No need to require mask now, says public health in Toronto | Coronavirus: Ontario

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No need to require mask now, says public health in Toronto | Coronavirus: Ontario

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Toronto Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa advises wearing a mask in crowded places, but public health does not see the need to make it mandatory at this time.

Toronto Public Health does not consider it necessary at this time to make masks mandatory in public places, but advises wearing them in places busy.

Toronto's public health committee on Tuesday asked the city's medical officer of health, Dr. Eileen de Villa, to “urgently” assess whether to reimpose mask-wearing in public places, starting with schools.

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Kate Mulligan, an instigator of the motion and a professor at the University of Toronto's Dalla Lana School of Public Health, says she recently had to bring one of her children to the emergency room who was in respiratory distress.

I dare not even think what would have happened without this resource, she says .

She says action is needed to help pediatric hospitals “overwhelmed” with high numbers of respiratory infections, including those caused by COVID.

Toronto Public Health has responded that levels of COVID-19 are currently slowly increasing in the Queen City.

Saying Dr. de Villa was unavailable for an interview, a public health spokesperson reiterated that Torontonians should receive a booster dose of the bivalent vaccine, wear a mask in crowded places and stay away. home if symptomatic.

“We will follow provincial guidelines if we identify a marked increase in levels of COVID-19 .

—Toronto Public Health (statement)

Premier Doug Ford said Wednesday he would follow the recommendations of Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Kieran Moore. He urged people at risk to wear a mask, in addition to reminding Ontarians to get their flu shot.

Health Minister Sylvia Jones also said on Tuesday that she relied on Dr. Moore's expertise in the face covering.

The latter did not rule out last week recommending that the government return the mask, but not for a few weeks. He urges Ontarians to get the coronavirus and influenza vaccines.

At a virtual event hosted by the Ontario Medical Association, doctors explained that the flu season started early this year in the province and that more than half of the reported cases were among children and teenagers.

The combination of influenza, the resurgence of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and the spread of COVID-19 poses a triple threat and the situation is likely to worsen in the coming months, according to participating doctors.

The pediatric healthcare system is under enormous pressure due to staff shortages, difficulties in the supply of medicines for children and the circulation of viruses which usually peak in January, February or March,” commented Dr. Rod Lim, Emergency Medical Director at London Children’s Hospital.

Most of us are expecting a really tough winter, he added.

The Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) in Ottawa opened a second intensive care unit to treat what he says are an unprecedented number of critically ill babies and young children.

With news from CBC, and The Canadian Press

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