Toronto sets January date for city workers to return to the office, amid rising COVID-19 cases, Omicron uncertainty
By Jennifer Smith
19 April 2020
Walking from the Queen St. entrance to the city’s General Manager’s office in downtown Toronto, the temperature hits a high of 36. The humidity is 92 per cent.
It’s a balmy April day in Toronto. The city is still in lockdown as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to take hold. A small-town police station seems an unlikely place to find the city’s top city employee, but that’s what happened the other day.
Police Lieutenant-Colonel David Jackson walked into the office to see another lieutenant-colonel, who was accompanied by two officers, wearing a protective suit, a mask and gloves.
“We’re in a pandemic,” said Jackson. “Things happen. They’re always happening.”
The officers in protective gear were part of a team that had just returned from a weeklong training on the COVID-19 virus.
Jackson said he was in the office to check on the health of his police colleagues, but as he walked towards his colleague, he noticed a woman sitting beside him in a mask.
“She’s shaking,” said Jackson. “This is what the virus does to our body.”
The woman was sitting next to the other, in the office. She was wearing a mask and gloves, but her face was hidden. She had her eyes closed and she appeared to be asleep. She was shivering.
Jackson said that everyone in the office, including herself, was supposed to wear facemasks and gloves, but staff had stopped wearing their personal protective equipment (PPE) as the virus has been raging through the city, forcing some to work from home to avoid being exposed.
Jackson said he had seen a lot of these types of people, who