The Ontario government recently announced that as of 12:01 am on Jan. 14, 2021, Halton Region would officially undergo a stay-at-home order along with the entire province.
When asked whether the lockdown could extend past Feb. 11, Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward told Khaled Iwamura from inhalton.com that in order for Halton to get out of lockdown, COVID-19 numbers would have to decrease drastically in all regions.
“Nobody’s coming out of lockdown unless those numbers are way down,” said Meed Ward.
“We now know after our last experience with Halton being surrounded by areas that were locked down, that it made sense at the time because our approach was to make decisions based on health evidence and science indicators at the public health unit level.”
“We now know we can’t do that,” said Meed Ward, adding that decisions must be made by looking at health indicators across multiple health units.
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As of last week, Joseph Brant Hospital’s (JBH) Pandemic Response Unit (PRU), which is the first of its kind in Ontario, welcomed its first COVID-19 patients as a response to the ongoing pandemic.
According to Meed Ward, the City of Burlington is now taking patients from Hamilton as well as other areas that require assistance.
“Regardless of the fact that Halton’s numbers are down, we now know that we are affected and our public health capacity is affected by what’s happening around us,” said Meed Ward, adding that the situation needs to be looked at on a “broader level.”
Meed Ward emphasized that while hot spots differ in certain areas, indicators could still have a great impact on the area as a whole.
“Until Peel, Toronto, York and Hamilton’s numbers go down, none of us are getting out of this because we’ll just have the same rollercoaster we did before,” concluded Meed Ward.