The COVID-19 case count in Toronto rises to 897
Toronto now has a total of 897 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the city, an increase of 79 from Wednesday.
Of the total cases, 86 are hospitalized, 39 are in ICU and 50 have fully recovered.
Speaking at the city's daily coronavirus news conference Thursday afternoon, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa said there have been at least 11 deaths from the virus in the city, but she's aware of other deaths that her team is currently looking into.
She added that they'll be reported once all the facts are confirmed.
She also said 26 per cent of cases in Toronto are attributed to community spread.
Dr. de Villa continued to emphasize the need for social distancing during the news conference, as did Mayor John Tory.
"Unless you are a healthcare or other essential worker, only leave your home to access healthcare or medication, to shop for groceries or other essentials — ideally only once per week — to walk your dog or to get some daily exercise," she said.
"When you leave your home, you must maintain physical distancing of at least 2 metres from all other people at all times."
Tory announced today that a new bylaw has been put in place requiring residents in parks and public squares to maintain a distance of 2 metres from anyone they don't live with, or face paying a hefty fine.
Today I have signed an emergency order to impose a two-metre physical distancing rule in all city parks and public squares to further drive home the message that people have to keep their distance from each other to avoid spreading #COVID19 further in our city. pic.twitter.com/1QBjSBltkO— John Tory (@JohnTory) April 2, 2020
Yesterday, Dr. de Villa outlined a list of new stricter social distancing measures to be implemented immediately, including an order under the Health Protection and Promotion Act for anyone who has COVID-19 or has had close contact with someone who has COVID-19 to stay home for 14 days.
"If we cannot find a way, if we do not stay home as much as possible, more people will get sick and more will die our city," Dr. de Villa warned Thursday.
"We are doing this to protect our city, to minimize the loss of life, to manage pressures on our healthcare system and to get our city back as soon as we can."
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