Toronto

Toronto's top doctor pushes safer socializing as city reports 33 new cases

Dr. Eileen de Villa acknowledges socializing safely can be "difficult, or maybe even awkward' during the pandemic - but says Torontonians need to keep up their efforts.

Dr. Eileen de Villa acknowledges socializing can be 'awkward' during COVID-19

'It is important to find enjoyment and joy' while minimizing the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Dr. Eileen de Villa says. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

As Toronto heads into the final days of summer, the city top doctor is urging residents to keep up their efforts around safe socializing. 

"I know this year is not the same as other summers in our city, but we can still have fun," said Dr. Eileen de Villa. 

De Villa said she continues to hear confusion about the difference between physically distanced socializing and being with your circle, or bubble. 

"It is critical to remember that you can only belong to one bubble," she said. "This means that if you are socializing with friends and family outside of your bubble, you must keep a distance of six feet from them." 

De Villa said Torontonians should still try to connect with family and friends and find joy in the new normal, which she says will go on for the "foreseeable future." 

"It is critical that everyone understands that this is a marathon and not a sprint," she continued. 

33 new cases reported 

On Wednesday, the city reported 33 new cases of COVID-19. 

Earlier this week, de Villa said that she is encouraged by the current trend of more or less stable numbers of new daily cases in the city.

Dr. Eileen de Villa, the city's medical officer of health, is reminding residents that socializing can't go back to normal and that there are 'many months' of the pandemic ahead. (Michael Wilson/CBC)

But she cautioned that Toronto Public Health has tracked an uptick in the number of new infections of the novel coronavirus in people younger than 40, including in those 19 and under.

"In a perfect world, we'd see a decline until we have no new cases," de Villa said Wednesday.

"This isn't feasible right now given the size of our city, how contagious the virus is, and because work is still underway to develop effective treatments." 

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