covid cases toronto

Cases of COVID-19 are increasing among people under 30 in Toronto

The City of Toronto is faring well in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, even as businesses reopen and attract people in (socially distanced) groups.

We're far from safe, however, from the threat of a deadly second wave — something Mayor John Tory wants young people in the city to understand.

During a COVID-19 briefing this afternoon, Tory spoke of "the need for continued vigilance and adherence to public health measures to keep COVID-19 from having a resurgence in our community."

Some 14,230 of Toronto's total 15,668 cases are now considered to be resolved as of Wednesday, but new cases continue to be reported: 24 of them today, on top of 22 new cases on Tuesday and 32 on Monday.

Of the new cases recorded by Toronto Public Health over the past two weeks, the average patient age was 39. This is compared to an average age of 52 years overall for the entire pandemic to date.

"This morning on our strategic command call... we saw again that the age distribution of reported COVID cases continues to shift to younger age groups," said Tory during his press conference today.

"The proportion of cases among those who are less than 19 years of age and those 20 to 29 years of age has increased significantly in the last few weeks."

Tory warned that, while younger patients aren't typically made severely ill by the virus and are less-likely to be hospitalized, they can still transmit COVID-19 to vulnerable groups of people.

The mayor referenced young people living in multi-generational family households and in the service-based work force as examples of those who could unwillingly spread the disease with fatal consequences.

"I know young people feel immortal and invincible," said Tory. "I can remember those days, but I urge them to be cautious and to keep following the public health advice because it applies to them just as it applies to everybody else."

In addition to following all of the city's COVID-specific bylaws and guidelines, Toronto Associate Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vinita Dubey recommends that younger people download the government's COVID Alert app to help them find out where they were infected, should they test positive.

Tory acknowledged during his press conference that young people were more likely to be watching the Raptors game this afternoon than his media update, but that "they need to hear this message nonetheless."

In that vein, the city is now exploring the use of TikTok to reach younger Torontonians with public health advice.

"Beyond our usual communications methods including the usual social media sites, we are exploring how we can get the message out to young people, including using TikTok and any other platform we know can more effectively reach the younger people who are being more affected as time goes on by this virus," said Tory.

"COVID-19 remains a real risk — a risk to them and a risk to everyone that they're in contact with, including older relatives, and they have to keep following public health advice."

Lead photo by

Fareen Karim

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