Mayor John Tory pleaded with Torontonians to “please stay home” as COVID-19 cases in the city continue to rise.
On Thursday, during the city’s press briefing, Tory urged residents saying “please don’t socialize with people that you don’t live with, don’t have them over.”
He said people can still pick up essentials, do outdoor exercise, and go to school or work.
However, when in workplaces and classrooms a mask must be worn, physical distancing must take place and if possible, work or study from home should be enforced.
“I know it’s hard to not have people for a park meeting or to come to your backyards. We’d like to spend a night out in a restaurant. I know people want to come together to celebrate their faiths but I am asking, as the mayor, for people to stay home as much as possible right now.”
The mayor said that this weekend people should read a book, cook a meal, do a zoom call, or any activity that allows you to be in touch with people you know, but keeps you at home.
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Also when getting essentials, it should just be one person per household, not a family outing.
“Please stay home and when you go out do it only with people you live with,” Tory said.
“Having as many people stay home will help us stop the spread of this virus. People who are testing positive right now became infected two weeks ago. To stop infections from showing up in the coming weeks, the only way to get numbers down is to stay at home.”
Tory said he didn’t want to focus on stages or colour-coded levels, but to simply get the message across for people to stay home.
Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa confirmed there are 500 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, with 164 in hospital and 36 in the ICU across the city.
There were 435 new on Wednesday, with 520 reported on Tuesday and 504 on Monday. In the last five days alone, there have been 2,432 cases.
“What is reported is just the tip of the iceberg,” de Villa said. “Therefore, it’s safe to say there are many more cases.”
She added that case and contact tracing in the city has ramped up with 90% of new infections being contacted within 24 hours of getting their test results and contact info.
Toronto Public Health also has new automated platforms to reach people quickly and gather more info about their illness.
There are new notification systems from venues online to notify who may have been exposed faster.
The City of Toronto is moving into the province’s Red-Control level on November 14 but has added stricter restrictions that include closing indoor dining, fitness classes, cinemas, and reducing gatherings to just immediate households with one or two essential supports.
To date, there have been 32,846 cases in the city.