Health official says 'one wrong move' can undo efforts against COVID-19 in Peel

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At an October 7 conference, Peel’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Lawrence Loh, discussed additional measures to help cope with the ongoing COVID-19 crisis in Peel.

At the conference, Loh explained that colleagues in Toronto have recently reported a “resurgence driven by numerous community outbreaks linked to restaurants, bars and gyms,” but emphasized that the picture in Peel is different due to a difference in community interactions. 

“In Brampton and Peel, socializing appears to be less bar hopping and more get-togethers at home,” said Loh.

“We also have more homes with more occupants and more families.”

According to Loh, workplaces such as factories, warehouses and distribution centres remain a concern.

Although they have kept Peel’s case counts linked to known exposures, they have also kept them “consistently high” according to Loh.

“That means one wrong move can undo a lot of effort, which is why we must remain vigilant and intervene in each of those settings,” said Loh.

“It’s why I’ve asked employers to protect their employees and why we’re working with the Ministry of Labour to start proactive workplace inspection blitzes.”

Loh also stated that they have applied for a federally-funded isolation centre to help those who can’t isolate safely at home.

“Peel's health recommendations drove the province’s previous rollback on social gathering limits, but more must be done,” said Loh.

“I have requested that the province consider instituting a lower consistent gathering limit across all settings and consider providing financial assistance for banquet halls and event venues to furlough.”

Loh also recommended that everyone reduces their in-person contacts and limit those contacts to those in your immediate household and essential supports only.

“If you must meet in person, less is more. Keep your numbers low, meet outside instead of inside and always practice the core four of distancing; masking, hand washing and not showing up if you’re sick,” said Loh.

Additionally, Loh also reminded residents that only essential visits in the City of Toronto are recommended at this time.

“Our transmission rates remain high which means Toronto and Ottawa’s broader community spread picture could very quickly become ours if we are not cautious,” said Loh. “We must all reduce our contacts to prevent transmission and to enjoy a safe Thanksgiving.”

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