Toronto confirms 118 new cases of COVID-19 in the city
Toronto has confirmed that there are now a total of 457 cases of COVID-19 in the city as of Friday afternoon — an increase of 118 since yesterday.
Among the total cases in Toronto, 18 patients have recovered from the illness and four have died.
Currently, 29 people are hospitalized with COVID-19 in the city and 15 are in intensive care.
Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa made the announcement at the city's daily news conference Friday afternoon alongside Toronto Fire Chief Matthew Pegg and Mayor John Tory.
"We are seeing a significant increase and I expect that we will continue to see similar patterns in the coming days ahead," Dr. de Villa said.
Read my remarks from today's media briefing on #COVID19, how you can care for your mental health at this time and why the #PhysicalDistancing measures we are asking you to take are critical for our city: https://t.co/YrAd0lzy3T— Dr. Eileen de Villa (@epdevilla) March 27, 2020
She reminded residents that most people who contract the illness take several days to show symptoms but can easily spread the virus to others within that time.
"What this means, taken altogether, is that the positive tests that we’re getting now are the result of infections that happened several days ago," she explained.
"This is why I continue to urge people to practice physical distancing," she continued.
"If we continue to see people selfishly ignore the recommendations that have been put in place to keep us safe, we should prepare to continue to see dramatic increases in local numbers. Please, take every action that you can to respectfully practice physical distancing at this very critical time."
Dr. de Villa also explained that March break recently ended and many travellers have been returning from destinations where COVID-19 is actively circulating, which also explains the sharp increase in cases.
It’s okay not to feel okay about where we are with COVID-19. Just want to share some thoughts and advice as we move through the #COVID19 pandemic together. @cityoftoronto @SickNotWeak @heylandsberg @JohnTory @TOPublicHealth @epdevilla pic.twitter.com/580pspd4Lh— Matthew Pegg (@ChiefPeggTFS) March 27, 2020
Tory also emphasized the need for physical distancing and had a strong message for any businesses that have yet to shut down despite orders for all non-essential businesses to close.
"Although many people, I think, have responded to this pandemic in a positive way and as best one can, there are still cases that are frustrating and quite frankly, outright disturbing," he said.
"If you’re non-essential, you have to shut down to avoid further spreading of the virus and, quite frankly, to avoid sanctions. It puts our whole community at risk and it shouldn’t still be happening. We will continue to send our people out to all areas to make sure there is compliance with the rules that have been put in place based on the best medical advice."
At this point, approximately 25 per cent of COVID-19 cases in Toronto can be attributed to community spread.
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