residential buildings

Toronto urges new health, safety policies for residential buildings

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Large residential buildings with a high number of units require new practices and a rigorous cleaning routine to prevent viral spread. The City of Toronto is asking landlords and condo boards to follow specific guidelines to protect residents in vertical communities.

Mayor John Tory stressed how imperative it is that people practice physical distancing in high rises—an often challenging feat. Councillor Josh Matlow echoed the sentiment for the rental sector.

“It is impossible for renters to adopt life-saving hygiene and social distancing practices if hand sanitizer isn’t accessible and elevators and common areas are crowded,” he said. “That’s why the City of Toronto is asking landlords to protect their tenants’ health by immediately implementing a COVID-19 action plan in their building.”

Here are some guidelines the city released on Friday:

  • Alcohol-based hand sanitizer or a hand washing station with soap and water should be placed at all building entrances.
  • Alcohol-based hand sanitizer should be available in all common areas that remain open, such as laundry rooms.
  • Close non-essential common areas such as bathrooms, gyms, playrooms, playgrounds and other high traffic areas.
  • Routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces in common areas, including doorknobs, elevator buttons, light switches, toilet handles, counters, hand rails, touch screen surfaces and keypads, with common household cleaners and disinfectants.
  • Organize the building to accept deliveries of essential goods, like medications, for residents to avoid non-essential trips outside.
  • Post signage limiting the number of residents allowed in common areas, including laundry rooms and elevators, to ensure that individuals are able to maintain a two-metre distance. Consider allowing a maximum of three residents at a time in elevators.
  • When showing units or suites for sale or lease, practice physical distancing – keep a safe distance of two metres from the resident and wash hands with soap and water, and or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, before and after the visit.

Additional information regarding General Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) Guidance for Commercial or Residential Buildings can be found here.

The city’s website is updated daily with the latest health advice and information about City services, social supports, and economic recovery measures. Check for answers to common questions before contacting the Toronto Public Health COVID-19 Hotline or 311.

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