Toronto mayor says it's time to start talking about reopening
Toronto Mayor John Tory says it may finally be time to begin discussing a plan for the city's reopening, though that plan won't likely come to fruition anytime soon.
Tory made the remarks in response to a question from a reporter at the city's press briefing Wednesday afternoon, and he said he believes conversations should begin so the city can ensure that everyone and everything is taken into account when lockdown rules are eventually lifted.
"I believe the time has come to start to talk about it only so that we can have a proper, thoughtful plan that is both respectful of the needs of people and businesses and students... but also very respectful of the fact that when we do come to reopen, one assumes we'll have made sufficient progress against the virus that we can't afford to backslide," Tory said.
"I think the time has come… to begin those discussions in earnest, in a very practical way, and develop the kind of program that we had in the Spring where it didn't happen all in one day, as probably it shouldn't and won't, but rather happened on some kind of basis that was consistent with public health."
Following Tory's statement, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa expressed a similar sentiment, saying there's no harm in beginning discussions as early as possible.
"Conversation actually is warranted. The earlier the conversation begins, the more cogent, I think, and more thoughtful the plan can be," she said.
"And we know from our experience in the past that it does require quite a bit of conversation and a great deal of thought to do something like reopening, to undertake the process and act of reopening in a mindful and thoughtful manner that respects the science and what we understand of disease and its spread in our community."
But while it may be a good time to start talking about it, de Villa said it isn't yet appropriate to take any actual action other than encouraging people to continue to stay home and follow public health measures.
The city's top doctor added that, while it may be a decline from some of the frightening numbers we've seen in previous weeks, Toronto reporting 502 new cases today is nothing to celebrate.
"Now is not the time for action beyond really encouraging people as much as possible to continue on with self-protection measures," she said."For the time being, there is still quite a bit of COVID-19 activity in our community."
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