toronto lockdown

People in Toronto still having friends over despite warnings and rules against it

While Toronto has been in the lockdown phase of the province's COVID-19 framework for roughly one week, cases of the virus continue to surge to alarming new heights. 

On Tuesday, Dec. 1, the City of Toronto reported a new record high number of cases for the second day in a row, with 761 new COVID-19 infections confirmed yesterday and 643 in the previous day.

"Today's case counts are a blunt warning," said Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa in a statement published Tuesday evening

"COVID-19 continues to spread easily and widely. It is a warning that everyone at every age shares the risk of infection, just as all of us have the ability to reduce the risk through the actions and choices we take in the next several weeks."

In the statement, Dr. de Villa said her team at Toronto Public Health reviews data each day and has also begun analyzing data from the newly launched Source of Infection Survey. 

The findings, she said, revealed that many of the current cases in Toronto were contracted while socializing inside a home with people from a different household. 

She said the data showed that one in five COVID-19-positive respondents (21 per cent) confirmed that they either had people inside their home or went inside someone else's during the period in which they acquired the infection.

The data also revealed that most people who contracted the virus through close contact with a COVID-19 case identified their spouse or partner as the contact (21 per cent), she said, but the next most common relationships reported were friends (16 per cent) and co-workers (16 per cent).

In total, 35 per cent of cases reporting close contact as their source of infection specified that they had said contact with known cases that lived outside their household, said Dr. de Villa.

"This underscores guidance to keep contact within your household," she said. "These data are reminders that limiting your contacts to your household is the best way to prevent COVID-19 during this high case activity time."

Of the 761 new cases reported yesterday, almost 57 per cent were people between the ages of 20 and 49 years, according to Dr. de Villa.

She said 167 cases were among people between the ages of 20 and 29 years, 154 among people between the ages of 30 and 39, and 112 among people aged 40 to 49. 

Still, it's important to note that Toronto has only been in lockdown for just over a week, and the virus can have an incubation period of up to 14 days. 

In other words, many of these infections were likely acquired before the province announced the city would be going into lockdown on Nov. 23. 

Still, Toronto public health officials have been strongly suggesting that residents limit all close contact with people outside their household and stay home as much as possible for several weeks now.

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