COVID-19 case linked to open house viewing in Toronto

Prospective homebuyers who visited an open house at a Riverdale property over the weekend are being notified after a person inside the home had tested positive for COVID-19.

The viewing took place on Saturday at a three-storey house located on Bowden Street and Danforth Avenue. One of the prospective buyers, Jeffery Wood, told CTV News that they were asked to wear masks, practice physical distancing, and provide their contact info. But as they walked around the second floor, he noticed a sign on a door that read “sorry, I’m sick.”

On Monday, Wood received a phone call from the agency that held the open house, alerting him that a person inside the home had tested positive for the virus. Wood says that prospective buyers should have been given a heads up that there was a person who was sick inside.

“I thought it was incredibly irresponsible for that person, first of all to be even hosting an open house knowing that there was a sick person inside,” Wood told CTV.

According to Ontario’s COVID-19 contact tracing initiative, Ontario residents who have COVID-19 are contacted by their local public health unit to identify persons they were in contact with and could have transmitted the virus to, and supported throughout their self-isolation period. Public health units also follow up with contacts of COVID-19 cases to check-in about symptoms and to provide additional supports as needed.

As for the real estate agent who advertised the listing, he confirmed with CTV that a tenant inside the home had tested positive for COVID-19. However, at the time of the showing, they didn’t know the results of the test. He said the tenant was moved to a hotel late Saturday afternoon, and showings continued on Sunday.

The listing has since been removed, and The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board has been notified. In a statement to CTV, they said the incident would be a breach of specific Public Health regulations.

“The Member should have immediately notified Public Health so measures could be taken to assist with any necessary contact tracing and to carry out any other necessary safety measures as directed.”

Article exclusive to TRNTO