TORONTO – COVID-19 Update – Toronto continues to respond to COVID-19. Today, Mayor John Tory, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Eileen de Villa, and Toronto Fire Chief and General Manager of the City’s Office of Emergency Management, Matthew Pegg, provided an update on the City’s measures to combat the resurgence of the virus in Toronto.
There are 45,486 cases of COVID-19 in the city, an increase of 651 new cases today. There are 227 people hospitalized. To date, there have been 1,671 COVID-19 deaths in Toronto. In total, 38,560 people have recovered from COVID-19.
Toronto Mayor John Tory says, “We have been working with the Central Local Health Integration Network in the city’s north-west to help expand testing by using reconfigured TTC buses for mobile testing. The LHIN is working with us to put these buses into use for mobile testing starting this week. This would bring the testing right to people and we are working to expand this to other areas as well. This is truly a team effort that includes healthcare providers, the TTC and Toronto Paramedic Services. It is one example of several of the extra effort we will make through the equity action plan to address the huge impact COVID-19 has had on some of our already marginalized communities. This will see us do better for the residents of those neighbourhoods and it will help in our overall efforts to stop the spread of this virus.”
In partnership with Ontario Health (Central), community health centres, Toronto Paramedic Services and the TTC, the City is supporting the deployment of mobile COVID-19 testing units starting this week. The program will bring testing closer to home for those who need it most, with testing concentrated in Northwest Toronto areas with higher COVID-19 positivity rates. Testing will be carried out inside a TTC bus by Ontario Health nurses and paramedics. This builds on work by the Toronto Paramedic’s Community Paramedicine team to bring testing to areas that need it most.
All Toronto residents should be adopting steps for self-protection. Dr. de Villa recommends individuals only consider leaving their homes for essential activities such as work, school and fresh air and exercise. As much as possible, residents are asked to limit contact to people in the same household, keep at least six feet apart from people not in the same household and wear a mask when outside of their homes, especially in indoor settings and when physical distancing is difficult. Residents should wash hands frequently and remain at home when ill.
Councillor Joe Cressy (Spadina-Fort York), Chair of the Board of Health explains, “Expanding access to COVID-19 testing is a key part of Toronto’s Equity Action Plan, and is critical to stopping the spread of this virus in our city. Through this innovative partnership, more people will be able to quickly and easily get a test in their own community. We can’t fight this pandemic without a comprehensive test, trace, and isolate system – and the City’s work supporting the Ontario Government’s testing approach will help get us there.”