Peel's Leaders & Top Doctor Are Warning The Region Is Reopening Too Quickly
Peel has a disproportionately high rate of recent cases.
Things are improving slower in some places in the GTA than others. Peel Region Medical Officer of Health Dr. Lawrence Loh said on May 20 that he's pretty worried that the Ontario reopening plan could pose a further risk of COVID-19 in Mississauga, Brampton, and Caledon. Peel has a disproportionately high rate of recent cases.
According to the Peel Region COVID-19 website, as of Wednesday, May 20, the region currently has 3,711 total cases.
Of those, Mississauga apparently accounts for about 50% and Brampton for 47%.
In total, about 20% of new cases in the province over the last week have been found in Peel. That's despite the fact the region only has around one-tenth of Ontario's population.
Loh told CP24 that trend is really concerning. The doctor called the plans to reopen the economy "out of step".
“There is a pandemic picture in our community which we are starting to bring under control but also speaks to a continuing risk, and there is also a reopening picture as restrictions get loosened, and I am concerned that those two pictures are starting to look out of step for us in Brampton and here in Peel Region,” said Loh.
“We have seen our new cases starting to plateau but we have just not seen a decline in line with the province’s own framework for reopening at this point,” he added.
And Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown seems to share that view, noting that there has been a startling lack of decline in cases in the region compared to other areas of Southern Ontario.
Loh added that the new cases that the city has seen are almost a reflection of what was happening back in March before the closure of non-essential businesses.
“In some part of the province there really has been a decline in COVID and it may even seem like there is no sign of it but that is not the case in the GTA and it is not the case in Peel Region," said Brown.
The Mayor added that even though the province is giving permission to reopen certain places, Brampton won't be able to bounce back as fast as the others.
Meanwhile, Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie tweeted on Tuesday, as, reminding residents to only go out when needed, and to work as hard as they already have to avoid a second wave.
Mayor Crombie's office told Narcity in an emailed statement: “We are taking a measured 'made in Mississauga approach' to re-opening City facilities based on the best advice of our Chief Medical Officer of Health.
"We also know that community spread is still happening here in Peel and that our numbers right now in terms of new cases simply don’t support a broader reopening. We must listen to the experts."
As several places likein the province, Peel won't take the risk any time soon.
In fact, Loh has strongly suggested Peel shouldn't follow other areas in opening outdoor areas and facilities until at least May 25.
While Ontario is pressing on ahead with its reopening plan, Peel is moving ahead more cautiously.