7 new cases of coronavirus in Toronto, 11 under investigation for local transmission

Mar 18 2020, 1:12 pm

The City of Toronto confirmed seven new cases of COVID-19, with 11 cases under investigation for local transmission.

Toronto Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Eileen de Villa said on Wednesday, there has been increased local transmission, seen with the 11 cases under investigation.

Dr. de Villa said while there are no specific details that would link them together, they don’t appear to be linked to travel or an existing case (close contact).

As the number of cases in Toronto continue to rise, de Villa commended people to taking social distancing seriously.

According to de Villa, only 4% of businesses were not in compliance after Ontario declared a state of emergency calling on all restaurants, bars and nightclubs to close unless offering delivery and takeout.

“This is amazing, just hours after the order was issued that we had that level of compliance,” de Villa said during the press conference. “We can still do better, we must do better.”

The Medical Officer of Health stressed the importance of social distancing saying that friends who meet up for dinner or coffee, families planning playdates for their children, residents visiting family in longterm care or hospitals and people who have recently travelled going to the grocery store are not practicing social distancing.

“Extreme action is needed from you. We need to practice social distancing seriously,” she said. “Take every opportunity to practice social distancing.”

“I’m really encouraging everyone in this city to get behind social distancing. We’ve seen the positive impact this has had in other jurisdictions. We have to stay the course and take our own responsibilities for ourselves and the community very seriously.”

Chief Matthew Pegg also announced more closures of various city services on Wednesday.

He mentioned that all non-emergency inspections are suspended and only emergency-related health and safety will be prioritized.

Also, marriage licences will be suspended and the wedding chamber at City Hall which allows permits will also be cancelled now that City Hall, Metro Hall, and other civic centres are closed.

Pegg added that only three employment locations in the city will remain open and that all clients must call the office first. Payments will not be impacted.

Other services that will be closed are housing offices, but payment and processing will remain open.

All court service offices and counters will also be closed in addition to the provincial courts.

Lastly, all business licensing and renewing is suspended, but some cases can be renewed online.

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.