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Coronavirus: Toronto’s top doctor requests extending city’s lockdown until at least March 9 | FULL

CA, 18 Feb 2021
Toronto’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Eileen de Villa said on Wednesday that she, along with Peel Region's medical officer of health Lawrence Loh, have asked the province to delay assessing the return of Toronto and Peel to the COVID-19 response framework until at least March 9 out of fear of the spread of virus variants.

“I have never been as worried about the future as I am today,” said de Villa, citing an increase of variant cases in Toronto.

She reported 302 new cases of COVID-19 in the city, including 56 cases of variants, and 13 new hospitalizations.

The number of samples being tested in labs for virus variants is five times the number already confirmed in the city, and it's unlikely they’re going to be confirmed as anything other than more cases of variants, according to de Villa.

The doctor said although the numbers look small now, it will be too late to do anything once the numbers become bigger and more shocking.

Mayor John Tory said he supports the suggestion by de Villa to ensure the reopening is safe enough not to close again, and to make sure this is the city’s last lockdown.

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