Toronto officials urge all non-essential businesses to close amid COVID-19 pandemic
In an effort to amp up the city's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Toronto's Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa is recommending that all non-essential businesses close their doors.
Dr. de Villa said she's witnessed numerous non-essential businesses — including nail and hair salons as well as clothing stores — that have yet to shutter amid calls for social distancing.
Toronto officials urge hair and nail salons, and clothing stores to close, all non-essential businesses.— Althia Raj (@althiaraj) March 19, 2020
"If we want to be successful in protecting ourselves, our families and our community against this virus, we have to take social distancing even more seriously," Dr. de Villa said in a press conference Thursday afternoon.
"And this includes non-essential businesses like hair and nail salons, and clothing stores. I am encouraging non-essential businesses that remain open to get behind social distancing. I'm encouraging these businesses to do the right thing."
Dr. de Villa emphasized that this remains a recommendation (not an order) and that all essential businesses that sell food, medication and home supplies should stay open.
City councillor Joe Cressy reiterated the sentiment on Twitter shortly after.
"Every social interaction that doesn't happen, helps prevent the spread of COVID-19. Toronto Public Health is encouraging non-essential businesses, such as nail salons and clothing stores, to do their part in promoting social distancing," he wrote.
"We are asking every Torontonian to make every effort and take every opportunity to practice social distancing. Stay home, stay safe and take care of each other."
As of Thursday afternoon, Toronto has 128 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 11 people have been hospitalized with the virus.
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