Ontario deputy chief medical officer of health Dr. Barbara Yaffe announced on Tuesday the province had seen both a record number of new COVID-19 cases – 2,553 – and a record high positivity rate of 9.7 per cent. She said the numbers are not a result of potential Christmas gatherings but according to Toronto Public Health, could be in part attributed to pre-Christmas shopping trips, “often in groups.”
Yaffe was joined by Dr. Vanessa Allen, chief of microbiology and laboratory science at Public Health Ontario, to provide the COVID-19 update Tuesday.
While she would not specifically comment on Finance Minister Rod Phillips taking a "personal trip" out of the country with his wife, Yaffe stressed she would prefer people "don’t take a vacation" at this time unless essential. She added if someone does travel, people must quarantine for 14 days and call public health if you develop symptoms. In a statement, Phillips says he will be quarantining on his return.
Yaffe also stressed that people returning to Ontario from abroad need to abide by the 14-day quarantine, especially in the wake of the new variant of COVID-19 being reported. She said three people had been confirmed to have the new variant and are each isolating.
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