Published Wednesday, December 9, 2020 7:14PM EST
"It's hard to break with tradition even once, but the best and safest decision for those we love is to break with it, just this once," Dr. Eileen de Villa said during the city's COVID-19 briefing.
"In protecting ourselves, we also protect the people who matter the most."
While the daily case counts in the city seem to be settling two weeks after Toronto was moved to lockdown, de Villa said case counts in the mid-500s or into the 600s "are in no way a good thing."
Toronto Public Health reported 553 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday.
De Villa revealed that the percent positivity for the week of Nov. 22 is highest among those aged 14 to 17 at 11.6 percent. The second highest positivity rate was recorded among the 18 to 23 age group at 9 per cent.
"For now, and for the foreseeable future, we have to live with what we do know that COVID-19 is spreading widely in Toronto while we are in the holiday season," de Villa said.
"These levels of infection clearly indicate that we must be on high alert and that we are best to follow the provincial guidance and celebrate this month just with the people we live with."
With the announcement of the approval of a vaccine in Canada, de Villa said this is encouraging news. However, she noted that COVID-19 remains a threat to many, urging residents to stay vigilant.
"The momentum is finally, but slowly, beginning to favour us and not the virus. But there is a long way to go," she said.
"We must not lose sight of the current risk and threat of COVID-19 infection. Vaccines are emerging as part of the solution – but they are still months from providing the solution."
Dr. de Villa joined CP24 on Wednesday to answer questions about COVID-19.