The pandemic isn’t over, de Villa warns

Chief medical officer of health urges Torontonians to stick to "social bubble" of 10 people or fewer as city nears Stage 3


Toronto chief medical officer of health has urged Torontonians to stay the course on physical distancing as the city awaits a move into Stage 3.

“Every time you meet others who are outside of your social bubble, and especially if you do not maintain physical distance, you are exposing yourself and potentially others to a new risk,” Dr. Eileen de Villa said in a statement on Monday afternoon.

A number of public amenities and spaces have reopened in Toronto in recent months. With Toronto awaiting Premier Doug Ford’s decision on whether to move the city into Stage 3 on Wednesday, a number of other spaces – including movie theatres, dine-in restaurants and concert venues – may not be far behind.

While de Villa confirmed that Toronto logged just five new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, she said the city could not rule out the possibility of a second wave, and added she was “concerned” by spikes in other cities and countries as they reopened.

“I have heard many people speak of COVID fatigue and I hear that some believe that the pandemic is over,” de Villa said. “I have also heard that many people may believe that because they have not caught the virus over the past six months, they feel confident that they won’t get sick.”

de Villa urged the Toronto public to be more restrictive about how many people they come into close contact with and to maintain physical distancing.

“I want to be clear: Having friends over for dinner or coffee who are outside of your social bubble, or social circle of 10, is not physical distancing. Arranging playdates for your kids with others who are outside your social bubble is also not physical distancing. Having a gathering or hosting a house party with people outside your COVID-19 bubble is not physical distancing.”

de Villa says the city is pursuing new measures to stop the spread of COVID-19, including a safe isolation space for people with COVID-19 or those who are at risk of infection and cannot properly isolate at home.

Meanwhile, Mayor John Tory has been pushing the province for tougher regulations around restaurants and wants to make mask-wearing mandatory in apartment common spaces.

There have been a total of 15,337 cases of COVID-19 in the city.

@nataliamanzocco

Comments (1)

  • Karen Willis July 29, 2020 08:43 AM

    Please, please, please help us all get some clarification on these recommendations. I understand what De Villa is saying and it makes perfect sense, HOWEVER, it does NOT make sense for the government to provide guidelines that tell you that in stage 2 you can meet with any 10 people as long as you socially distance. So does that mean they are saying that I can have 10 people in my house for a meal as long as we can all be 2 meters from each other? I would think that it does and that seems to contradict what de Villa is saying. Also they rarely say whether they are talking indoors or out. Is that a play date indoors or out? I don’t expect you do provide me answers but would someone PLEASE get the message to these leaders that we need WAY MORE CLARITY or else everyone ends up just doing their own thing.

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