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Coronavirus: Toronto marks 200 days at highest emergency level

Last Updated Sep 26, 2020 at 11:44 pm EDT

FILE PHOTO-- Toronto Fire Chief Matthew Pegg speaks to reporters as firefighters battle a six-alarm fire at a racquet club at the intersection of Yonge St. and St.Clair Ave. West, in Toronto on Tuesday, February 14, 2017. (FILE/The Canadian Press/Christopher Katsarov)

Saturday marked 200 days since Toronto began operating at level three emergency status because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Matthew Pegg, Toronto’s fire chief and manager of the city’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) described the pandemic as “the heaviest lift we have seen in a long, long, long time.”

He says Toronto will stay in a level three emergency mode — the highest emergency status level– until there are no more abnormal or extraordinary restrictions that need to be looked after.

“Moving from level three to level two at the earliest would be at the point where the city’s state of emergency has been terminated,” he said.

He says the highs and lows from the past 200 days include the people of Toronto who have complied with all the health and safety recommendations and the small number of people who have not.

Pegg says the pressure of managing the EOC has been daunting and difficult, but he’s doing all right, thanks to the team, his personal support network, including his therapist, and his wife.

“To be my rock and keep me grounded and to help do what I need to do and Catherine has been spectacular,” he said.