Ontarians Are Still Allegedly Spitting At Workers Amid COVID-19 Concerns
The latest reported spitting incident was in Barrie this week.
This takes ignoring health advice to the extreme. Recent weeks have seen multiple reports suggesting people are still spitting and coughing at the likes of grocery stores workers as the attempts to flatten the COVID-19 curve continue. And in another alleged incident this week, an Ontario man spat at a GO Transit worker, according to police.
Barrie Police are looking for a man who is accused of spitting in a GO Train engineer's face at Allandale Station in Barrie, north of Toronto.
The man and the engineer had some kind of fracas on Tuesday, April 14 at about 7 p.m., CTV News reports.
Metrolinx spokesperson Anne Marie Aikins told Narcity by email: "Tuesday night on a Barrie train as it entered Allandale Station the crew swept the train as they usually do for anyone potentially still on the train.*
"The engineer woke up a fellow who began swinging at him and ultimately spit in his face.
"Barrie Police came to investigate but the customer had already left. Our engineer was taken to hospital for treatment in Barrie and returned for testing."
According to CTV, the engineer did not receive a test for COVID-19 but is currently closely monitoring his symptoms.
Aikins added: "We appreciate that people are stressed right now but this kind of behaviour is completely unacceptable and will never be tolerated."
Within the last few weeks alone in Ontario, though, numerous instances of people spitting or coughing on people have been reported.
Back on March 20,after coughing on a senior citizen during an argument in a drive-thru Starbucks.
On April 1, a shopper in a Guelph LCBO was waiting inwhen they apparently became impatient,
Four days later, a 24-year-old woman was hit with assault charges afterand claiming to have tested positive for COVID-19.
Meanwhile, last week, an Asian ER nurse in Toronto said she was verbally assaulted and spat on in what she believes was a racially-targeted attack, per CTV News.
The United Food and Commercial Workers Union of Ontario told CBC News last week that unsanitary behaviour targeting grocery workers has "ramped up significantly" since the COVID-19 outbreak progressed to a pandemic.
Ontario's official advice on combating COVID-19 continues to preach about the importance of covering your face when coughing or sneezing.
And just last week, Canada's Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, conceded that, although they are not a sufficient substitute for surgical masks for frontlines health staff.
For now, Barrie Police continue to investigate Tuesday's incident.
*This article has been updated.