11 hospitalized as coronavirus cases rise to 128 in Toronto

Mar 19 2020, 8:22 pm

The City of Toronto announced 128 confirmed coronavirus cases with 11 individuals currently hospitalized, as of Thursday afternoon.

There are still 11 cases of community transmission in the city that are under investigation. While most have contracted the diseases from recent travel or close contact, Toronto’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Eileen de Villa, did note that an increasing amount cannot be traced through these two means.

Dr. de Villa also noted that with the rise of cases, it’s important for all non-essential services to close.

“If we want to be successful in protecting our community against this virus, we have to take social distancing even more seriously,” she said during Thursday’s press conference.

De Villa said that non-essential businesses are like hair and nail salons and clothing stores. However, while she calls on these businesses to close, major shopping malls in the city still remain open but on reduced hours at this time.

Essential businesses that should remain open are grocery stories, pharmacies, and home supply stores, according to de Villa.

“These businesses must get behind social distancing. I am encouraging them to do the right thing,” the Chief Medical Officer said.

“We are all in this together and are committed to protecting the city. We must take every opportunity to practice social distancing.”

As the cases are on the rise, Chief Matthew Pegg, also announced the closure of Toronto police facilities and headquarters to the public, but the services will still remain.

All emergency services for the police, fire and paramedics are still operational.

This means that for the weather warning given by Environment Canada, which predicts thunderstorms and potential local flooding in the city on Friday, emergency services are prepared and ready to respond as required.

With the changes at Toronto Police, Pegg said criminal record checks must be submitted online and fingerprinting can be arranged on an urgent basis only.

Also, longterm care facilities will no longer permit visitors.

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.

The city also has allowed all retail businesses to receive deliveries after hours to ensure that goods and produce are constantly being stocked up during the coronavirus pandemic.

Clarrie FeinsteinClarrie Feinstein

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