Toronto's top doctor hints province-wide measures necessary to curb COVID-19 spread

Mar 31 2021, 12:09 pm

Toronto’s top doctor hinted that she wants renewed province-wide restrictions as COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations in the city climb.

The Ontario government is set to announce enhanced measures to curb COVID-19 spread on Thursday. Today, Dr. Eileen de Villa was joined by several other practicing Toronto physicians calling for action as COVID-19-related ICU admissions in Ontario reach an all-time high.

“The seriousness of the circumstances requires actions that are commensurate,” she said at a news conference Wednesday.

She wouldn’t say directly whether she’s calling for another Stay-at-Home order, saying she wants to respect the premier’s decision-making process. But she did say the grave danger from COVID-19 “extends beyond the boundaries of Toronto and goes across the province.”

Toronto officials caution against Easter gatherings

De Villa also urged Torontonians to weigh the risks before gathering with family and friends over Easter this weekend.

“Surely it’s worth taking a pass this one time so we can enjoy a more fulsome summer with less restrictions,” she said.

“We can get our lives back if we don’t screw this up,” Mayor John Tory added.

Toronto has seen more than 800 new variant of concern cases since officials’ last announcement on Monday. There are now 330 people in Toronto hospitals with COVID-19, an increase of 28 from two days ago.

“If the current situation is described as a race, then the variants are ahead by a mile,” de Villa said. “Religious holidays create a tempting opportunity to come together. But this is a dangerous time when you look at the rapidly rising case counts.”

Provincial officials have relaxed some rules in Grey-Lockdown zones recently, including allowing patio dining and outdoor fitness classes as of this week.

The province also said that personal care businesses could open as of April 12 in Ontario’s hot spot regions.

But since that announcement, Ford also hinted that he wouldn’t hesitate to tighten restrictions to protect people’s health if infections continue to soar.

On Wednesday, Ontario announced 2,333 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total count to 349,903 since the pandemic began.

Megan DevlinMegan Devlin

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