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Mayor John Tory considers TikTok to reach younger generation with COVID-19 messaging

Last Updated Aug 20, 2020 at 11:44 am EST

WASHINGTON, Aug. 4, 2020 The logo of TikTok is displayed on the screen of a smartphone on a computer screen background in Arlington, Virginia, the United States, Aug. 3, 2020. TO GO WITH XINHUA HEADLINES OF AUG. 4, 2020 (Credit Image: © Liu Jie/Xinhua via ZUMA Press)

The City of Toronto may communicate warnings about the coronavirus to the younger generation via TikTok.

Mayor John Tory said he is considering the use of TikTok as COVID-19 case numbers in younger demographics continue to rise.

An update released Wednesday from the City of Toronto says the average age of cases for the last two weeks is 39 years old. It has been 52 years overall for the entire pandemic.

“Young people are of the view that they are invincible from the virus,” Tory said in an interview with Breakfast Television’s Melanie Ng on Thursday. “The fact is, they do suffer less cases of hospitalizations and deaths.”

He noted that young people often carry the virus home to multi-generational family members who suffer greater consequences than they do.

“Right now, I’m not sure they’re watching all-news programs and they have to be reached in a different way,” Tory said about young people and reaching them via TikTok. “We’re going to do everything we can to get the message across that they have to follow the same health protocols as everyone else.”

This comes on the heels of the impending return to school, which leaves many parents, staff and students concerned about the potential of future outbreaks.

According to a Hootsuite report published in May 2020, TikTok hosts 800-million monthly users, with 69 per cent being in the 13-24-year-old demographic.

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