When the province began to creak back open, some people expressed concern that newly-opened shops and garden centres could increase community transmission of COVID-19 and while Mississauga couldn’t stop private businesses from operating legally, it did delay the reopening of some outdoor amenities in response to climbing case rates.
Several weeks after hitting the peak in new cases in Ontario, positive test results in Brampton and Mississauga continue to rise and many people are wondering where these new cases are coming from almost three months into a province-wide lockdown.
Recently, Dr. Lawrence Loh, Peel region’s Medical Officer of Health, said that workplace and household spread are driving cases rates in Brampton and Mississauga, with faster spread being recorded in Brampton.
Loh told insauga.com that since Peel Public Health began collecting race- and occupation-based data in April, it has noticed more spread in crowded workplaces where it’s more difficult for employees to practice physical distancing.
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“We have started analyzing the data we began navigating and collecting in April,” Loh told insauga.com.
“[Our occupation data] identified that a number of health care workers were [testing positive], as well as people who cannot work remotely from home.”
Loh said the region is seeing new cases in enclosed workplaces such as factories, warehouses, manufacturing facilities, processing plants, and facilities specializing in transportation logistics.
“Typical large employers in the region,” Loh said, adding that in order to decrease spread, employers should take direction from public health to make sure employees can distance and practice good hand hygiene.
He also said some might consider installing Plexiglas shields where appropriate.
“It’s important for employers to protect staff,” he said.
Loh has also discussed household spread in the region and confirmed that Peel Public Health is exploring ways to help residents isolate from people in their home in the event that they test positive for the virus.
“We’re actively in discussion with the province about isolation hotels. Naturally, the problem is not unique to Peel alone. We’re also looking at providing personal protective equipment to someone who tests positive who lives with a lot of other individuals. We’re hoping to roll that out in the coming weeks.”
Loh said he hopes to share the region’s race-based data in the coming weeks.