Toronto Mayor John Tory has suggested that those within the city continue to wear masks as Ontario enters Stage 3 of its plan to reopen the economy, fearing that a second wave of the coronavirus could flare up if the protocols are relaxed too much.
Toronto Star reported that Tory sent a message to Ontario Premier Doug Ford this past weekend, addressing the potential for a second outbreak if people are allowed to enter bars without exercising protocols.
Tory added that he feared Toronto could turn into the many major cities around the world that have seen a resurgence of COVID-19 after relaxing safety precautions
"I know you are just as concerned as I am about a second wave and the disastrous impact that a return to a more stringent lockdown would have on the health of our residents and the restart of the Ontario economy," Tory wrote in his letter to Ford.
"We have seen in other jurisdictions that further reopening can lead to increased outbreaks of COVID-19 and growing case count numbers. We do not want to go in that direction."
Tory provided a total of six amendments to be implemented in Toronto, adding that the province may want to include "other large jurisdictions" as well.
The letter continued by saying, "according to our health officials, these establishments present a high level of risk of transmission of the COVID-19 virus: all of the factors known to be associated with high risk are present—close, prolonged contact with many other people in a closed environment," wrote the mayor.
"It takes only one case (perhaps asymptomatic) in a bar to infect many people, possibly equivalent to several times Toronto's average daily total."
Tory concluded that an adherence to these measures would ensure that there would not have to be another clamp down on social activities and closing of businesses, writing that "businesses will follow these measures because they will understand this will help protect their customers and employees and help prevent a spike in COVID-19 cases that could ultimately lead to a return to more restrictive measures, including a return to the closure of these same businesses as we have seen in other cities."
BlogTO reported that though Ford had not personally responded to Tory's proposal, his Christine Elliott, Ford's Minister of Health, did say that the province "appreciate[s] the City of Toronto's recommendations," adding that she and Ford "will continue to work directly with Mayor John Tory and city officials as we constantly assess public health guidelines and evaluate when may the region may be ready to safely enter Stage 3."