"Limit contact as much as possible": Toronto's top doctor says after COVID-19 case spike

Oct 26 2020, 8:42 am

The decisions of Torontonians will affect the spread of COVID-19 within the city, said Dr. Eileen de Villa following Ontario’s record-high cases on Sunday.

If we limit our exposure to other people and only have contact with those we live with, we will limit the virus’ ability to spread, de Villa said in a statement.

“I cannot stress enough how much rests on the decisions we make as individuals. We did this before. We forced back the rise in infections last spring,” de Villa said.

“If we limit our contact, keep our distance, and wear our masks, we will contribute significantly to the ability to limit virus spread and that is the most important thing of all.”

On Sunday, Ontario reported 1,042 new COVID-19 cases, the largest one-day increase since the pandemic began in March. Over 300 cases were reported in Toronto.

Toronto, Peel region, York region, and Ottawa were moved into a modified stage 2 earlier this month after cases in the four hot spots spiked.

Dr. de Villa said the province is still in the early days of these new restrictions, and it will take time to asses whether they have been successful in limiting the spread.

“The virus spreads person to person,” she said. “It needs us.”

Toronto Mayor John Tory echoed de Villa, saying that the city knew it would take two to three weeks to see any benefit from the new interventions, as well as the impact of Thanksgiving weekend gatherings. These factors would see numbers rise before they fell, he noted.

On Monday, Toronto reported 281 new COVID-19 cases.

“I am still hopeful that some positive results from the interventions will begin to show themselves in the coming days especially in light of the sacrifices being made by so many,” Tory said in a statement.

“The most valuable contributions individual Torontonians can make right now is to follow public health advice to stop the spread of the virus: wear a mask, wash your hands, and, except for work and school, only spend time with the people you live with.”

Tory and de Villa, as well as other city leaders, are set to provide an update on the current COVID-19 situation in Toronto this afternoon at 2 pm.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford will be making an announcement later today as well, at 1 pm, alongside Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Christine Elliott, and Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance.

Zoe DemarcoZoe Demarco

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