There’s no evidence of a spike in new COVID-19 cases after thousands of people gathered in Trinity Bellwoods Park in downtown Toronto more than two weeks ago.
“So far there has been no evidence of increased COVID-19 activity that can be linked to the gathering in Trinity Bellwoods Park on May 23rd,” Toronto Public Health said on Monday.
“However, COVID-19 continues to circulate in Toronto & over 65% of cases reported since that day are from a close contact,” Toronto Public Health said.
On May 23, thousands descended on the park on what was the first warm days of the year, appearing to ignore social-distancing rules as they gathered in one area of the park.
While some of the park-goers appeared to wear face masks, the vast majority gathered in groups of more than five people and their picnic blankets were far from six-feet apart. Mayor John Tory was also seen in the park talking to the crowds, paying little attention to physical distancing guidelines or bothering to properly wear the mask he had with him.
Both the public and health officials were outraged over the large crowds, which prompted the City of Toronto to paint white circles on the grass at Trinity Bellwoods to encourage physical distancing.
2/2: We urge residents to continue practicing physical distancing & to keep with members of your household only when going outside. We are closely monitoring our data as the city slowly reopens.
— Toronto Public Health (@TOPublicHealth) June 8, 2020
Now when you arrive at the park you’ll notice grids of painted circles roughly 8 feet in diameter and 10 feet apart. Each circle is large enough for two adults from the same household laying down or three adults from the same household sitting cross-legged.
The circles are only in the east field, near the baseball diamonds and tennis court, for now, but the City has said it will revisit the park to add more circles if deemed necessary.
This comes as Toronto health officials reported 169 new coronavirus cases on Monday, 57 of those impacted by a reporting delay. To date, Toronto has seen 12,707 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 944 deaths.