Over the past months, we have seen dramatic events throughout our city, country, and across the globe. I know many of us are watching our American neighbours with anxious anticipation of their Presidential Election. While this is an incredibly important election, Toronto Centre is also in the middle of a Federal by-election brought on by Hon. Bill Morneau’s resignation in August.
Today I want to acknowledge the continued sacrifice we are each making. Yesterday, there were 296 reported new cases of COVID-19 in Toronto, and an average of 209 per day over a seven day period. This is more than a 200% increase since the beginning of September. We cannot deny that urgent action was needed to interrupt the chain of transmission. I know it’s frustrating to see these civic restrictions once more.
Every day we continue to see a rise in new cases of COVID-19, with 807 new cases on Monday. I know these numbers are frightening, as they are well above what we saw this spring. As a result, the Province of Ontario took the urgent and necessary actions to close gyms, movie theatres, casinos, and prohibit indoor dining. These restrictions are in place across Toronto, Ottawa, and Peel and will continue for 28 days.
Today, like many Torontonians, I am looking ahead towards Thanksgiving this weekend. Like other holidays and special events, for many people, Thanksgiving will look very different this year and it should. There are 797 new cases across Ontario today. This is greater than the height of the pandemic this spring. For anyone still unsure about recommended gathering sizes, Dr de Villa has been clear - only celebrate with people in your own household. This can be an opportunity to create new traditions. Maybe you can share your favourite fall traditions with your roommates. If you live alone, join a virtual celebration, or get a take-out Thanksgiving feast from a local restaurant. It also can be as simple as calling a loved one and letting them know how thankful you are for their support. I know it can be hard being away from family, friends and loved ones but I am confident we can find creative ways to share in these holidays until it is safe to gather once more.
COVID-19 cases in Ontario and Toronto continue to rise at an alarming rate. I know that everyone is tired of these updates and there are cloudy days when I’m tired of them too. But I can not stress enough how serious the situation we are facing is right now, and how important it is that we all take action to slow the spread of COVID-19.