"This is an emergency": Brampton's COVID-19 positivity rate reaches 17%

Jan 13 2021, 5:41 pm

Brampton is in an “emergency” with a COVID-19 positivity rate of 17%, well above the critical stage designated at 3%.

On Wednesday, Peel’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Lawrence Loh, said that nearly one out of every five COVID-19 tests conducted in Brampton is now coming back positive and that the “holiday surge” is coming at the “worst possible time.”

During the press briefing, Loh said the city’s positivity rate has now risen to 17.4%, up from 16.9% last week. He added that there are now 350.8 new cases per week per 100,000 residents compared to 278.9 at the same time last week — this is the highest number reported across all 34 of Ontario’s public health units.

“Brampton and Peel are seeing a holiday surge at the worse time,” Loh said. “This concerning increase comes as area hospitals continue to cancel surgeries, transfer patients all across Ontario for care and see ICU capacity dwindling while contending with more admissions and also more deaths. Let me be clear this is an emergency.”

Loh added that with hospitals being overwhelmed, patients are being transferred hours away for care and are seeing surgeries get cancelled “more and more.”

“Our hospital system is really on a brink of catastrophe, and we are continuing to see cases rise, which is not what we want to see because cases ultimately become hospitalizations and then become deaths,” Loh said.

On Tuesday, health officials released COVID-19 modelling data projections, which showed Ontario is set to reach 10,000 daily COVID-19 cases at the current growth rate, which is between 3% to 5%.

When looking at ICU bed occupancy, it would be 500 beds in mid-January with no percentage growth, but at 3% it’s over 1,000, and at 5% it’s almost at 2,000.

The Ontario government has now issued a second State of Emergency and implemented a Stay at Home order effective Thursday to slow the spread of the virus.

Clarrie FeinsteinClarrie Feinstein

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