Toronto considering using TikTok to warn young people about risks of COVID-19: Tory
Published Wednesday, August 19, 2020 4:14PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, August 19, 2020 4:15PM EDT
Mayor John Tory says the city is considering using more social media platforms, including TikTok, to remind young people that COVID-19 is still very much a threat.
In the city’s COVID-19 update on Wednesday, Tory said the age distribution of reported COVID-19 cases continues to shift to younger age groups.
“In the most recent two weeks, the average age of COVID cases was 39 years old compared to 52 years overall for the entire pandemic outbreak,” Tory said in the press conference.
“The proportion of cases among those who are less than 19 years of age and those 20 to 29 years of age has increased significantly in the last few weeks,” he added.
Tory proceeded to warn young people that the virus remains “a risk to them and a risk to everyone that they’re in contact with.”
“I know young people feel immortal and invincible, I can remember those days, but I urge them to be cautious and to keep following the public health advice because it applies to them just like it applies to everyone else,” Tory said.
On Wednesday, the city reported 24 new cases of the virus with a total of more than 15,000 cases recorded since March.
There have been a total of 1,164 deaths from COVID-19 in the city, with no new deaths reported since Tuesday.
To date, 14,230 people have recovered from the virus, an increase of 30 since a day earlier.
According to Toronto Public Health, 6.5 per cent of the total cases are in people under the age of 19 and 14.7 per cent are between 20 to 29 years old.
People between the age of 50 to 59 years old still represent the biggest percentage of cases with 15.8 per cent.
Associate Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vinita Dubey joined the press conference via phone and said the rise in cases among young people is not due to a specific outbreak but rather many are contracting the virus from community spread.
“What we’re finding is that those who are less than 19 or 20 to 29 have a proportion of cases that are coming from community spread and this means they can’t necessarily identify someone who had COVID where they could have got it from,” she said.
“And it’s probably because they’ve been in situations where they haven’t been able to maintain that physical distance.’’
Dubey said the COVID-19 Alert App could be a helpful tool in contract tracing among young people.
“The COVID Alert App might help for this age group to be able to help people pinpoint to where they got their infection and to be able to prevent spread in gatherings.”