Toronto's COVID-19 death toll reaches 32, city adds 69 more cases
TORONTO -- Toronto health officials say that five more residents have died due to COVID-19, bringing the total number of virus-related deaths in the city to 32.
The city’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa told reporters on Monday that 15 of the 32 people who have died were living in long-term care and retirement homes.
She said many of the other deaths took place in a hospital setting, but was unable to provide additional details.
“I extend my deepest condolences to family and friends of all individuals who have died of COVID-19 in our community,” de Villa said.
De Villa said there are currently 135 cases confirmed cases of COVID-19 in long-term care and retirement homes.
She said there is “no easy answer” as to whether people should remove their family members from these residences, saying that many of the residents could have complex health-care needs.
“Long-term care homes are expected to prevent and minimize the spread of infectious diseases,” she said. "In the case of COVID-19, we have put even stricter protocols in place to keep long-term care residents safe.”
Toronto represents around a quarter of all cases of COVID-19 reported in the province.
Health officials reported Monday that there are currently 1,301 cases in the city, an increase of 69 cases from the day prior. Of those 1,301 cases, 145 patients have been hospitalized and 60 are being treated in an intensive care unit.
City urges residents to “adapt” holiday observances during COVID-19 pandemic
As the number of COVID-19 cases in the city continues to grow Toronto Mayor John Tory is asking residents to adapt their faith-based holiday observances as Passover, Easter, and the start of Ramadan approaches.
“The faith communities of our city are always ready to do what they can to help anyone in need. This year, that commitment to helping others means staying home and staying physically apart,” Tory said.
As a result, Dr. de Villa is advising all Torontonians to stay home and instructing residents not to host family and friends over the coming holidays.
“The City of Toronto recognizes the importance of spiritual, emotional, and mental wellbeing during these important times,” the city said in a news release issued Monday afternoon. “People are encouraged to connect with loved ones, friends, and vulnerable members of the community online or by phone.”
The city added that many places of worship are still hosting services online and are in the process of developing more ways to connect with their communities.
Residents who are feeling isolated or anxious during the holidays are encouraged to visit the city’s COVID-19: Health Advice website for mental health support and resources.