City of Toronto update on COVID-19 - April 16, 2021

There are 1,527 new cases of COVID-19 in Toronto today – a new record high for daily case counts. Since the start of the pandemic there have been a total of 130,502 cases of COVID-19 in the city, including the 1,527 new cases today. There are 813 people hospitalized. To date, there have been 2,900 COVID-19 deaths in Toronto. In total, 114,535 people have recovered. Case status data can be found on the Toronto Public Health’s reporting dashboard: www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-latest-city-of-toronto-news/covid-19-status-of-cases-in-toronto/.

COVID-19 vaccination in Toronto and across Ontario is not keeping pace with transmission of the virus – including dangerous variants – placing significant strain on the healthcare system. Hospitalization rates in Toronto are the highest on record and are expected to increase. Without strengthened public health measures, data analysis and projections indicate it will take until late summer to reduce new case counts. It is imperative that all people in Toronto stay home as much as possible, wear a mask when leaving the house and practise physical distancing with anyone not from the same household.

Today, the Province of Ontario announced additional measures, including extending the state of emergency and Stay-at-Home order province-wide for an additional two weeks, for a total of six weeks. The announcement included increased limits on outdoor gatherings, restrictions on access to some outdoor recreational amenities, and lower capacity limits for in-person shopping at essential retailers and for religious services, rites, weddings and funerals. The City of Toronto will review the provincial regulations, when available, to determine impacts to City services.

The Province also stated that, moving forward, 25 per cent of future vaccine allocations will be dedicated to hot spot public health regions. City officials will be reviewing the impact of this decision, what additional supply it will produce for Toronto hot spots, and how it will help the ongoing administering of vaccines.

Toronto, like all Ontario municipalities, remains in the Shutdown Zone of the Province’s COVID-19 response framework and subject to a provincial Stay-at-Home order. Everyone in the city should be staying home except for essential reasons such as going out for groceries or exercise and being sure to stay as close to home as possible. The City is working to update the COVID-19: Guide for Residents with information on what is and is not permitted under provincial regulations, including those announced today: https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-reopening-recovery-rebuild/covid-19-guide-for-toronto-residents/. The guide and the City’s COVID-19: Changes to City Services webpage are being reviewed to ensure alignment with today’s provincial announcement: https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-latest-city-of-toronto-news/affected-city-services/.

Quotes:

“We need everyone in our city and across the province to follow the public health advice to stop the spread of COVID-19. It will take time for our actions – staying home as much as possible, keeping our distance from others, and wearing masks – to make a positive difference but they will save lives. I know we can do it because we've done it before. Our work to vaccinate as many people as possible with the vaccine supply we have will continue and we will do everything we can with our hospital and healthcare partners to make sure we get every shot we have in every arm we can, especially in the hot spot areas where we know it is urgently needed. City staff are carefully reviewing the new provincial measures announced today and we will have more to say in the days ahead. I am very concerned about arbitrary stops of people by police at any time and I will be reviewing the regulations extremely carefully and discussing them with the Medical Officer of Health and the Toronto Police Chief.”

- Mayor John Tory

“We are in the midst of an absolutely brutal third wave. The coming weeks will test us like never before. At the City of Toronto we will do everything – absolutely everything – to keep our residents safe.”

- Councillor Joe Cressy (Spadina-Fort York), Chair of the Board of Health

“The City of Toronto is in the grip of a third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, driven by variants of concern. We are living through one of the worst periods of the pandemic and the demands on our healthcare partners are unprecedented. Given rapid case growth, we know that additional province-wide public health measures are required to reverse the surge we face in our city and across the provincial health care system. I ask every Torontonian to continue to stay at home as much as possible to prevent and mitigate large scale morbidity and mortality and irreparable strain on the health care system.”

- Dr. Eileen de Villa, Medical Officer of Health

“Toronto's Emergency Operations Centre continues to be fully activated in response to COVID-19. Our incident management system is both robust and nimble and we are, once again, responding to the rapidly evolving situation in Toronto. Our overarching priorities remain unchanged – to save lives and to do all we can to prevent our healthcare system from being overwhelmed. Further, our Immunization Task Force continues to work day and night to maximize the continued rollout of COVID-19 vaccine, in accordance with the advice and guidance of Toronto Public Health.”

- Chief Matthew Pegg, General Manager of the Office of Emergency Management

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