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Dr. Loh: “Precautions not being followed” as COVID-19 contact tracing shows more contacts per case

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Dr. Loh: “Precautions not being followed” as COVID-19 contact tracing shows more contacts per case

In the city’s regular COVID-19 update this morning, Peel Medical Officer of Health Dr. Lawrench Loh said the region’s pandemic response team has recently seen an increase in contacts per case.

Over the past couple of weeks, the team — which investigates COVID-19 cases in Peel and performs contact tracing — has reportedly seen the average number of contacts per case rise from five to about 30.

“This means more complex investigations, higher risk of transmission, and it also means that precautions are clearly not being followed,” Loh said.

“Now that we are seeing a resurgence in our community, we need to fix this,” he added. “We’re not in a second wave yet because we can still trace most of these cases back to a known exposure or source. However, I continue to watch our hospital capacity and death rates carefully for any spike that might come in the next few weeks.”

Loh also recommended that residents continue to use the COVID Alert app, which aims to notify users of possible exposures before any symptoms appear.

As of Tuesday evening, September 22, Peel Public Health has investigated 5,200 cases of COVID-19 in Brampton. Of these cases, 490 are active, 4,616 have resolved, and 94 have resulted in deaths.

Brampton mayor Patrick Brown acknowleged a recent increase in daily COVID-19 cases and thanked the province for its decision on Saturday to roll back the number of people allowed at private social gatherings (10 indoors and 25 outdoors).

“Mayors across the GTA said very clearly that we were grateful, that we don’t have a patchwork of rules for social gatherings but there’s some consistency because our neighbourhoods are all interconnected, from Malton to Etobicoke to Brampton,” said Brown.

Brown reports that in the last week, bylaw officers attended 89 social gatherings in Brampton, with only six resulting in charges.

“For the six social gatherings, none of them were large gatherings; they were all slightly over the new provincial limit of 25 people outdoors,” the mayor said. “We’re seeing wide compliance, which is encouraging.”

Brown also says Brampton is making progress in increasing testing capacity, having gone from one testing site to three in recent weeks, as well as significantly reducing wait times which had previously been as long as five hours for some residents. 

It’s reported that on Tuesday, the testing site at Greenbriar Recreation Centre administered 378 tests, with an average wait time of 25 minutes.

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