Toronto Public Health vice-chair questions city’s COVID-19 policy
The mayor of Toronto, John Tory, is asking his council to amend Toronto’s COVID-19 emergency order.
In a letter to council obtained by Toronto Star, Tory argues that city staff should have been prepared for cases doubling and tripling in a matter of weeks.
“The city did not take into consideration the possibility that the pandemic would reach a peak and then recede, as is happening now,” Tory wrote in the letter Thursday, three days after Toronto Public Health advised residents to take extra precautions to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Tory pointed to a new report by Toronto scientist Dr. David McKeown that showed one case was doubling in just 14 days. McKeown says the number is growing exponentially.
“In response to this news, I have requested that my executive officers and chief medical officer for health make a recommendation to council regarding the city’s emergency order and how to proceed in an orderly and timely manner,” Tory wrote.
Tory said the city cannot afford to miss out on another spike in cases, and said he believes more aggressive measures will be needed to deal with the additional cases as the virus spreads.
“The government of Canada did not take into consideration the possibility that the virus could reach a peak and then decline, as is happening now,” Tory wrote.
Tory also said the federal government has not been doing enough to respond to the evolving situation in Ontario.
“I am not aware of the government of Canada doing more than I am,” Tory wrote.
He asked council to approve his motion at their Thursday meeting before the end of the week.
The city is also looking to expand its own contact tracing program, after the province suspended it on Friday.
“The government of Ontario is not doing enough to respond to our concerns and to support the health and safety of our residents in the province,” Tory wrote in his letter.
“I am asking council to approve my motion today amending the city’s emergency order,” he said, adding he has also asked city staff to look into expanding the contact tracing program.