Toronto reports lowest number of daily COVID-19 infections 'in quite some time'
TORONTO -- Toronto health officials say that only five new cases of COVID-19 were reported in the city on Monday, the lowest number of infections “in quite some time.”
Speaking at their bi-weekly news conference, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health said that over the last two days, there were 58 new patients.
“Today, we are reporting only 5 new infections in our city,” Dr. Eileen de Villa said. “This is our lowest number of new infections that we have reported in quite some time.”
De Villa went on to say that while she is pleased to see the number of COVID-19 cases in Toronto decrease, it doesn’t mean that residents shouldn’t be cautious.
“New infections continue to be reported each day in our city,” she said. “I am also concerned about what we are observing in other community cities and locations globally as they reopen. We cannot take this lightly. And we must not let our guard down.”
Toronto has been widely considered as one of the country’s COVID-19 hotspots, and was one of the last regions to move to Stage 2 of Ontario’s economic reopening plan. It remains one of three areas that has not received permission to move to Stage 3—a decision that is expected to be revealed on Wednesday.
De Villa referenced an uptick in COVID-19 cases in some regions that have moved to the final stage of reopening. Ottawa, a city that before moving to Stage 3 was reporting less than five cases daily, has now seen a surge in infections. On Monday, infections in Ottawa accounted for 24 per cent of all new cases reported that day in the province.
“We don’t want to lose the progress that we have made,” de Villa said. “There are many jurisdictions that have had to go back and I don’t want to have this happen in our city. I know that this journey has been tough for all of us, myself included, however the reality is that COVID-19 is still here and we need everyone to stay focus on stopping its spread.”
Officials also said that they are in talks with both the province and the federal government to help fund an “isolation space” where COVID-19 patients can self-isolate if they do not have the capacity to do so at home.
The recommendation has been approved by the city’s board of health.
“Unfortunately, not everyone in our community is able to effectively isolate in their current living situation. An isolation site would help people who live in housing that may be crowded or have insufficient space to effectively and safely isolate,” de Villa said, adding that one of the most common ways to contract the disease is through household contacts.
Toronto Mayor John Tory said he is “optimistic” the city will get the support they need to create these isolation spaces. He argued that it is especially important considering the new research the city has conducted regarding COVID-19 and income.
“We, of course, have seen lots of evidence to suggest it tends to be people in lower income groups and who have housing that is more concentrated in terms of number of people living in a very small space,” he said. “And so having had those facts in front of us, it led us to the conclusion that this would be very, very helpful.”
In total, more than 15,000 Torontonians have been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus, with 13,772 recoveries and at least 1,150 deaths.