City of Toronto Taking a Breather From Parks, Recreation Programs In Wake of Measles Outbreak

The City of Toronto is putting a pause on some of its activities, including parks and recreation programs, as it grapples with the measles outbreak in the city. City spokeswoman Wynna Brown says there…

City of Toronto Taking a Breather From Parks, Recreation Programs In Wake of Measles Outbreak

The City of Toronto is putting a pause on some of its activities, including parks and recreation programs, as it grapples with the measles outbreak in the city.

City spokeswoman Wynna Brown says there have been a number of health department recommendations related to the outbreak and the decision was made to allow health officials to take over some programs that are not in close proximity to those programs.

She says seasonal programs are unaffected.

The Health Unit says the virus has infected 33 people in Toronto in the last two weeks, including eight who have died.

Health officials have recommended that all residents get their measles shots before the end of the year, at their first opportunity, and to prevent an epidemic, people who have not received their shots must get them immediately.

The City of Toronto says it has also temporarily turned off outdoor pools for a time so that city staff can focus on addressing the health department’s recommendations.

“The city has decided to take a step back and allow our public health inspectors to focus on and help supervise the many cultural and recreational opportunities that are not in close proximity to the potential outbreak,” said Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly.

The city says it has helped public health officials monitor and stop all unvaccinated people from coming to the pools, meeting facilities and at-risk events.

The city’s Dr. Eileen de Villa said staff have made great strides in case of a future outbreak, given the number of people it has vaccinated, and the limited sites where unvaccinated people can go without some level of protection.

“As far as we’re concerned, we’re prepared,” she said.

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