Dr. De Villa Tells Bellwoods-Goers Not To Rush For A Test Like Ford Suggested

Getting tested immediately would solve nothing, Dr. De Villa warns.
Trinity Bellwoods Crowd Shouldn't Get Tested Without Symptoms, Warns Dr. De Villa

Ontario's leaders and health staff still can't agree. Hours after Premier Doug Ford urged everyone who had been at Trinity Bellwoods over the weekend to go get tested, Toronto's top doctor contradicted that advice. Dr. Eileen de Villa says park-goers should begin isolating for two weeks first and only seek out testing if they develop symptoms. 

In case you've been living under a rock, Toronto's Trinity Bellwoods was absolutely rammed full of people on Saturday as warm weather hit and people couldn't resist the outdoors.

On Monday afternoon, Ford urged everyone who was part of the crowd to go and get tested for COVID-19 sooner rather than later.

Within hours of that advice, though, the Premier had been contradicted by two top doctors.

First, Ontario's Associate Medical Officer Dr. Barbara Yaffe clarified that those people should actually self-monitor for 14 days and also try to self-isolate as best as possible. If they are concerned about symptoms, they should look to get tested.

Then, Toronto's own Dr. De Villa backed up that revised message.

She stressed at the city's daily briefing on Monday afternoon that those present at Trinity Bellwoods should self-monitor for symptoms but shouldn't get tested unless symptoms develop.

"It is possible that you may have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19 infection but with little or no symptoms... Because of this, it is important that you monitor yourself carefully for COVID-19 symptoms for the next 14 days," Dr. De Villa said.

"If you should develop any symptoms of COVID-19, please go and get tested immediately."

Dr. De Villa noted that she agrees with Ontario's health staff on this approach.

She added that a major reason for the advice is the incubation period of COVID-19. Getting tested immediately could be too soon as the test may not come back positive for a few days after infection.

Even Toronto Mayor John Tory was on the site, and he admitted he wasn't exactly following social distancing well enough either.

The lack of proper distancing wasn't the only issue at the park this weekend, though.

Some over-exuberant visitors were also using the park as an auxiliary bathroom, with people defecating on lawns in some cases.

Toronto Police spokesperson Meaghan Gray told Narcity by email that eight tickets were issued for Encumbering or Fouling a Street. Gross.

Anyway, if you were at Trinity Bellwoods this weekend, health staff say it's time to monitor yourself closely. If you develop symptoms, that's your time to go get tested.

So much for Ford's urgent advice, eh?