Toronto's Top Doctor Says She Has 'Cautious Optimism' That COVID-19 May Be Declining

The City is looking at wastewater data.

Toronto’s Top Doctor Says She Has 'Cautious Optimism' That COVID-19 May Be Declining

COVID-19 cases, test positivity rates and other indicators in Toronto seem to be finally going somewhere other than up.

In a press conference on January 20, Toronto's medical officer of health, Dr. Eileen de Villa, said new COVID-19 indicators provide "reason for cautious optimism" as Toronto seems to be following the province's recent decline in COVID-19 cases.

Although recent developments are "encouraging," she says, "it is still too early to confirm whether the Omicron wave has peaked."

Dr. de Villa says they have seen a decrease in the city's seven-day average of COVID-19 cases "from 1,854 on January 11 to1,414 on January 19," and that the amount of positive COVID-19 tests in the city has also seen a decrease.

"The per cent positivity of COVID-19 test has also decreased from 23.8% to 20.3% over the same period."

Evidence from wastewater surveillance, which tests sewage samples from Toronto for COVID-19 to help track "potential trends," shows that the virus may actually be on the decline or at least not escalating.

"When we consider COVID-19 surveillance wastewater data in Toronto from the Ministry of the Environment conservation and parks from December 9 to January 8, there may be evidence of a potential plateau or even a slight decline in virus activity detected in Toronto."

Dr. de Villa says that the evidence from other jurisdictions suggests that the Omicron variant will peak "sometime in January" and that as more data comes out in the following weeks, "we will have a clearer picture."

For now, she recommends Torontonians continue to wear "tight-fitting makes," limit contacts and get vaccinated.

Health Canada has a robust website with all the latest information on COVID-19 vaccines and can answer any questions you may have.

Brooke Houghton
Brooke Houghton is a contributing writer for Narcity Media based in Toronto, Ontario.