Toronto cancels city-led and permitted events to June 30

National Sports

Hospital staff dressed in protective equipment stand by as a patient is taken out of an ambulance at Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital, Sunday, March 29, 2020. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press via AP)

TORONTO (AP) — Canada’s largest city, Toronto, announced Tuesday it is canceling all city-led and permitted events through June 30 amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Mayor John Tory said that includes Pride Toronto in late June.

Don Peat, a spokesman for the mayor, said it applies to events that get city permits like parades and festivals and does not include sports events like the Blue Jays, Raptors and Maple Leafs..

But Ontario already has a province wide ban of gatherings of more than five people. The province has not said how long that will be in force though. Toronto city spokesman Brad Ross said games in arenas or stadiums fall under the mass gathering order issued by the province.

“We have cancelled events that are City-led or need permits to the end of June. These are, primarily, events that have been planned or are being planned to give organizers certainty,” Ross said.

Tory said the health and safety of residents has to be the priority and said physical distancing is critical. The decision to cancel was made in consultation with Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health.

Toronto has at least 628 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus, including eight deaths.

“Many of these events of course involve thousands of people, sometimes hundreds of thousands of people, and it is doubtful that the health environment will be where it needs to be on the original scheduled spring dates if these events are to happen in a healthy safe and stress free way,” Tory said.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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