Toronto Public Health vice-chair questions city’s COVID-19 policy
While the city has imposed several restrictions on people’s movements, such as the stay at home order and cancellation of mass gatherings, Mayor John Tory has said that as long as there are no community outbreaks, he will not be doing anything to increase the risk of community transmission.
The city’s current risk assessment and response plan shows that Toronto is at high risk for community spread of COVID-19 due to the rapid increase in reported cases in the previous 2 weeks, as well as high-risk geographical patterns in the city, particularly in North York and York Region.
In response to a public health concern, Toronto Public Health (TPH) is recommending residents should avoid travel to public gathering spaces.
In a letter to the City that was obtained by CityNews, an executive summary of the document reads:
“In Toronto, by the time case-control studies for the disease are completed, and data analysis is complete, we will likely have a clearer picture of community spread,” wrote TPH epidemiologists. “This will inform our approach for preventing disease transmission.”
“We do not expect a sudden, dramatic increase in cases in the community. Based on current estimates of the number of cases in Canada, the average time of onset in Toronto will be six weeks from the date of travel to the province of origin of transmission,” they added.
The executive summary also states that the current risk assessment “does not consider the potential impact of the COVID-19 virus on the hospital-to-hospital spread of the virus.”
In light of the city’s current risk assessment, Toronto now plans to consider whether or not the measures being taken by the city and/or the province for health and safety are excessive. TPH will advise city officials on whether or not to proceed with additional measures to further reduce the risk of community transmission of COVID-19, and make any recommendations related to risk to residents, workplaces and services.
We will keep you posted on any developments.
This document was originally posted on CityNews.
As of Monday at 12:06 pm, Toronto Health, Parks, Recreation and Culture has confirmed more than 1,000 new cases of COVID-19 in Toronto.
As of 1:31 pm, Toronto