Stay in the city, support local businesses over the long weekend: Toronto's top doctor

May 14 2020, 1:52 pm

Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa asked residents to not take a trip out of town, or go to the cottage, for the upcoming Victoria Day long weekend, and instead to stay in Toronto and support local businesses.

“Tomorrow is the start of the may long weekend,” De Villa said during a press conference on Tuesday.

“I know many would typically take a trip out of town to go to the cottage or go camping, but at this time, please avoid any non-essential trips out of town to reduce the spread of COVID-19.”

De Villa emphasized that individuals could risk spreading coronavirus in smaller communities and put a burden on their limited health resources.

Instead, de Villa asked that individuals spend it in Toronto to reduce the risk of virus spread and is a “great way to support our local businesses.”

“I do encourage you to enjoy the outdoors and getting active this weekend. It is important for our physical and mental health,” she added.

But when going outside, people must do so only with members of the same household. And, as per the provincial order, the maximum group size is five people.

When outside, de Villa said to avoid close contact with others and not to make plans to meet up with friends.

“It is not time for that yet. You may unknowingly transmit the virus to others, even if you’re not showing symptoms.”

While Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health noted that the city’s known coronavirus cases are “heading in the right direction,” there has still not been the steady decline needed to lift physical distancing measures.

To date, there are 8,097 total cases in Toronto with 5,851 patients recovered and 648 reported deaths.