Published Tuesday, December 29, 2020 5:44PM EST
The public health unit reported that Toronto logged 957 new cases as of 2 p.m. on Dec. 27 (The province reported a slightly lower number of 895 cases in Toronto due to different cutoff times for data collection).
In an update on Tuesday afternoon, Ontario's Associate Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Barbara Yaffe said that there is some evidence that Christmas shopping has contributed to the rise in cases.
Yaffe did not elaborate on the data and city officials did not hold a briefing on the virus Tuesday, though they are scheduled to provide an update on Wednesday morning.
Toronto and Peel Region have been under a lockdown that has shuttered non-essential businesses to in-person shopping since Nov. 23.
Big-box retailer that sell groceries and other essential items were allowed to remain open, though some critics said the move produced bigger crowds in those stores.
On Boxing Day, the province tightened the restrictions to 25 per cent capacity per room in big box stores as a province-wide lockdown went into effect.
Easily accessible shopping also remained open in York Region for several weeks after Toronto and Peel went into lockdown, as the province heeded a request by local municipalities not to place them in lockdown as well.
On Tuesday, the city also reported that 58 more people have been hospitalized, bring the total number of people currently hospitalized with the virus in Toronto to 355. There were also 10 new deaths in the city and 554 recoveries.
Yaffe said it’s important to remember while going through numbers that they actually represent human beings.
“While the numbers, the data, the trends are all important to report, we cannot forget that these represent people, people who have been impacted by the virus and in too many cases have lost their lives,” she said. “So while I understand that the lockdown measures that came into effect on December 26 are not what we would want to be living through right now, this is what we need to do, what we must do to slow the transmission of this infection.”
In a tweet, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa sounded a similar note.
“Today’s summary of #COVID19 cases in TO is a new record high. This is why it's so important for people to stay home & apart as much as possible at this time,” she said.
Province-wide, Ontario also set a new record for daily COVID-19 infections Tuesday, with 2,550 new infections reported.
Toronto reported 2,226 new cases on Monday, accounting for all new infections recorded over a four-day-period from Dec. 24-27, averaging out to around 557 new daily cases over that period.