WATCH: Torontonians urged to self-isolate for 14 days after travel outside Canada
Toronto's Medical Officer of Health is strongly recommending 14 days of self-isolation for anyone who has recently travelled outside Canada, including to the United States.
Dr. Eileen de Villa's request is meant to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It came a few hours after the federal government advised Canadians to avoid non-essential travel outside the country.
"We are seeing an escalation of cases that are being brought into our city via travel," Dr. de Villa told reporters late Friday afternoon. "We are moving more into what I would characterize as a mitigation approach to our current circumstances."
City spokesperson Brad Ross explains that an isolation period should end 14 days after a return to Toronto. So if you landed back in the city last Friday, you should remain in isolation for seven days.
Mayor John Tory has taken de Villa's advice and is self-isolating at home, having returned from a two day trade mission to London, England earlier this week. Tory says he has no symptoms and feels great. The mayor will use technology to continue participating in meetings and providing public updates.
In a video message recorded before beginning his isolation, the mayor called on Torontonians to follow that same advice and summon the spirit shown in the aftermath of the Yonge St van attack and the Danforth shooting.
"What I saw during those times...was people standing together, people supporting each other, people doing the right thing for their city. Now is another time when we need that solidarity, that support, that love, and yes to some extent for many, that sacrifice."
Dr. de Villa also encouraged Torontonians to think of the good of the city.
"We know that we have a significant issue with respect to COVID-19 and we know that many other jurisdictions have had similar challenges. And that those challenges were met by communities, individuals, families, businesses, organizations, all pulling in the same direction."
In his video message, Tory asked the city's employers to make "extraordinary accommodation in extraordinary circumstances" for their employees, including making them whole when they may need to miss work to care for children when schools are closed after March Break
The mayor also implored landlords to make accommodation for their tenants on rent during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Electricity and natural gas providers including Toronto Hydro, Hydro One, Alectra and Enbridge agreed Friday not to disconnect anyone's service for the time being.