Toronto Official Wants to Extend Restrictions | heatlh & science , coronavirus

Lawrence Kim
February 20, 2021

York Region's medical officer of health has asked Dr. David Williams to place the region in the red zone, which has the second-strictest set of rules under the province's colour-coded framework.

Toronto public health officials say in a statement that while current case counts "do not seem bad", the number of variant cases increased by 20 in just the last week alone.

She noted the experience of Germany, whose health minister said Wednesday the virus variant first detected in Britain past year now accounts for more than a fifth of all positive tests in his country, rising from 6% in just two weeks.

She said the city faces a "deceptively risky situation", as overall daily case counts have been trending lower lately. But there are "about five times" that many - another 283 cases - that have screened positive for variants of concern and are undergoing further testing, de Villa pointed out.

"By the time the confirmed case counts are big enough to shock us, it will be too late to do anything".

I'm not sure why, and I say that with a full understanding of where we are now and that there are fears of a possible third wave.

Since the start of the pandemic there have been a total of 93,455 cases of COVID-19 in the city, an increase of 302 new cases today.

The long-range modelling predicts a "strong resurgence" of COVID-19 in March and April in all provinces.

As of Wednesday, there were 16 confirmed variant cases in Quebec, including 13 cases of the United Kingdom mutation, and another 135 suspected cases.

Quebec added 14 more deaths from past dates, but no new ones, in its update.

"I was really hoping Mississauga would move into the Grey zone on the 22nd, but our Medical Officer of Health has serious concerns about this & has recommended we stay in lockdown a little longer".

"The science is showing that we're still very much at risk as a country and none more so than Indigenous communities, who have really, really fought and continue to fight overwhelming odds".

Health Minister Christine Elliott said almost 56,200 tests were completed, and 501,867 doses of the COVID-19 vaccines have been administered. Canada's doses of that vaccine are made in Belgium but are routed through the UPS air hub in Kentucky.

"I'm not expecting to not get our wishes, but ultimately it is the province's decision", he said in an interview Thursday.

The provincial death toll from the virus now stands at 6,820. He added that public health authorities are still asking people to say home except for essential trips.

Saskatchewan reported 124 new infections and five additional deaths.

Provincial health officials reported that about 79.9 per cent of the variant cases were associated with an outbreak or were a close contact of a confirmed case.

Most of the new cases are concentrated in hot spot regions in the Greater Toronto Area.

In Toronto, the city's top doctor echoed some of those concerns on Wednesday, saying she has "never been as concerned about the threat of COVID-19 to (residents') health as I am now".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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