Toronto has a total of 3,820 cases of COVID-19 and residents were warned on Tuesday that there will be a second wave of novel coronavirus infections in the city.
A total of 190 people have died of the virus in Toronto, while 223 have recovered. The total number of cases includes 3,462 confirmed, while 358 are classified as probable.
Of the total, 281 people are in hospital with 190 in intensive care units. The new total represents an increase of 138 cases since Monday.
Dr. Eileen de Villa, the city’s medical officer of health, told reporters at a daily news briefing that the city needs to ensure its health care system remains strong because the system will have to manage the second wave.
“We know that we will experience another COVID-19 wave because we have yet to reach a high level of immunity in our community,” she said.
“We will continue to see COVID-19 spreading in our community until we start to experience herd immunity. This will not happen until many people are infected with COVID-19 and recover and they build immunity that lasts, or we develop a vaccine.”
De Villa, who presented a series of slides to show data about the disease in a larger context, noted that the trajectory of COVID-19 cases is lower in Toronto, Ontario and Canada than it is for such countries as Spain and the U.S., which have seen a large number of cases since outbreaks began.
“We believe, at this point, that the number of cases to date in Canada, Ontario and locally in Toronto is lower than originally forecasted. This is due in part to the strong public health measures that were put in place early in our outbreak and the fact that our residents took these measures seriously,” she said.
“Thank you everyone for following the advice to stay home and practise physical distancing. I know it has been difficult but I hope you are now seeing the benefits of these actions.”
De Villa added the city is currently in its peak period for the pandemic but that period will last more than a day.
“I use the term ‘peak period’ because a peak is really not just one day, nor is it one number, as the number of cases on any day during the peak will vary. The reality is that we will only know when we have hit our peak for COVID-19 cases after it has passed,” she said.
De Villa said the city will continue to see COVID-19 spreading in its long-term care homes, which she has said are experiencing their own distinct outbreak.
“We should expect to see more cases in these settings,” De Villa said.
Eatonville Care Centre, a privately run long-term care home in Etobicoke, has 130 cases and has recorded 30 deaths.
Willowdale Welcome Centre, a shelter for refugees in North York, has 110 positive cases.