"Given the sharp rise in COVID-19 cases over the last two weeks, and the speed at which this virus spreads, now is the time to put public health measures in place to immediately limit opportunities for disease transmission.
As physicians and health care leaders specializing in infectious diseases, general internal medicine, medical microbiology and infection prevention and control (IPAC), we're calling on the Government of Ontario to immediately place restrictions on non-essential businesses and activities that facilitate social gatherings and increase opportunities for exposure, including dine-in restaurants and bars, nightclubs, gyms, theatres, and places of worship. The province must also ask non-essential businesses to have employees work from home and instruct universities and colleges to offer classes online, wherever possible.
Ontario reported 478 cases on Tuesday, with a seven-day average of approximately 400 cases/day – a figure last seen in May at the height of the pandemic. Without immediate action, we know from international experience that this extremely contagious and life-threatening virus will spread rapidly through our schools, long-term care homes, retirement homes and other congregate settings.