student was only at the school “very briefly” on Monday and will not return until they are cleared by Toronto Public Health (TPH).

“We are working closely with Toronto Public Health with regard to this case, but please know we have no reason to believe there is any cause for concern for students and their families,” she said in the letter.

Enhanced cleaning was conducted in all impacted areas and TPH has not advised any further steps at this time.

As of Thursday, eight TDSB schools have confirmed a case of COVID-19 – all but one have involved staff members.

1 of 2 missing men in Rexdale found

BT Toronto | posted Friday, Sep 18th, 2020

Toronto police say one of two missing men in Rexdale has been found.

Leonard Simpson, 98, was located safe on Thursday evening and police thanked the public for their assistance.

Police say he was found by a drone as he was walking down Kipling Avenue and appeared in good health.

Simpson had been missing since Monday and police upgraded their search to a Level 3 search for him and 83-year-old Chandulal Gandhi.

Gandhi is still missing and was last seen on Tuesday at 5 p.m. in the Kipling Avenue and Steeles Avenue West area.

He is described as five-foot-seven inches with a slim build, white hair, and a white beard.

He was last seen wearing grey dress pants, a black jacket, and a blue baseball cap.

Police have released video of Gandhi that shows what he was wearing when he went missing.

Social gathering limits scaled back in Ontario hotspots, $10K fines announced

BT Toronto | posted Friday, Sep 18th, 2020

The Ford government announced that starting on Friday, social gathering limits will be reduced to 10 indoors and 25 outdoors for Toronto, Peel Region and Ottawa.

Indoor and outdoor events cannot be merged and the cap is not cumulative — gatherings of 35 are not permitted.

At a news conference on Thursday, Premier Doug Ford said the cap includes parties in backyards and gatherings in parks, but won’t be applied to restaurants, bars and other staffed businesses like cinemas, gyms, convention centres and sporting or performing arts events. Current public health measures continue to apply to those businesses.

The new guidelines also do not apply to weddings held in banquet halls or convention centres that already must follow existing social distancing and other public health measures.

Toronto Mayor John Tory said he is concerned about that decision because the city has identified the spread of COVID-19 at a number of weddings.

“Weddings are opportunities for crowds of people to get together … (and) in the end, these are places that it seems the virus is spreading. So, we’re going to have to have a look at how we can educate people better,” Tory said.

“We will throw the book at you,” Ford said, warning that anyone who breaks the rules will face steep fines.

“They must be a few fries short of Happy Meal, these people. I just don’t get it. They go out there, they know the rules and they just blatantly ignore it. They’re hurting families.”

Fines of between $10,000 and $100,000 will apply to hosts of parties who do not adhere to the new guidelines. Anyone who attends the parties can be fined $750.

The previous limit on social gatherings was 50 people indoors and 100 outdoors.

Markham mayor Frank Scarpitti said he was disappointed that the York Region was not included among the areas where the new restrictions would apply.

“We want to avoid becoming another COVID-19 hotspot,” Scarpitti said in a release. “Not only does this leave our community more vulnerable, but could also invite illegal gatherings in our backyard through short-term rental accommodations.”

Ontario’s chief medical officer of health said Thursday he and other medical officials are monitoring infection rates in other regions of the province, and it’s possible the tightened restrictions could be expanded.

“Three (regions) is a start,” Dr. David Williams said. “It would be nice if we didn’t have to go beyond that, but I don’t rule out that we would have to go beyond that.”

The new rules will also not change the way schools in the affected areas are operating, said Health Minister Christine Elliott.

“What we have in our schools is a situation where people are in cohorts, they are wearing masks, they are achieving physical distancing that’s required, and following the hand-washing (guidelines),” she said. “None of this is happening in these unmonitored social gatherings.”

Liberal House Leader John Fraser said the new rules for social gatherings don’t jibe with the province’s stance on school reopenings, where critics say physical distancing isn’t possible in classrooms with nearly 30 students.

“The most important thing is clarity, and that hasn’t been coming from the government,” Fraser said.

Prior to Ford’s announcement, Tory told Breakfast Television he supported a restriction on gatherings in the city and elsewhere in the GTA.

