Two Peel residents have been diagnosed with coronavirus, bringing the total of people diagnosed in the region (which is comprised of Brampton, Mississauga, and Caledon) to six.
The Canadian Press recently reported that the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Ontario climbed significantly on Thursday, March 12 as public health officials reported 17 new positive tests from across the province, bringing the total to 59 (four of which are resolved).
The government said it’s days away from opening a wave of assessment centres dedicated to screening residents for the disease.
Health officials said one of the new patients is a baby boy, who was in close contact with another patient and attended North York General Hospital in Toronto. It doesn’t appear that any of the cases were due to community transmission.
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According to the province’s COVID-19 website, two of the newly reported cases were found in Peel residents. One case was found in a female under the age of 18 who was in close contact with a COVID-19 patient. She is currently self-isolating.
Another case was found in a woman in her 20s who recently travelled. She is also self-isolating.
According to the Region of Peel’s website, other local coronavirus patients include a married couple in their 60s who travelled on the Grand Princess Cruise Ship, a man in his 50s who traveled to Germany, and a woman in her 30s who was in close contact with a COVID-19 patient.
All patients are currently self-isolating.
The region has also announced that it’s stepping up surveillance after reports emerged that a Toronto man with COVID-19 used a MiWay bus to get to and from work while he was showing symptoms. The region is also investigating a possible coronavirus exposure at a Mississauga retirement home.
Earlier today, the government announced that dedicated assessment centres will open in the next few days at William Osler Health System’s Peel Memorial site, The Ottawa Hospital, North York General Hospital, Mackenzie Health in York Region, Scarborough Health Network and Trillium Health Partners.
The centres will be located in separate spaces to protect other patients. More centres are set to be established across the province in the next few weeks.
The province also announced that it will extend one-year transition funding that it offered to municipalities to help deal with public health funding cuts that took effect this year.
Ontario has approved new physician billing codes for telephone assessments, which will allow doctors to do more evaluations remotely rather than having people come into their clinics.
The province is also in the early stages of planning to establish at-home testing.
The province also announced that all publicly-funded schools will remain closed for two weeks after March Break to help curb the spread of the virus.
With files from The Canadian Press