In COVID-19 Updates

Update 17 from COVID-19 Crisis Task Force

As-Salāmu ‘Alaykum

To our Community members and attendees,

We hope you are all keeping well.

It has been reassuring to hear that the number of COVID-19 cases reported day is once again, below 200. Provincial health officials reported 189 new cases of the virus today, and 192 more cases in the province have been considered resolved. The rolling five-day average of new cases now stands at 181, continuing in a downward trend. 27,511 tests have been conducted throughout Ontario over the past 24 hours, and the case positivity rate is at 0.68 per cent, down from 0.7 per cent on Wednesday.

Ontario’s two most heavily populated regions saw more businesses open their doors on Wednesday as Toronto and Peel moved into the next stage of the province’s COVID-19 recovery plan. The two regions officially entered Stage 2 of the pandemic reopening framework, joining nearly all of the rest of the province that began ramping up activities over the past two weeks. Windsor-Essex remains the only region not cleared to move to the next phase, due to stubbornly high COVID-19 case numbers on farms in the region.

Businesses given the green light to resume operations in Toronto and Peel yesterday include hair stylists, pools and tour guide services. Restaurants were also allowed to reopen their patios for dine-in service, though no one is yet allowed to be served indoors. In all cases, the Ontario government states that proper physical distancing measures and personal hygiene must be maintained to prevent a spike in COVID-19 cases. In short, while together we are showing steady progress, we have to be mindful that the province is still operating under “a state of emergency” that has been extended to July 15th.

While several businesses and services resume to the ‘new normal’ and places of worship throughout Ontario open for prayer, many are asking  – ‘When will the ISIJ centres reopen?’

The COVID-19 Crisis Task Force met with the Jaffari Facilities Management Committee, stakeholders from all three centres, volunteer committees and the Secretariat on Monday to discuss and plan the way forward for the ISIJ of Toronto centres.

It is important to note that even when the ISIJ centres do reopen, our programming will not resume as we once knew it, rather a slow and steady ‘Phase-by-Phase’ approach to reopening will be in effect.

At present, the above mentioned teams are discussing several next-steps, such as:

  1. Implementation of Standard Operating Procedures (‘SOPs’), in line with provincial guidelines, to accommodate the reopening of all three centres;
  2. Increasing the number of participants attending a funeral and/or a wedding to max 20 individuals (including volunteers and other officials);
  3. Outlining firm guidelines, hand-in-hand with the SOPs, to accommodate modified Nikah ceremony programs.

The ‘next-steps’ are far from simple and require much thought and planning. To provide an insight, our teams are deliberating on matters such as vulnerable attendees by age and health, sanitization and disinfection of our centres before, and after, each event, registration and monitoring of attendees, precautionary measures, protocols and signage, just to name a few.

This is a gradual process, but we are confident that we are taking the right and cautious steps and getting closer to reopening our centres for members and attendees to attend funerals and weddings, to begin with. We will be monitoring our progress in reopening very closely and, Insha’allāh, if all goes well similar careful consideration will be given to opening up for other programs.

That said, and until we further communicate otherwise, all three centres will continue to remain closed.

Please keep our community and all of humanity at the forefront of your prayers. May we be relieved of this difficult situation soon.

With Salāms & Du’ās

ISIJ Secretariat Office
Islamic Shia Ithna-Asheri Jamaat of Toronto
905.695.9786 | [email protected]