'This is about saving lives': Toronto residents urged to remain home to help stop spread of COVID-19

'This is about saving lives': Toronto residents urged to remain home to help stop spread of COVID-19

City officials are reminding residents of the importance of reducing all contact with others as much as possible, as efforts continue to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Residents are also being reminded to stay home except for essential outings to help stop the community spread of the deadly virus.

Mayor John Tory said the fastest way to end the shutdown and get on with the recovery is to stay home.

“I understand how frustrating the city’s lockdown measures can be, and I too want the city to open back up as soon as it is safe to do so,” Tory said.

“But in order to do that, we need to be sure that the virus is contained. This is about saving lives from a very deadly virus.”

City’s confirmed cases at 4,628

As of Saturday afternoon, there were likely 4,628 cases of COVID-19 in Toronto:  4,176 confirmed cases and 452 probable cases. 

There are 305 patients hospitalized, with 112 in intensive care units. 

To date 253 people in Toronto have died from COVID-19.

Toronto group raises $ 200K to support COVID-19 hospital

On Saturday, Tory said the Toronto Hustle cycling team and Coun. Brad Bradford had surpassed their goal of raising $ 150,000 for the Michael Garron Hospital Foundation, in support of the hospital’s efforts to treat patients affected by COVID-19.

The group participated in a 24-hour virtual ride, raising more than $ 200,000.

City’s enforcement efforts continue

In a news release Saturday, the city said enforcement of its physical distancing bylaw and the province’s Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act orders is ongoing. 

The news release said there were 354 complaints Friday involving people using outdoor amenities or not practising physical distancing in parks.

“Bylaw and police officers issued 18 tickets, bringing the total number of tickets issued since April 3 to 505,” it said. “[They] have spoken to more than 11,000 people in city parks about the closures and public health measures.”

Warm weather in Toronto draws people outside despite warnings to stay home as a means to prevent the spread of COVID-19. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

The city also received 44 complaints Friday related to non-essential businesses remaining open. 

Since March 24, Municipal Licensing & Standards and Toronto Public Health have issued 71 tickets and 149 notices to non-essential businesses.

York Region Transit operator tests positive 

Meanwhile, an operator with York Region Transit has tested positive for COVID-19, the agency confirmed to CBC News on Saturday.

“Thankfully, the individual is doing well and recovering at home in self-isolation,” general manager Ann Marie Carrol wrote in an email.

Carrol said York Region Public Health’s Case Management team is currently conducting a risk assessment. Public health officials are trying to identify any close contacts with the worker from two days before their symptoms started until they started self-isolating.

“Anyone identified as a close contact, including other York Region Transit staff, has been contacted and asked to self-isolate for 14 days since their last contact with the individual,” Carrol said.

“Out of an abundance of caution and based on the guidance of Public Health, any staff with a potential risk of exposure will be placed on isolation.”

CBC | Toronto News

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