Brampton becomes provincial home of coronavirus

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The number of coronavirus cases in Brampton has skyrocketed, with the city now reporting the second highest number of GTHA cases overall, just behind Toronto.Brampton currently reports 61 active cases per 100,000 population and Toronto reported 53 active cases on Wednesday. Although the daily numbers for Toronto are still higher, Brampton has surpassed Toronto in number per capita.

The reason for the high numbers is a combination of factors, says Shane Teper, site manager of family medicine at the William Osler Health Center.

“It is not a simple answer. It’s related to the density of the population, it’s related to the amount of testing that takes place, it’s related to the prevalence of disease in the community. Several factors have made Peel one of the hotspots, “he said.

City councilors think it may have something to do with a sudden spike in illegal rallies in the city.

Councilor Pat Fortini said on Wednesday that a record number of regulatory charges were laid between June 2 and June 8, in accordance with the Emergency Management Civil Protection Act.

Settlement officers have laid 127 charges and issued 80 warnings for offenses including the use of park equipment and collection in parking lots.

Fortini said that the majority of the 263 complaints received concerned social distancing and that the maximum number of charges had been laid against parties at home – 92 charges spread across 24 parties. Nineteen charges were laid at a single house party.

Fortini said repeated breaches of the rules could prevent Brampton and the entire region from moving to stage 2 of the reopening.

“Some of these parties had 30 to 40 people,” he told CityNews. ” It’s frustrating. I think if everyone suffers from these three to four weeks and obeys the rules, we will get through this much faster, “he said.

Epidemiologists believe that it is not only the increase in close contact gatherings that is causing the outbreak in Brampton.

Colin Furness, an epidemiologist from the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, said the developments were not unexpected. He says that the trajectory of COVID-19 in Ontario is very similar to that of tuberculosis (TB).

” [COVID-19] is on a very worn path – that is, there are vulnerable populations and COVID finds them, “he said.

“In Brampton, it’s new Canadians and poverty. They are very often racialized people, they have essential work, low status, low wages, high risk jobs. They have neither the means nor the choice to work from home, “adds Furness.

Additionally, Furness says living conditions could make the problem worse.

“There is overcrowding in the accommodation – many family members live in a small space. This is what makes TB thrive and it’s also what makes COVID thrive. ”

In the United States, public health officials discovered in April that the potentially deadly COVID-19 virus disproportionately affected black communities.

“I see a convergence between the public health challenges we have at the moment and the anti-racism movement that we have at the moment. We can do better, ”says Furness.

Health Minister spokeswoman Christine Elliott previously said the province is working with public health and privacy experts to collect the data, but noted that this will require regulatory changes. .

Some public health units in Ontario, including Toronto, have started to collect race-based data with provincial permission, but have not been implemented province-wide.

In this week’s COVID-19 epidemiological summary, Public Health Ontario reported that the number of cases in the most diverse neighborhoods was 3.2 times higher and three times higher in the poorest neighborhoods than in the poorest neighborhoods. less diverse and richer.

“The government at the provincial level must say” we understand that racialized communities are getting the edge with COVID “and we can do something about it. It’s a question of politics, ”said Furness.

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