The City of Toronto reported 118 new cases of the coronavirus Friday, bringing the total to 457. That accounts for almost half the confirmed cases in all of Ontario.
Toronto Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa says 29 people have been hospitalized with 15 in the ICU. Another 18 people have recovered from COVID-19.
Dr. de Villa said at least 25 per cent of the cases have been linked to community spread and urged people to continue practicing social distancing and self-isolation in order to stop this spread, adding the number of cases are constantly changing and increasing.
“If we continue to see people selfishly ignore the recommendations that have been put in place to keep us safe, we should prepare to see dramatic increases in local numbers,” Dr. de Villa said.
Mayor John Tory echoed Dr. de Villa’s statement saying, “Please stay home. It is difficult when Spring is here and Winter is finally over. I know there’s only so much Netflix to watch … but now is our chance to help save lives. All of us can literally save lives in our city.”
Tory also addressed growing reports of people going to grocery stores in groups, not practicing social distancing and even worse, some “awful human beings” who have been making jokes to people working in those stores about being COVID positive.
“This kind of behaviour is disrespectful and irresponsible,” said Tory.
Fire Chief Matthew Pegg, who is also the manager of the Office of Emergency Management, said Friday enforcement continues on non-essential businesses not complying with the provincial order to close.
Pegg said they had received 79 complaints and issued 10 notices for failure to comply since March 24. Another six notices were given upon audit and upon re-inspection 11 have closed.
Toronto Public Health has also inspected 95 bars and restaurants that had not complied with the order to close. Forty-nine have since closed and eight have been issued warnings.
Officials have received 90 complaints about people not respecting social distancing in parks after the city closed all playgrounds and park amenities. Accessing closed park amenities or playgrounds could result in a fine up to $5,000
Anyone with complaints about non-essential businesses not closing or concerns over social distancing should contact 311.
Mayor Tory called the reports of non-essential businesses not complying with the provincial order frustrating and “quite frankly, outright disturbing.”
“It puts the whole community at risk and it shouldn’t still be happening,” he added.
Chief Pegg also took the time to address the mental health concerns residents may have amid the coronavirus outbreak.
“It’s ok to not feel ok about the COVID-19 and about things like social distancing, self-isolation and the pandemic in general,” said Pegg. “These are normal and healthy responses and feelings to an abnormal situation.”