Ontario Is Urging Health Units To Limit COVID-19 Patients' Freedoms
More powers should be invoked, says the provincial chief medical officer.
A new month, a new unwanted milestone for COVID-19 in Ontario. Provincial health staff announced on Wednesday, April 1 in the morning that the number of confirmed positive cases has now surpassed 2,000 for the first time, after an overnight jump of nearaly 22%. And the chief medical officer is now "strongly urging" that a law be created allowing for restrictions to be placed on the freedom of movement of COVID-19 patients.
On Wednesday, the province's page dedicated to tracking the virus announced 426 new cases.
That takes the total number of infected patients in Ontario to 2,392, as of 10:30 a.m. today.
And Dr. David Williams told reporters that the communicable disease section of the Health Protection and Promotion Act allows for powers to be invoked to make sure that patients and potential patients are "isolated," per the Toronto Star.
Section 22 of that act dictates that, as long as a written order allows it, health units can mandate that people act — or do not act — in certain ways, in order to prevent the spread of a contagious illness.
"This is one more tool in the public health tool kit we’re asking public health units to use to stop the spread of COVID-19 and flatten the curve," Dr. Williams added.
"We must do more given the ongoing and increasing evidence of community transmission across the province," he added, via CBC.
Those powers would see regional public health units "implement more aggressive contract tracing and management" of cases.
Overall, the province has now run over 51,000 total tests for COVID-19. 3,135 potential cases are currently under investigation.
689 cases have been resolved, and there have been 37 deaths reported by Ontario.
However, CTV News reports that, in reality, 67 deaths linked to the novel coronavirus have been reported between Ontario's 34 public health units.
The difference in those stats is thought to be due to a time delay in processing cases.
The province also offered some conclusions based on all the cases reported since January 15, per CBC.
Those include: the fact that patients appear evenly split between genders; the median age of patientsis 50; 11% of patients have been hospitalized; 56% of reported cases have been in the GTA.
Notably, it was also announced on Wednesday that.
And, also on Wednesday, the 6ix's medical chief, Dr. Eileen de Villa, warned that residents across the cityof social distancing, isolation, and businesses closures.
This cover photo has been used for illustrative purposes only.