Physical distancing part of our lives until we have a vaccine: Dr. de Villa

May 12 2020, 8:37 pm

Toronto’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa said that physical distancing will be be “a part of our lives” until there is a COVID-19 vaccine, and that large gatherings should be avoided as the economy slowly starts to reopen.

On Tuesday, de Villa said that “until we have a vaccine or affective treatment, physical distancing will be apart of our everyday lives in all settings.”

And, as the province continues to reopen certain businesses  residents will need to “avoid crowds and unfortunately large gatherings for the foreseeable future.”

Physical distancing measures will become more important as the economy reopens, and if those working cannot keep to physical distancing, then wearing a cloth mask or face mask to stop the spread of ones’ own germs to others — even if one does not have symptoms — is the best public health advice de Villa has for residents.

To date, Toronto has 7,775 total coronavirus cases with 5,449 recovered patients and 622 reported deaths.

While the rate of cases is going down, de Villa said individuals must be “mindful of the ongoing risk” of the virus.

Toronto’s Medical Officer emphasized that the highest risk of spread is from close contact in households with someone who is infected with COVID-19.

“This is why everyone should stay six feet away when outside and wash hands often,” de Villa said.

For now, it is best that individuals stay in their respective household bubble to reduce disease spread in the community.

“This has been the advice for several weeks now and continues to be the best course of action in our city for now,” she said.

De Villa added that local grocery stores and pharmacies should continue to use good infection prevention with regular cleaning measures.

“We have had profound changes with no time to prepare.”

While de Villa said she does not have specific dates on when these measures can be lifted, she emphasized that it depends on the collective actions of the city.

Clarrie FeinsteinClarrie Feinstein

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