The Peel region faces a “dire situation” with officials reporting 458 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, a new daily record for the region now in the provincial “red check” zone.
Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie said the growing number of COVID-19 cases in the Peel region means the situation has turned grim with Brampton hospitals at full capacity and forced to cancel elective surgeries.
Crombie said large and small social gatherings, not people who go to restaurants, bars and gyms, are driving the daily case count in the Peel region. The region has had an average of 340 new cases daily in the past week and there has been an average of 105 new cases daily in Mississauga.
“The local reality is that we are seeing a broadcast spread across our community,” Crombie told reporters in a weekly update Tuesday. “The sobering reality is that the Peel region is in a dire situation.”
Mississauga now has a 6.5 percent positive test rate due in part to the long Thanksgiving weekend and a major outbreak at a manufacturing plant, Crombie said.
“Simply put, the second wave of COVID has hit the region harder than anywhere else in Canada. We must do everything in our power to stop the movement of this virus. If we can’t, the reality is that it is. we will see more and more COVID-19 hospitalizations, more ICU patients and eventually more deaths. “
According to a provincial government announcement, companies in the Peel region expected to enter the “Orange-Restrict” zone on Tuesday, but on Friday the regional government decided to place Peel in the “Red-Control” zone starting Saturday.
So Dr. Lawrence Loh, a health officer for the Peel region, announced new restrictions later on Saturday due to the growing number of cases daily.
Crombie recognized that communication from the region to businesses, residents and religious organizations could have been better. She said companies told her they felt “blinded” by the rapid changes. But he added that he supports the new restrictions and the positioning of the Peel region in the “Red-Control” zone.
“This allows us to take an approach tailored to local realities here on the ground in Peel.”
Crombie urged all residents to limit “all close in-person contact” to members of their families. Anyone planning to celebrate Diwali in the coming days should only celebrate with their immediate families, he said.
“Everyone in our community has to come forward here and now,” Crombie said.
Loh reported that 237 people died of COVID-19 in the Peel region at noon on Tuesday. Since the start of the pandemic, Peel Public Health has studied 6,229 cases in all.
A total of 705 are active, with 5,287 marked as resolved. Loh said the situation is likely to get worse before it gets better.