coronavirus toronto

More new cases of coronavirus have been diagnosed in Toronto

As local transportation authorities ramp up cleaning procedures and people across the country and the world stock up on supplies in a panic over the 2019 novel coronavirus, the number of positive diagnoses continues to rise, including in Toronto.

Eight new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Ontario over the course of March 5 and 6 — four of them in Toronto — bringing the provincial tally to 28 (four of whom have recovered). There are 72 additional patients currently under investigation.

One of the latest cases, announced late yesterday evening, involves a man in his 40s who recently returned to the area from a trip to Las Vegas. He was assessed at the emergency department of Toronto Western Hospital sometime on March 4 and sent home to self-isolate, though he took public transportation in Toronto and Milton while infectious.

As of yesterday, the Southern Nevada Heath District had only confirmed one case of the virus — a surprisingly low number given the fact that Las Vegas is by nature a hub for tourists from around the world and a big spot for the exchange of cash, the handling of which some worry could help spread the virus.

All new cases confirmed in Ontario yesterday and today are in people who have recently travelled: one to Vegas (now in Toronto), three to Iran (two now in Toronto and one in Richmond Hill), two to Italy (one now in Toronto and one in the Waterloo region) and two from the Grand Princess cruise ship (now in Mississauga) — the same ship that is now docked off the coast of San Francisco due to a coronavirus outbreak in a new batch of people onboard.

Of the recent cases, patients have been assessed at emergency departments at Mount Sinai Hospital, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto Western Hospital, North York General Hospital, Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital, Grand River Hospital and Trillium Health Partners Mississauga Hospital.

Iran and Italy have recently become the location of large-scale outbreaks of COVID-19 — the former is approaching 5,000 confirmed cases, and the latter, nearing 4,000 — and the Canadian government has advised against non-essential travel to both, among other nations.

Within Canada, there have been 53 confirmed positive cases thus far, with 28 in Ontario, 21 in B.C., three in Quebec and one in Alberta at the time of publication.

Most have shown mild enough symptoms that they do not require hospitalization and have been sent home to recover in isolation. The federal government just appointed a special cabinet committee to help monitor the coronavirus situation this week, and Ontario is looking at setting up standalone testing centres so those sick with the illness are not exposed to others in hospital.

Globally, the number of cases has risen to more than 100,000 in at least 84 countries, with approximately 3,400 deaths thus far — 80 per cent of those cases and nearly 90 per cent of those fatalities in mainland China.

Slightly more than half of those who were diagnosed have since recovered, with the mortality rate hovering around 3.4 per cent overall, though this number changes drastically depending on where a patient is located in the world.

Chinese scientists are speculating that there may be two strains of the virus currently spreading, one of them more aggressive than the other.

Lead photo by

Nephorn/Wikimedia Commons


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