“There are places in the province, many places where they are just not having any new cases, or maybe they are having one. But we have a problem here with the trend line. Our medical officer of health told us yesterday that the trend line is very concerning,” Tory said.

Motorcyclist, 32, killed in fiery crash in Scarborough

BT Toronto | posted Friday, Sep 18th, 2020

A 32-year-old motorcyclist has been killed following a collision in Scarborough.

Police say a motorcycle and car collided on Warden Avenue just south of Highway 401 around 10:41 p.m.

According to a tweet by Toronto police, the motorcycle caught fire and the rider was without vital signs. He was eventually pronounced dead at the scene.

Investigators believe the car was attempting to turn left onto Highway 401 and turned into the path of the motorcycle. Police are also investigating whether speed was a factor in the collision.

Police say the other driver involved in the crash remained at the scene.

St. Mike’s assessment centre data shows spike in recent positivity rates

BT Toronto | posted Thursday, Sep 17th, 2020

Toronto continues to be one of the hot spots when it comes to the recent spike in new cases of COVID-19 across the province and data from a downtown assessment centre shows just how profound the increase has been with recent positivity rates three-times the provincial average.

St. Michael’s Hospital’s assessment centre has seen a 60 per cent increase in people showing up to be tested the past couple of weeks on its peak days. The positivity rates of people getting tested has also increased significantly.

During the period of Sept. 6 to 12, the positivity rate of tests conducted jumped up to 2.2 per cent after sitting at 0.4 per cent over the past two months.

For comparison, the positivity rate across the province of Ontario was at 0.7 per cent over the same time period.

Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto’s medical officer of health, says the increase in case numbers is a clear sign that we are entering a resurgence.

“Our reproductive number is 1.2 – that means that each new case of COVID-19 infection is creating 1.2 further cases. That’s why we want to see that reproductive number below 1,” Dr. de Villa said at her daily briefing on Wednesday.

“We’re now six weeks into reopening in Toronto and a picture is emerging of infections in our city. In these last six weeks, approximately 50 per cent of COVID-19 infections are categorized as close contact, meaning as a result of exposure to someone whose infection is known – although it may not have been evident when they infected someone else.”

De Villa says they are also seeing patterns emerge that point to infections from smaller gatherings such as play dates and extended family get-togethers.

“We’re in a transition period as we approach the fall and winter months. We’re at a crossroads too. No one person will decide what happens next. It’s what we do together and what happens as a result.”

The recent spike in daily new cases has also prompted the Ontario government to pledge to lower the limits on social gatherings in an attempt to slow the increases.

Provincial health officials have attributed the spike in cases largely to people not following public health guidelines at social gatherings.

Premier Doug Ford’s office has confirmed the move but won’t say when those new guidelines will be released.

The current limit on social gatherings is 50 people indoors and 100 outdoors.

Toronto top doctor says multiple weddings led to 22 COVID-19 infections

LUCAS CASALETTO | posted Thursday, Sep 17th, 2020

Local weddings continue to be a culprit behind the spread of COVID-19 as Toronto reports yet another high daily increase of new infections.

Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health is reporting 86 new COVID-19 cases across the city with six of them confirmed as staff at local schools.

Dr. Eileen de Villa says in the last six weeks, 50 per cent of infections have been categorized as close contact.

“It’s happening particularly at events where your guard is down,” de Villa said alongside Mayor John Tory at their daily COVID-19 briefing on Wednesday.

“My team is currently investigating and tracking four separate weddings that have so far generated 22 infections. Remember, prior to their positive test, these 22 people would have been contagious possibly without knowing it for a period of time.”

She says there have also been infections from smaller gatherings including play dates and gatherings of extended family.

The update from health officials comes as the topic of large gatherings continues to be debated by the Ford government. The Premier said on Wednesday a decision on limiting social gatherings is coming soon as the province deals with three COVID-19 hot spots in Toronto, Peel Region and Ottawa.

The trend of positive infections at weddings is a troubling and contentious one being felt across the GTA. In early September, York Region Public Health said 23 attendees tested positive for coronavirus.

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