Toronto’s top doctor says COVID-19 numbers sound ‘blunt warning’ as city logs record 761 new cases
A man wearing a protective mask walks past a mural during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Tuesday, December 1, 2020. Toronto and Peel region continue to be in lockdown. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Published Tuesday, December 1, 2020 5:53PM EST
Toronto's top doctor says the latest COVID-19 data collected for the city should send an urgent warning to residents to change their behaviour.
Toronto reported 761 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday, breaking the previous record of 643 set just a day earlier on Monday.
“Today’s case counts are a blunt warning,” Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa said in a statement. “COVID-19 continues to spread easily and widely.”
De Villa pointed out that younger adults (people between the ages of 20 and 49) account for more than half (57 per cent) of today’s new cases, including 167 people in their 20s, 154 people in their 30s and 112 people in their 40s.
“It is a warning that everyone at every age shares the risk of infection, just as all of us have the ability to reduce the risk through the actions and choices we take in the next several weeks,” de Villa said.
She said data gleaned from the city’s newly launched Source of Infection Survey, given to those who test positive for the virus, are also shedding light on where people are getting infected.
One on five respondents confirmed that they had been part of a gathering of fewer than 10 people either in their own home or in someone else’s home during the period when they acquired COVID-19.
“While most cases reporting close contact with a known COVID-19 case identified their spouse or partner (21 per cent) as the case, the next most common relationships reported were friends (16 per cent) and co-workers (16 per cent),” de Villa said. “In total, 35 per cent of cases reporting close contact indicated that their close contact with known cases were only non-household contacts.”
She said the latest data underscores the importance of limiting contact with those outside of your household in order to contain the spread of the virus. She noted that some of the cases reported today would have acquired their infections prior to new lockdown restrictions placed on the city a week ago.
The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Toronto also climbed by 13 Tuesday to 258. One more patient with COVID-19 entered the Intensive Care Unit, for a total of 49.
While the province reported a slightly lower number of new cases (727) for Toronto Tuesday, the discrepancy arises from the fact that the city and the province use different data entry systems, each with their own cut off time for reporting cases.