Ontario’s New Rise In Cases Is Being Traced Back To Mother’s Day Meet-Ups

Families weren't social distancing properly, says Christine Elliott.
COVID-19 In Ontario: Case Spike Can Be Traced Back To Mother's Day, Says Health Minister

We weren't careful enough on Mother's Day, it seems. Health Minister Christine Elliott said on May 25 that health staff believe the recent uptick in cases of COVID-19 in Ontario can be traced back to family meet-ups a couple of weekends ago. She implied some homes housed groups of more than the recommended five people.

The province has suffered five consecutive days of over 400 new cases appearing overnight, per CP24. Daily new cases have not dropped below 300 since hitting a low of 294 on May 9.

When asked on Monday, May 25, about the recent spike in cases reported in Ontario, Elliott wasn't shy in linking the surge back to Mother's Day weekend, May 9-10.

"The increase in the number of cases that we're seeing now in the last few days really relate back to the week before, with the Mother's Day events and so on. People seeing families when they should not have been more than five people together," Elliott told reporters on Monday.

This supports remarks made by Toronto's top doctor, Dr. Eileen de Villa, on Friday. 

"Our analysis thus far suggests that people may have acquired the virus during recent events where people traditionally spend time with their families, like Mother’s Day,” Dr. de Villa said in the Toronto media briefing on May 22.

However, just hours before those comments in Toronto, Ontario's own Chief Medical Officer, Dr. David Williams, had suggested that he doubted that Mother's Day had been a factor, per CBC.

However, Dr. Williams did acknowledge that people may have loosened up their own measures in recent weekends.

Mother's Day has already caused some controversy in Ontario.

Premier Doug Ford admitted after that weekend that he had broken the province's own rules by having his daughters over to his house for Mother's Day even though they don't live in the same household.

Minister Elliott went on to note that as a result of the increasing numbers, the province is pushing back its previously-teased decision on increasing the limit on social gatherings.

Staff had sparked optimism and excitement by suggesting back on May 15 that they could soon look to lift the restrictions from five people to 10.

Since then, though, Ontario has started reporting worse COVID-19 figures as numerous things in the province begin to reopen for business.

Notably, it has been suggested that the provincial health advice regarding COVID-19 prevention and testing has been too confusing, something Dr. Williams himself admitted to last week.

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