On Wednesday afternoon, Dr. Eileen De Villa pleaded directly with the public to cancel all plans for holiday gatherings in Toronto this year.

The city's top doctor asked residents to speak with their family members directly, and encourage them to remain within their households over Christmas.

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I'm asking all of you who are doing differently over the holidays to lead by example and to speak up.

Dr. Eileen De Villa

"Directly encourage the people you know and care about to commit to the same thing, keeping apart for the good of everyone," she said.

"The more voices that are taking a stand, the more impact our resolve will have."

Toronto is currently in the grey lockdown zone, meaning that residents are prohibited from gathering with those outside of their households.

Toronto's 28-day lockdown, which began on November 23, is scheduled to expire on December 21, although the provincial government's official advice for all Ontarians is to celebrate with immediate households only.

De Villa's comments came as Ontario reported over 2,000 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, with over 800 of them in Toronto.

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