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De Villa says it's up to Toronto residents to dictate what winter looks like for COVID-19

Toronto's top doctor says its up to city residents to control and help curve the spread of COVID-19 this winter. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Dominic Chan THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Dominic Chan

With the winter months approaching, Toronto’s top doctor says it’s up to everyone to determine whether COVID-19 and its second wave will continue on its upward trajectory or diminish sooner rather than later.

“We are choosing between a long winter of allowing the virus to do its worst, of trying to wait it out surrounded by rising infections and paying the price for it emotionally, economically and socially,” Eileen de Villa said on Monday.

“Or we can choose a winter with us at our best, acting with belief, will and perseverance. It will still be a long winter. Parts of it will still be hard.”

“But when it’s over, it will be something of which we can be proud because we saw the risk for what it was, acted in ways to thwart it, and came out the other side next spring with less suffering than what might have been, and ready for a better future,” Toronto’s top doctor added.

Last week, de Villa reported a staggering increase in COVID-19 positivity rate, confirming the figure to be 4.4 percent – an increase, at the time, of 1.3 percent.



In early Oct., de Villa and Mayor John Tory presented modelling numbers suggesting that COVID-19 will get worse if additional measures aren’t enforced.

At the time, de Villa said with the City’s level of transmission, officials projected disease activity in October would exceed the winter peak.

She said if the virus remains unchecked, it will get much worse in November and then peak in March or May 2021.

“The belief part is what we want: Lower infection rates, less risk to come through another day in good health because that’s one day closer to vaccination and one day closer to living like we want to live,” Toronto’s top doctor said.

The City reported 281 new COVID-19 infections on Monday.


Toronto’s post-Stage 2 plan

Meantime, Mayor Tory says de Villa is working on a number of scenarios for a post-Stage 2 plan.

“We would have to agree on these with provincial officials in most cases since it is in their order that is in effect,” Tory said in regards to the plan.

“I have also spoken to the premier about the work we are both doing on a post-Stage 2 plan.”

It comes as North York General declares a COVID-19 outbreak in the surgical program, confirming two staff members who tested positive appear to be linked.

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