Duration of COVID-19 measures may last months
Trudeau says measures depend on behaviour of Canadians
By Mia Rabson
OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the longer it takes for all Canadians to follow the rules and stay home the longer it will be before life can return to normal.
One scenario presented to cabinet is that the strict public health measures and quarantines will have to continue until at least July, but in his daily briefing to Canadians Trudeau said Wednesday the length of the lockdowns will depend on “the choices and behaviour of Canadians.”
That includes, he said, staying at home as much as possible, and not going to multiple stores when you do need to go out for groceries and supplies.
He refused to put any specific timelines on the table, saying in French “we’ll only know when we get there.”
He called on Canadians to “do their duty” as if they were being called to serve their country.
“This is a service most of have never been called upon to do,” he said. “The government alone cannot win this fight.”
More than 9,000 Canadians have now tested positive for COVID-19, but a sharp uptick in positive cases in Ontario had Toronto’s public health chief concerned Wednesday morning.
Dr. Eileen de Villa wants strict new measures enforced for the next 12 weeks, including limiting outings for groceries and supplies to just one trip each week for people who remain healthy. People who are sick or might be exposed to someone who is sick cannot go out at all.
De Villa said stronger efforts are needed to keep Toronto from following New York City into an uncontained outbreak.
More than 1,000 people have now died in New York City, and a quarter of the city’s emergency personnel including police, firefighters and paramedics, are sick.
Ontario reported more than 400 new positive cases Wednesday, the highest daily increase in positive tests thus far.