Peel Region’s top doctor is recommending that the Ontario government extend the Stay at Home orders for another two weeks in the region to assess the COVID-19 variants of concern.
During a press conference on Wednesday, Peel Region’s medical officer of health, Dr. Lawrence Loh, said the region should wait another two weeks before lifting the Stay at Home orders.
Peel, York, and Toronto are set to have the orders lifted on February 22.
“Can we reassess our anticipated return to the provincial framework? Holding the status quo for just one incubation period, 14 days, will allow us to better see where the variant trends go and review any impact that school reopening might have on community contacts and transmission,” he said.
“I know it’s not news that people want to hear, but I think just holding on for a couple more weeks will allow us to really figure out what the picture is to try to get things under control, to try to make sure that the school reopening goes off without a hitch.”
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Loh added that in order to avoid a third wave and lockdown, the region must stay under the orders for a bit longer.
There are now 45 cases of COVID-19 variants of concern in Peel, with at least 40 being the UK COVID-19 variant, and five being the South African variant.
So far, over 200 more cases in Peel have screened positive for a variant of concern.
Last week Ontario health officials said that “aggressive” vaccination and Stay at Home orders are needed to help avoid a third COVID-19 wave and lockdown.
As of Tuesday, 319 COVID-19 variants of concern cases have been detected in the province.