UPDATE: 74 migrants with COVID-19: Toronto's Willowdale refugee hub now a major outbreak centre

Not much of a welcome for Rebel News as we return to the increasingly infamous Willowdale Welcome Centre in Toronto.

I first visited this building last week when I found out that 11 refugees and 12 staffers had tested positive for the Wuhan virus.

My goal was to interview the Centre’s staff and “clients” (that’s what refugee-claimants are called here — even though it’s taxpayers who are funding this place.) But my queries only resulted in management calling the police on me!

Toronto refugee hub at centre of major COVID-19 outbreak

Yet, get a load of this: in less than a week, the Wuhan virus has truly gone viral at the Willowdale Welcome Centre: there are now 74 residents here who have tested positive for the Coronovirus! (The centre is apparently no longer releasing the number of staff who have tested positive.)

That means there are at least 86 cases of the Wuhan virus here!

When I pointed this out to a police constable and a supervisor, I was told to contact Health Canada and Toronto Public Health — I did so, but neither agency responded to my queries.

I also reached out to Mayor John Tory’s office — you know, the mayor who was recently bragging on Twitter about the number of citizens who were getting $880 fines due to alleged COVID-19 safety violations? The Mayor had nothing to say either.

That’s a disgrace. After all, the Willowdale Welcome Centre building used to be the headquarters for North York Hydro. It was formerly office space, and was never meant to be used as a hotel in which a large number of people would congregate and sleep overnight. In fact, this is the sort of facility health experts claim is the perfect breeding ground for something like the Wuhan virus.

Ignored social distancing rules, no PPE

And despite the number of cases surging, it seemed like business as usual at the Willowdale Welcome Centre. I spotted “clients” breaking the 2-metre social distancing rule as well as several people exiting and entering the building not wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE)!

Toronto Councillor John Filion is clearly fed up with the cavalier approach at the Willowdale Welcome Centre and he has urged Toronto Public Health to enforce a lockdown of the site.

Sorry, councillor, but if bylaw officers aren’t even interested in handing out tickets here, what makes you think the city would even dream of putting this facility into lockdown mode? That might be a tad... insensitive.

And so it is that in the meantime, potentially infected people — without donning the proper PPE — shall continue coming and going as they please. Hey, what could possibly go wrong?