8 Toronto Public Health employees just tested positive for COVID-19
Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa announced today that eight employees at Toronto Public Health have tested positive for COVID-19.
At the city's daily coronavirus press conference Monday afternoon, Dr. de Villa said all eight staff members are now at home in self-isolation.
"As you may have heard, we recently learned that some of my colleagues at one of our Toronto Public Health main offices located at 277 Victoria Street contracted COVID-19," she said.
"Given that COVID-19 is spreading in our community, we were prepared for this unfortunate situation."
COVID-19 is circulating in our city and we expect that we will continue to see cases increase across sectors. That’s why it’s so important for residents to stay home. Stay home and protect your city, so that your frontline essential workers can protect you.— Joe Cressy (@joe_cressy) March 30, 2020
Dr. de Villa explained that the potential health risk to the TPH team has been carefully assessed and she's asked for the vast majority of staff to work from home from now on.
Those who can't do their job remotely will still be working in the Victoria Street office, and Dr. de Villa explained that the building is not at risk just because the eight patients were working there.
"Since COVID-19 is not spread through the air, a building is not considered at risk simply because there has been a case or cases in a building. It is those that have close and prolonged contact with a COVID-19 positive case who are considered to be at risk," she noted.
Dr. de Villa also said enhanced cleaning of the office has been conducted to ensure that staff are safe.
"Given that the virus continues to spread in our community, we can expect that there may be further COVID-19 cases amongst public health staff and other essential service providers who are keeping our city running," she added, noting that approximately 12 physicians, 13 nurses and six other healthcare staff have also tested positive for COVID-19 in Toronto.
"I would like to acknowledge the many personal sacrifices of my team, their hard work and their commitment to responding and to providing for our COVID-19 response. I’m truly very proud, and consider it the highest privilege of my career, to be part of such an incredible team of health professionals. They are truly second to none."
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