Peel’s top doctor is calling for lockdown measures in the region, while Mississauga’s mayor wants fewer restrictions for the city.
During a press briefing on Wednesday morning, Dr. Lawrence Loh said that Peel should be moved into the grey-lockdown zone once the Stay at Home orders are lifted on March 8.
He said there has been a reversal of “favourable trends,” which is likely driven by the variants of concern and loosening of restrictions in other jurisdictions.
“From five cases just two weeks ago, we now have over 100 confirmed cases of variants in our community and 600 that have screened positive. And these numbers give me pause,” Loh said.
“Our hospitals are also seeing admissions related to [the] spread of variants, and while ICU occupancy has improved from the peak of the second wave, it still remains at levels similar to what we saw in wave one in the spring of 2020. Reopening too quickly risks eliminating the gains we have made and putting lives and wellbeing at risk.”
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Loh said if the trends were different, then he would recommend loosening the restrictions. However, if done too quickly, it could cause a third wave and, as a result, another lockdown.
“The UK saw a third wave when they reopened with variants in their midst, and nobody, myself included, wants to see that. We must try to keep what happened there from happening here.
He added that he strongly encourages the reopening to happen gradually, as they don’t want to have a provincial break similar to Simcoe Muskoka and Thunder Bay — due to growing case counts, the province immediately put the two regions under lockdown.
However, Loh’s sentiments contradict Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie, who said she would “push” the city into the red-control zone if the Stay at Home orders are lifted on March 8.
Last week, Crombie said she wanted the region in the red zone unless there was a sudden surge in cases, adding that businesses have been disappointed with the prolonged lockdown measures.
Recently, COVID-19 cases in Peel have been fluctuating around 200.
To date, Peel has reported 62,780 cases, with 60.5% coming from Brampton, 35.1% coming from Mississauga, and 3.7% from Caledon.