“An increase day over day of this scale is a warning to the entire city.” Dr. Eileen de Villa (pictured above)
TORONTO, ON., Sept. 25, 2020 — As Ontario is reporting 409 new COVID-19 cases for the second straight day, Toronto Public Health alone is now accounting for more than half of that, with 236 newly reported cases, today, which is up from 191 yesterday.
“An increase day over day of this scale is a warning to the entire city,” said Dr. Eileen de Villa, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health. “Wherever you live, wherever daily life takes you, you must take the steps for self-protection that we advise you to take. Watch your distance, keeping at least six feet apart whenever you can from anyone you don’t live with. Wear a mask, again as much as you can and certainly when you are in situations where you can’t keep at least six feet distance from anyone you don’t live with. And wash your hands often,” said Toronto’s top doctor.
In addition to the today’s high case count Toronto Public Health has declared an outbreak at Glen Park Public School. This is the first declared COVID-19 outbreak in a Toronto school. Dr. de Villa says an outbreak by the definition set out by the province means at least two confirmed cases of COVID-19 within a 14 day period and with a link to a school setting. In this instance, two students have been confirmed as positive for COVID-19.
“The established protocols to manage the situation and limit risk are being followed,” said de Villa. “The two students infected have been isolated to recover from their illness,” said de Villa.”Parents in the school community have been notified in writing. At the school, all infection prevention and control measures continue to be followed strictly. This includes masking requirements for students and staff and enhanced cleaning measures. Again, all steps have been followed as expected in a situation of this nature,” adds de Villa.
Dr. de Villa also said that four Toronto businesses in the hospitality industry were served orders to close under the Health Protection and Promotion Act until such time as they satisfy the conditions spelled out in the orders. There is a “concerning link” of COVID-19 cases with many people connected to more than one of the four businesses. The investigation also found evidence that in some instances people infected with COVID-19 were employed at more than one of the four locations. Other violations prohibited under existing provincial regulations to limit the spread of COVID-19 included one business serving food buffet-style, businesses being uncooperative and impeded the investigation, in addition to situations where staff were working while ill with some being pressured to work ill.
Dr. Eileen de Villa did want to emphasize though, that these are just four businesses of concern and she commends the businesses that are “acting in ways to protect our city’s health by balancing the operation of their business with the interests of the people of Toronto.”
“Tough times demand tough choices, and these businesses are stepping up,” said Dr. de Villa.