Toronto's Weekend Protesters Should All Watch For Signs Of Infection, Warns Doctor
Dr. Yaffe says anyone who develops symptoms must get tested.
If you were on the march in the 6ix over the weekend, Dr. Barbara Yaffe has a message for you. Ontario's Associate Medical Officer of Health said on Monday, June 1 that all of the Toronto protesters who were out this weekend need to monitor themselves closely for signs of COVID-19. If they suspect symptoms, they should go and get tested.
Dr. Yaffe was speaking to reporters in Ontario staff's now-bi-weekly press briefing on Monday.
There, she was asked if she has any instructions or advice for the thousands of people who walked the downtown streets in solidarity with the family of Regis Korchkinski-Paquet and minorities in the 6ix on Saturday.
"I think that if people were very close and they weren't wearing masks, there's always the potential risk for transmission, especially (as) we know it can transmit when people have no symptoms," she told reporters.
"I think people just need to be cognizant of that and if they were in that crowd, they have to watch now for signs and symptoms for 14 days...
Dr. Yaffe stressed: "If they develop symptoms, they should be going to an assessment centre to get tested."
For what it's worth, the vast majority of protesters appeared to be
Getting a test has historically been easier said than done in Ontario over the last couple of months, particularly for those with mild or no symptoms.
But pop-up assessment centres are now starting to spring up across Toronto and other southern areas of the province.
In May, the province finally expanded testing to include, theoretically, anyone who is suspecting they may have symptoms.
On May 21, Premier Doug Ford said testing was being expanded to include random checks for asymptomatic people for the first time in Ontario.
Dr. Yaffe drew the line on Monday at suggesting every single marcher and protestor get tested.
However, she did emphasize the importance of avoiding a second wave.
"We're very closely monitoring the numbers and we don't want to see any more increases, we don't want to see spikes," she said.
On Monday, Ontario reported its biggest increase in daily cases, the highest since May 25. Those results come from data recorded in recent days, but it is likely too soon for them to include any impact of this past weekend.