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'Everybody’s suffering the consequences': Ontario's top doctors call out people in the province not following public health measures

Elisabetta Bianchini
·2-min read

For more on today’s top stories and the spread of the novel coronavirus across the country, please refer to our live updates below throughout the day, as well as our COVID-19 news hub.

At a press conference on Thursday, Dr. David Williams, Ontario's chief medical officer of health said the province is “turning up the dial” to stop the spread of COVID-19, but people are not doing what’s needed to bring down Ontario’s case count.

“If you don’t fraternize, if you don’t connect with a lot of people except your household, if you stay vigilant in that, if you do your distancing, wearing your mask, hand hygiene, staying home if you’re ill, getting testing if you need to...if everybody did that we would be out of this but people are not doing that,” Dr. Williams said.

Dr. Dirk Huyer, coordinator of the provincial outbreak response, said that it is “so frustrating” that Ontario is “locking down.”

“Everybody’s suffering the consequences of unfortunately, a smaller numbers of people,” Dr. Huyer said. “Everybody’s working the best that they can together to take these steps and unfortunately, it hasn’t worked because a few or some have not been able, or have not taken the steps, that are necessary.”

According to Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, people in the province continued to socialize and have over Christmas and had New Year’s Eve parties, causing outbreaks.

“During that time we’re saying, what were you thinking? Why were you doing that? It seems that people have some sense or ability to say...’I just sort of waved it away, I didn’t think it would be a big deal,’ well it was a big deal,” Dr. Williams said.

“The community transmission is way too high. Why? Because people are continually not adhering and taking those precaution, and with the U.K. variant at our doorstep, it can really explode even further.”

Ontario reported 3,326 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, including 968 new cases in Toronto, 572 in Peel, 357 in York Region and 268 in Windsor-Essex County.

Dr. Williams and Dr. Huyer also confirmed that Ontario has not seen any significant adverse effects from COVID-19 vaccines.

All reactions were deemed to be mild, including allergic reactions, skin reactions, muscle pains and aches, and no one required hospitalization, based on the 113,000 injections from Dec. 13 to Jan. 9.

Check out our COVID-19 in Canada topic page for latest news, tips, health updates, cases and more.