TORONTO – Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie says a GTA-wide lockdown is needed to reduce the number of COVID-19 cases as there is evidence that people are ‘changing regions’.
During his weekly COVID-19 briefing, Crombie said aggregate cell phone data showed people continued to cross regions to shop, dine out and visit family and friends. , more than during the first wave.
She thinks this has led to a wider spread of the community.
“I know these holiday season is not what we wanted. But we must all continue to listen to the advice of public health. I know how tempting it will be to make exceptions, like going to your neighbor’s house for a cup of coffee or a casual drink or having an extended family for a little reunion or going to visit a loved one or the family cottage, ”a- she declared.
“But I’m asking you please don’t do this. We’ve made huge sacrifices already, and we’re getting closer and closer to the end of the game. ”
Toronto Mayor John Tory echoed Crombie’s sentiments earlier today, calling for tighter restrictions in the Greater Toronto Area.
“We have to have something that will really apply across the region. Because I think people find it too easy to come and go, and we have to discourage them from doing that, ”Tory said.
He said increasing restrictions may be more acceptable in the second half of December as schools are closed and business activity is reduced.
As the number of cases in the region level off, Crombie said she expects Peel to stay within the province’s five-tier border lockdown level for COVID-19 restrictions during the holidays.
“I am encouraged that the growth rate has slowed down. And I believe we would be in a much worse situation if the province had not taken the measures it had taken, ”she said.
“I know a lot of people are hoping we will be out of isolation before the holiday season. And while the province has yet to announce its decision, we expect Peel, Mississauga to remain in the gray. -Lock area during holidays. ”
With vaccines arriving in Peel next week, Crombie said it was now more important than ever to adhere to public health measures.
Given the spikes in cases after Thanksgiving and other holidays in recent months, the mayor is concerned that Mississauga will see a greater increase in infections after Christmas.
Crombie has warned that could mean an extended lockdown in January.
“Our small businesses will need to remain closed for in-person shopping and dining, gyms and recreation centers, event spaces will need to remain closed, and people will need to continue to limit in-person contact to their immediate homes. I really hope that is reason enough for you to listen to the rules while on vacation, ”she said.
“If not, then I want you to think about the situation our hospitals are facing. Because right now, hospitals in Ontario are treating over 900 cases of COVID almost as many as there were during the peak of the first wave. ”
The CEO of Ontario Health sent a note Tuesday instructing hospitals to prepare to activate their peak capacity plans within 48 hours.
Crombie also wants residents to think about the outbreaks at 19 long-term care homes, 14 retirement homes and three group homes in the city before deciding to ignore public health advice.
“We cannot lose sight of the reasons why we are making these huge sacrifices. We are doing this to protect our most vulnerable residents, ”said Crombie.
“Your decisions during the holidays can have a disastrous impact on the spread of this virus. ”
While the city has no plans to send law enforcement officers to people’s homes during the holiday season, Crombie warned that they would not hesitate to respond to calls regarding large gatherings and inflict almonds.
Last week, 35 tickets were given to people at private gatherings in Mississauga.
“I want to thank the majority of Mississauga residents who follow the public health guide do so during the holidays. But what is clear is that not everyone understands how serious the situation is, ”said the mayor.
Ontario reported more than 2,000 new cases of COVID-19 for the second day in a row on Wednesday.
Peel Region Medical Officer of Health Dr Loh said the situation in the region remains “incredibly fragile” even though vaccines will arrive soon.
“Let me be clear; an approved vaccine does not help you if you have not received it. Inventing seat belts didn’t immediately make cars safer. This was changed in the long run which ultimately brought security. Likewise, until a vaccine is widely distributed. available, we all remain vulnerable and at risk, we can all spread COVID-19, ”Loh said.
“This is why we must continue to adhere to precautions as this vaccine is deployed. ”
He noted that Peel continues to see higher rates of community transmission.
This is why the doctor said it was essential not to throw this party and only celebrate with those you live with or another cohesive household if you live alone.
“Vacations are not essential activities no matter how much we love them,” Loh said.
“COVID-19 does not have the same emotional attachment to the sights and sounds of the season as we do. It just seeks to spread from person to person. ”