Trillium Health Partners doctor says more young people are being hospitalized with COVID-19 in Mississauga

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A doctor at a health network that serves Mississauga says that younger patients are contracting COVID-19 and getting seriously ill from it. 

At a March 31 press conference, Dr. Dante Morra, Chief of Staff at Trillium Health Partners (THP), said that 44 per cent of THP's hospitalized COVID-19 patients are under the age of 60.

THP operates Credit Valley Hospital, the Mississauga Hospital and the Queensway Health Centre (which is located in Etobicoke). 

Morra told reporters that the shift in age has a lot to do with a successful vaccination program that is currently targeting seniors, as well as the increased severity of variants of concern (such as the strains that were first identified in the UK, South Africa and Brazil) circulating in the community. 

"We are in the third wave and there’s been a shift in the average age of patients. Now, 44 per cent of our COVID inpatients are under the age of 60. It’s important to understand why this is the case. First, it is the success of our vaccination program," he said, adding that the region has vaccinated people in long-term care and a large number of seniors over the age of 75. 

"That shifts the age down, but the second [thing] is the variant is more infectious and it actually is more serious and that’s something that I think is really important that people hear." 

At the press conference, Mayor Bonnie Crombie said that cases in Peel (Brampton, Mississauga and Caledon) have risen 20 per cent for the second week in a row. 

Crombie said that Mississauga is now averaging 112 cases per 100,000—up from 97 last week and up from 63 three weeks ago. 

Crombie said that although Mississauga's reproductive rate is down, data shows that every person infected with the virus is still infecting at least one other person, putting the city at high risk of exponential growth. 

"We are very worried about this trend and we’re at a very critical juncture at this time. As well as our hospitals have been holding their own for the last few months, the situation is increasingly becoming very concerning," Crombie told reporters. 

Crombie said THP is currently at 103 per cent capacity and dealing with 62 COVID-related hospitalizations, with 15 patients in the ICU and another 45 suspected cases under investigation. 

"Trillium is once again transferring patients to neighbouring regions and has been forced to set up a pandemic response unit at the hospital as a result of the growing number of cases," she said. 

Morra said that in Peel, 46.4 per cent of all new COVID-19 cases have screened positive for a variant of concern. 

"This is a major concern for the hospital. What we’re seeing over the last several weeks is an increase in the number of COVID-19 patients at our hospital. As an example of this, just two weeks ago we had 49 covid positive patients as inpatients. Today, we are at 67 and the trend is not moving in the right direction. We’re very very concerned. Fifteen of these patients are in critical care and six of these have the variant. We know that with the variant, they’re more likely to need critical during their hospital stay." 

Today (April 1), Ontario is expected to announce a 28-day provincewide “shutdown” today to stop the spread of COVID-19 as an alarming spike in cases threatens the critical care system.

Sources told The Canadian Press that all of Ontario will enter the grey/lockdown zone and indoor and patio dining will no longer be permitted. Hair salons, fitness facilities and other personal care services will also be forced to shutter.

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