News Release
December 18, 2020

The City of Toronto continues to respond to COVID-19. This weekend, all people in Toronto are strongly encouraged to continue taking steps for self-protection and stay home as much as possible.

There are 52,191 cases of COVID-19 in the city, an increase of 758 new cases today. There are 268 people hospitalized. To date, there have been 1,770 COVID-19 deaths in Toronto. In total, 44,630 people have recovered from COVID-19. Case status data can be found on the City’s reporting platform.

Today, Toronto Public Health moved the health system capacity indicator related to local hospitals to yellow on the City’s monitoring dashboard. The yellow category score is assigned when our ICU, and/or ventilator and/or acute bed capacities show sustained decreases and are trending away from established goals. This is the first time this indicator has been in the yellow category since the resurgence of COVID-19 activity that took place in Toronto this fall. Virus spread and containment, laboratory testing and public health system capacity are all in the red, with indicators continually trending away from established goals.

This information underscores our message about this holiday season that everyone is urged to stay home as much as possible to stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect our health care system. Only celebrate in-person with the people that you live with and celebrate virtually with all others. Individuals should only consider leaving their homes for essential activities such as work, education and fresh air and exercise.

Residents are reminded that having family or friends who are not members of your household in your home for a social visit as well as organizing or attending any other kind of indoor social gathering or organized public event is prohibited under the Province of Ontario’s COVID-19 response framework under the Reopening Ontario Act. Having essential support workers and emergency repairpersons in your home are exempt. Persons who live alone are permitted to have one person from outside their household in their home. No gatherings are permitted indoors with the exception of wedding, funeral, or religious services or ceremonies, which are limited to 10 people. Outdoor organized public events and social gatherings are limited to a maximum of 10 people.

As much as possible, residents are asked to limit contact to people in the same household, keep at least six feet apart from people not in the same household and wear a mask when outside of their homes, especially in indoor settings and when physical distancing is difficult. Residents should wash hands frequently and remain at home when ill.

The City’s website is updated daily with the latest health advice and information about City services, social supports and economic recovery measures. Check for answers to common questions before contacting the Toronto Public Health COVID-19 Hotline or 311.


“With so many new COVID-19 cases being reported every day, additional pressure is being placed on our healthcare system. Today, Toronto Public Health moved the health system capacity of local hospitals to yellow on the City’s monitoring dashboard. This is one more warning sign from our public health experts and hospital officials that we have to take further action to stop the spread of COVID-19. I know people are tired of the restrictions and the ongoing lockdown but we need to act together and do the right thing to turn this around – to save lives and to protect the health of all residents.”
– Mayor John Tory

“As a result of rising COVID-19 cases, the health system capacity indicator on our monitoring dashboard has now been updated to the yellow category. This is a stark reminder once again that we need to act now. Each of the COVID-19 cases reflected in our dashboard represents our friends, our colleagues and our loved ones in our community and it is difficult to see these rising rates because they are preventable. We know what works to reduce virus spread in our city and this is why I continue to ask people to stay apart as much as possible to help protect our health system for those who need it most, to reduce virus spread, and to save lives. If we all do our part, the more impact we will have and the sooner we will get through to brighter days ahead.”
– Dr. Eileen de Villa, Medical Officer of Health

“The transition from Green to Yellow for the Health System Capacity in Toronto’s COVID-19 Monitoring Dashboard is cause for concern. This is the first time our Health System Capacity has moved from the safe Green status since the second wave of this pandemic hit our city, and is a clear signal that our hospitals and health care services are at risk. Around the world, we’ve seen the tragic consequences that occur when that happens. That’s why we need to do everything we can in the coming days to reduce contact, stop transmission, and keep people safe.”
– Councillor Joe Cressy (Spadina-Fort York), Chair of the Toronto Board of Health

Toronto is home to more than 2.9 million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit the City’s website or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

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