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City's top doc urges Torontonians to keep Thanksgiving gatherings small -- again

Despite over 80% of Torontonians receiving both COVID shots, T.O. medical officer Dr. Eileen de Villa warns residents to not let their guard down
Sept. 30, 2021
Bryan Passifiume

Toronto’s medical officer of health is once again urging Torontonians to temper their Thanksgiving celebrations this year.

Dr. Eileen de Villa told a Wednesday afternoon news conference that even though the city’s in a better position than this time last year, COVID-19 is still a danger to large gatherings.

“My advice to people is to still exercise caution, unfortunately, this Thanksgiving season,” de Villa said.

“That means keeping those gatherings relatively small, to use masks as much as possible, take advantage of outdoor spaces and open windows and doors as much as possible, reducing the likelihood of any of kind of transmission.”

It’s her hope, she said, that next year’s celebrations will be more in line with what we’re used to celebrating.

“This year we have the advantage of vaccination,” de Villa said. “But there is in fact the Delta variant, which we know is quite highly transmissible, and we still have a significant proportion of our population who remains unvaccinated.”

While over 80% of eligible Toronto residents are fully vaccinated, it’s still short of the 90% goal set by the city.

The city will be operating vaccine clinics in all 25 of Toronto’s wards, starting this Saturday, open to anybody born before 2009.

As of Sunday, 4.7 million vaccine doses have been administered in Toronto.