Paramedic tests positive for coronavirus as cases rise to 161 in Toronto

Mar 20 2020, 1:08 pm

A paramedic has tested positive for COVID-19 as the cases rise to 161 in Toronto.

According to the city of Toronto, 10 individuals are currently hospitalized as of Friday afternoon.

Along with the paramedic, a resident of a longterm care home and individuals who are part of the city’s shelter community have also tested positive.

“We have been actively investigating each of these unique circumstance,” Toronto’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Eileen de Villa said.

De Villa said they are working with the Fred Victor Centre and Seven Oaks longterm care facility to actively follow up with the situation.

She also confirmed that the paramedic is in self-isolation and Toronto Public Health is following up with the cases.

The Chief Medical Officer also emphasized for those returning after March Break and travel must “listen carefully” to the city’s instructions. Even if these individuals do not show symptoms, they are asked to stay home for 14 days.

De Villa stressed on the importance of social distancing which means working from home wherever possible, helping employees work from home, staying six feet apart from others to prevent spread, only going out for essential needs like food medicine or household supplies and ordering food through takeout.

It was noted that only 0.3% of non-essential businesses being assessed by the city were not in compliance with the request to shut down.

“This is an amazing effort,” de Villa said.

As of Thursday, there were 11 cases of community transmission in the city that are under investigation. While most have contracted the diseases from recent travel or close contact,  de Villa, did note that an increasing amount cannot be traced through these two means.

The Province of Ontario confirmed 50 new cases of COVID-19, the largest jump in a single day, bringing the total up to 308 cases as of Friday morning.

On Tuesday, Toronto since transitioned to a Level Three Operation at the Emergency Command Centre due to the declaration by the province announcing a state of emergency.