Ontario’s Top Doctor Warns We’re Not Being Serious Enough About Physical Distancing

He says it's "perplexing" that Ontario has not made major headway by now.
Ontario’s Top Doctor Warns We’re Not Being Serious Enough About Physical Distancing

Ontario may be on the road to flattening the curve, but the province's Chief Medical Officer, Dr. David Williams, thinks we should be doing better to contain the spread by now. His statement comes after the province reported 477 new Ontario COVID-19 cases on Friday. It's the highest daily number recorded this week.

Although it seemed like cases were decreasing by the day, Dr. Williams' remarks on May 8 suggest that Ontario would be in a much better place if physical distancing was being taken more seriously.

When asked for his thoughts on the province's level of community spread, Dr. Williams said he found the current trends "perplexing."

“It is still perplexing to me that we’re not making major headways going down on that,” said Dr. David Williams during the live briefing.

“It makes me wonder if people are not being less than consistent in their physical distancing and if they were in close contact, they were not wearing a facial covering during those few moments when they could not maintain physical distancing."

"You still have to do that or we're going to be in this plateau for quite a while."

According to the Ministry of Health, the province also recorded 63 more deaths on May 8.

Though social distancing comes into play, so does the lack of communication.

Dr. Williams also suggested that some people who are currently infected aren't retracing all their steps accurately enough, to provide clues as to where they may have been exposed to the disease.

“We’ve asked some people who said initially no when we've got some information later they say, 'Yeah that was probably true. I didn’t think much of it,'" shares Dr. Williams.

"There’s a tendency to say, over a period of time, to then let your guard down and then get that exposure and you find out that the group you were with that you shouldn't have been with, you find out somebody was positive,” he added.

However, we shouldn't get too concerned about the recent numbers, says Dr. Williams, as it can fluctuate. 

To limit community spread, especially in busy cities like Toronto, health experts are releasing their advice.

As stores start to reopen for curbside pickup, Toronto's Medical Officer Dr. Eileen de Villa recommended that those unable to distance themselves should wear masks, particularly in retail settings.

On May 6, Premier Doug Ford announced the slow reopening of several stores that must follow strict guidelines, including street entrance retail stores.

These stores must have curbside pickup options for shoppers to mitigate crowds.