"COVID is not over": Tory warns younger people who continue to party in Toronto

Jul 22 2020, 6:48 pm

Mayor John Tory warned younger people that “COVID is not over” as cases continue to rise in the 20 to 39 age demographic.

On Wednesday, Tory acknowledged that residents have “COVID fatigue” and with the summer weather people want to “have fun.”

“But I have a clear message. COVID is not over. There is no summer vacation from COVID-19 and I know the urge to party may be strong especially here and across the province, but please keep following public health advice,” Tory said.

The mayor emphasized to wear a mask in public spaces and to physically distance from those not in individual’s social circles.

“I know you can be inclined to tune these messages out but please listen,” Tory said.

“We are doing it because we’ve been told by the experts we rely on. We have to do better than staying the course.”

Tory added that while the majority of people who contract coronavirus do recover, there can be long-lasting effects to health and it could be fatal in loved ones who are older or have preexisting health condition.

“Think of all the others you could be affecting,” he said. “We do not want to trigger a second spike. The moment will come when its time to party.”

Toronto’s mayor said that there will be a substitute St. Patrick’s Day Party, at whatever date, as it’s a commitment he made which he wants to keep.

Earlier on Wednesday, the province reported that over 50% of cases were in people age 40 and under.

The City’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa echoed Tory’s sentiments and said that more 20 to 39-year-olds are contracting the virus compared to earlier in the pandemic.

“I am very concerned about this given recent trend amongst the age group in other jurisdictions. Many people think COVID-19 is over. But this is simply not true,” de Villa said.

“My message to you is we must remain vigilant.”

She said that in Alberta and British Columbia’s reopening, younger people are no longer having safe social interactions, and after contact tracing, young people got the infection from celebrations at private homes, restaurants and bars.

Because of this, Toronto is asking the provincial government to come up with enhanced safety measures for bars and restaurants in Stage 3.

De Villa also noted that the overall status of the COVID-19 Monitoring Dashboard remains yellow.

The health system capacity and public health remain in green and the average percentage of  positivity on tests is declining, as well as new hospitalizations and outbreaks.

De Villa noted that there are still challenges at provincial labs with processing times.

The seven-day moving average of new cases is remaining consistently in high the 30s or low 40s.

“I do not want to lose our progress. We must carefully move forward,” she said.

In the past two days, there have been 58 new infections reported in Toronto, making the total 15,202.

Clarrie FeinsteinClarrie Feinstein

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