Toronto Public Health vice-chair questions city’s COVID-19 policy
The Toronto Public Health (TPH) organization’s vice-chair for disease prevention, health promotion and chronic disease prevention is expressing concerns about a controversial policy introduced by Mayor John Tory following the city’s COVID-19 response.
In a statement posted on the TPH website and quoted in The Toronto Star Thursday, Toronto’s top health official stated that he is “in consultation” with the city’s Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH), but added he is waiting on details from Tory.
The mayor, who is leading the response to the pandemic, has faced criticism for ordering residents to stay in their homes until April 13 to slow the spread of the virus, even though the official mandate of a stay-at-home order is to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Those who do not comply will be “held to account,” said the mayor.
In a video interview with CBC News that aired last night, the city’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Eileen de Villa, said that her staff is “monitoring and consulting with municipal officials and the province,” adding that she hopes to release a revised policy in the coming weeks.
“What we’re trying to do is work with people, that’s the key thing that we are trying to do,” she added.
De Villa said that for now, the city has the authority to implement “the physical distancing” measures — and any limitations on the ability to leave home to get food or to exercise — that the province had set by law.
There are some differences. The city’s current order of physical distancing is one person in a four-person group. The provincial order, which De Villa declined to discuss, restricts a person to just