Mississauga mayor Bonnie Crombie said that she supported a GTA-wide lockdown to help suppress rising virus numbers.
During her weekly COVID-19 briefing, Crombie said that there is evidence of “region hopping” as people continue to leave their home regions to shop, dine out, and visit family and friends.
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According to aggregate cellphone data, Crombie says region hopping has been happening more frequently during the current lockdown than it had in the previous one in the spring.
“I know this holiday season is not what any of us wanted. But we all have to continue to listen to the advice of public health,” said Crombie. “Not listening to public health advice is going to result in a spike in cases, which could result in a prolonged lockdown in January.”
In Toronto, Mayor John Tory made similar comments on Wednesday at his COVID-19 briefing, saying, “We have to find a way to get people to stay home, and part of that might be just giving them fewer places to go, and making the lockdown broader in nature.”
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Tory said that increasing restrictions might be more palatable over the second half of December, as it is a quieter time, with schools being closed and business activity being reduced over the holiday period.
Both Toronto and Peel regions are currently in the Grey-Lockdown zone. Crombie believes that they will stay this way into January, despite the COVID-19 vaccine becoming available to Ontarians in the next few weeks.
Crombie said it is now more important than ever for people to follow public health measures and that the end is in sight.
Tory made similar remarks, saying, “There is a light at the end of the tunnel, but we aren’t out of the tunnel yet, so stay home as much as possible.”