Brampton mayor optimistic about battle against COVID-19

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Published May 26, 2021 at 5:59 pm

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Optimism was the over-riding feeling at Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown’s weekly COVID-19 press conference Wednesday morning.

While preaching continued caution, of course, Brown was joined by Peel Medical Officer of Health Dr. Lawrence Loh and Brampton West MP Kamal Khera in thanking the province for opening outdoor recreation over the weekend.

“I want to start off by saying I was grateful to the province for lifting some of the outdoor restrictions that were among the most onerous in North America,” said Brown. Team sports remain closed as do outdoor pools. “This is positive that they’ve lifted some of the restrictions. I would like to see more of these outdoor restrictions lifted given the fact that has been the clear direction from the province’s medical people.”

Brown commended the City’s parks and recreation department, who he said were ready to immediately open everything once the provincial order was lifted, unlike some other communities that delayed things.

The good news shared by Brown about vaccines is that the Region of Peel has gone over one million residents aged 18 and over who have received at least their first dose. That puts the region on the cusp of reaching 70 per cent vaccination rate.

“Vaccines pave the way to getting back to normal,” said Brown. “Seeing numbers like this, it’s no wonder we’re seeing case counts decline so rapidly.”

Brown cautioned, however, that the “hot-spot” strategy employed by the province to focus vaccines where case counts were highest, which was much of Peel, is over. And, in fact, the region will be getting a slightly diminished percentage of vaccines when compared to population.

“We might have to slow down some of our clinics,” Brown told a Brampton Committee of Council meeting later in the morning. “It looks like we’ll be getting about nine per cent of the vaccines, when we have 11 per cent of the population, so we’ll work with the Region of Peel.”

The next major thing health officials in the region and province will have to deal with is an expected increase in vaccination resistance. Brown said both the city and region will be rolling out a social media campaign to try to encourage everyone to get vaccinated.

“Right now, we have people lined up for vaccines,” Brown said. But he conceded that as the number continues to go up, everyone will have to work harder to get to the point of herd immunity in the province and country.

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