These maps show Toronto’s current COVID-19 hot spots are not where you think they are.
Dr. William Gerbasi, the health authority for the Toronto Catholic District School Board, told CityNews this week the board was forced to postpone its spring break trip in response to COVID-19.
He says they had a private charter bus that usually takes around two dozen kids out to a popular camp near St. John’s for the weekend.
The group stayed home and made the trip when they learned their bus was needed to transport children with severe COVID-19 who were being admitted to the hospital.
Gerbasi says they weren’t worried about the children getting infected because the parents of the campers were taking them to the hospital right away and the children were in isolation.
He says the group had to cancel their plans because of COVID-19 but will be able to make their trip back home as soon as conditions allow.
This is why it is so important that the board be transparent about the extent of the risk to the children.
“If we had left them in isolation, that would have been catastrophic,” he says. “We do not want anyone — anyone — with a serious illness to be exposed to a highly infectious germ like COVID-19.”
Toronto’s COVID-19 hot spot map
We know our city’s hot spots are in the downtown core. The downtown core is in the hardest-hit area when it comes to testing.
Dr. Deborah MacPherson, senior health officer for the Toronto Public Health, says testing is available on site, but only in the downtown core and, in most cases, only in people who have symptoms.
She says they are not enough tests to properly determine how bad the outbreak, but what they can do is monitor cases of anyone who develops symptoms.
MacPherson says their priority now is “defining that asymptomatic-positive rate” to determine what their testing needs are.
“We want to make sure we’re giving the most accurate and comprehensive information to keep everyone as safe as possible during this time,” she says. “We have to be testing everything.”
The Health Department has already provided the public with a list of tests that have been sent to