UHN head raises alarm about society’s ‘sloppy’ anti-virus behaviour, potential impact on COVID-19 hospitalizations
2020-09-14 from thestar.com
University Health Network’s chief executive is alarmed by new COVID-19 hospitalizations coupled with increasingly “sloppy” habits he sees in society that could intensify the virus’s GTA resurgence.
After Kevin Smith tweeted “I’m worried” and noting the UHN — which includes Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto General Hospital and Toronto Western Hospital — is again seeing COVID-19 patients, he elaborated in an interview.
The UHN went from a peak of about 100 COVID-19 patients to none. One patient admitted seven to 10 days ago has grown to seven cases, Smith said Sunday.
“That looks terribly familiar to wave one” of the pandemic, Smith said. “Slow growth but it doubles every week or so. That concerns me, coupled with me continuing to see and hear GTAers not taking this risk as seriously as we once did.
“I’m seeing a lot less physical distancing, a lot of people gathering, a lot of social events occurring and worst of all poor masking. I see so many people who think (their mask) is a chin warmer or don’t bother to cover their nose ...
“I see it in the grocery store, in malls, walking on the street, even in our hospitals with our health care providers, we’ve gotten too relaxed about some of those issues,” Smith said.
“Almost every major (infection) uptick we’ve seen so far has been following some kind of social get-together — a wedding, a party, a backyard barbecue. People got a little taste of that (freedom) between wave one and wave two, but they absolutely need to cease and desist so we’re sure we’ve got this (pandemic) back under control.”
Dr. David Frost, a UHN internal medicine specialist, also registered his concern at new COVID-19 patients, tweeting: “Time to close indoor restaurants/bars. If schools close before bars, we have our priorities wrong. Bold action now will save lives and may keep kids in school where they should be.”
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