Mississauga’s COVID-19 numbers rise sharply to 136 new cases daily

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Published December 22, 2021 at 1:32 pm

With a sharp rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in Mississauga this week, Mayor Bonnie Crombie and Peel Public Health (PPH) officials say they’re ramping up efforts to get as many people vaccinated as possible.

In addition to urging those not yet vaccinated to get their first and second doses as quickly as they can, officials are also looking to the one million or so Mississauga and Brampton residents who are eligible for their booster shots, or third doses.

“We’re doing everything we can to support (Peel Medical Officer of Health Dr. Lawrence Loh) and his team in rolling out more booster shots by ramping up capacity and exploring new clinics in the new year,” Crombie said at today’s City of Mississauga COVID-19 press conference. “The good news is that our capacity continues to grow and more appointments are being added daily.”

The mayor said more than 140,000 boosters have already been administered in Peel and nearly “80,000 doses are being delivered every single day in Peel, with more capacity coming online every day. So, please be patient as Peel Public Health works to ramp up boosters.”

Crombie said although Mississauga has seen a “quick rise in cases” this week and that the more transmissible Omicron variant is changing the situation almost daily, the ICU numbers at Mississauga’s hospitals remain stable for now.

She said the seven-day moving average has increased to 136 new cases per day in Mississauga, an increase of 87 cases per day “over just a one-week period.”

Loh noted that there were 97.8 cases per 100,000 population in the city last week. That number was below 20 not long ago.

“This (Omicron) variant is more transmissible and with more gatherings over the holidays, we have to remain nimble with how we respond to it,” said Crombie, adding Omicron is four to six times more transmissible than the Delta variant.

“We are seeing a rise in how easily the virus is spreading throughout the community. Importantly, however, fully vaccinated individuals who test positive typically have milder symptoms and the good news is our (hospital) ICUs are not overwhelmed at this time.”

Crombie said that rapid tests and booster shots are what will help Mississauga get through the next wave, and that’s been challenging for some residents to access.

“While booster eligibility has been significantly expanded, our public health units are working around the clock to ensure that we have enough healthcare workers and support staff to meet the current demand,” said Crombie, who urged people to be “patient and kind, especially to our healthcare workers who are once again stepping up to the plate…they’re burned out, tired and they, too, need a break…I salute these heroes.”

As for the availability of rapid test kits, Crombie said she’s confident senior levels of government will provide more.

She said she wrote to Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Health Minister Christine Elliott asking that the Province ramp up both the number of test kits provided and where they can be accessed.

Crombie wants the holiday test kit blitz expanded to include transit hubs and libraries in Mississauga, and she wants them available well into the new year as long as needed.

“We must bring the test kits to the people and make it as easy as possible to access them” she said.

As Christmas fast approaches, both Crombie and Loh suggest residents keep holiday gatherings small and safe.

“Small (gatherings) are safer, and virtual (gatherings) are safest,” said Loh.

Crombie urged people to push through this holiday season and added she’s “hopeful a brighter 2022 is ahead.

“Many Mississaugans are feeling anxious, tired and disappointed. Many had plans for the holidays that have been cancelled, postponed or scaled back. There’s a lot of fatigue out there and rightly so.”

 

 

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