Mississauga mayor concerned about growing COVID-19 numbers

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Published August 26, 2021 at 5:10 pm

As the City of Mississauga and Region of Peel continue to push the Ontario government for a province-wide proof of vaccination program, they’re concerned that growing COVID-19 numbers in Peel and beyond could soon stress hospitals as the pandemic’s fourth wave takes hold.

In revealing details earlier today about Mississauga’s vaccination policy for City workers, Mayor Bonnie Crombie took the opportunity to again call on the provincial government to get the ball rolling on a proof of vaccination program.

She said the latest COVID-19 numbers show the impact of a fourth wave of the pandemic, brought about in large part by the new Delta variant, cannot be underestimated—or ignored.

“Cases across Ontario are rising rapidly now,” said Crombie.

She said there are currently 35 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population in Mississauga and Peel, up more than 100 per cent from last week. And that’s an Ontario-wide trend, she added.

Furthermore, she noted that out of 103 recent hospitalizations for the virus in Peel, 101 were people who were either unvaccinated or partially vaccinated. And the other two people were vaccinated, but had compromised immune systems.

“This is a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” said Crombie. “We need a universal proof of vaccination.”

Without such a program, she fears a “patchwork” approach across Ontario will confuse people and not protect public health as effectively as needed.

For now, said Crombie, Mississauga’s hospitals are stable. But that could change as the fourth wave takes hold in the coming weeks and months.

As of Thursday morning (Aug. 26), there were 22 COVID-19 patients in hospital in Mississauga, at either Credit Valley Hospital or Mississauga Hospital. Of those, eight are in critical care.

In Brampton, 20 people are in hospital, three of them in critical care.

Despite the uncertainty and concern surrounding the pandemic’s fourth wave, one Mississauga doctor is suggesting the situation isn’t dire.

Dr. Sumon Chakrabarti, an infectious disease specialist at Trillium Health Partners in Mississauga, said Ontario’s impressive vaccine uptake will blunt the impact of the fourth wave.

“First of all, it’s absolutely true that we’re seeing more disease activity and going into the fall and winter, there will be areas where we’ll have significant hospitalizations and there are areas where hospitals will be stressed,” he said. “But we have 75 per cent of eligible people covered by the vaccine in Ontario and in people 60 and up, that percentage is even higher. In a population that is that vaccinated, it’s going to make some difference on how cases are able to transmit in the community.”

–with files from Ashley Newport

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