Toronto officials provide update on COVID-19 pandemic in city

A total of 1,110 people have died of COVID-19 in Toronto, but health-care system capacity and laboratory processing are both improving, the city’s medical officer of health says.

Dr. Eileen de Villa told reporters on Wednesday that the city’s COVID-19 monitoring dashboard shows “good news” about two key indicators. The dashboard tracks virus spread and containment, lab testing trends, health system capacity and public health system capacity.

It assigns a red, yellow, or green colour to reflect the current status of each category.

De Villa said the health system capacity indicator has moved to a green status because there has been a decline in the occupancy rate of acute care beds.

And she said the lab testing trends indicator has moved to a yellow status because the proportion of new COVID-19 tests processed by the provincial lab within 48 hours has improved to 77 per cent.

“As we conduct deeper dives into our data, we will be able to better determine what data are actionable, and how do we get ourselves ready for future COVID-19 activity, given what we have seen in other jurisdictions that are a little ahead of us in their COVID-19 outbreaks,” de Villa said at a city hall news conference.

“We know that it is this kind of data analysis that will actually make a difference to us as a city and it is what best protects us and the health of the residents of this city.”

57 new cases in past 2 days

There have been 57 new COVID-19 cases in Toronto in the past two days. The city has a cumulative total of 14,735 cases, with a total of 12,935 people having recovered, an increase of 91 since Monday. 

There are 158 people in hospital, with 35 in intensive care units and 31 on ventilators.

On Tuesday, the city’s new mask bylaw took effect, which means residents are required to wear masks in all indoor public spaces. De Villa said the bylaw is an “important step” in enabling the city to continue to reopen safely.

“Wearing a mask is a simple and inexpensive action we can all take to take care of each other and do our part to keep us moving forward towards Stage 3 of reopening,” De Villa said.

“Our goal throughout this pandemic has been to save lives, protect our health-care system capacity, and minimize the social, economic and broader health impact of COVID-19 on our city. Wearing a mask is an action we can all take to contribute to these goals.

“Remember, as I have shared before, I wear my mask to protect you and you wear yours to protect me.”