Brampton still Peel’s COVID hotspot but Mississauga’s numbers also climbing rapidly
Mississauga has had the unenviable distinction of having a neighbour that has been a COVID-19 hotspot throughout most of the pandemic. But recently, its own infection numbers have jumped up to levels the city has not seen for almost three months.
Brampton’s COVID case rate is still far outpacing Peel’s largest city, but over the most recent 10-day period for which numbers are available, Mississauga has seen a disturbing trend of its own.
From September 17 to 26 there were 297 COVID-19 cases reported in the city, compared to 41 cases over the 10 days from July 28 to August 6, the low-point in Mississauga’s pandemic picture, which came after months of lockdown and other severe restrictions.
The recent numbers are more in line with the high points of the first wave of the pandemic, in April and May. They represent a COVID-19 rate that is five times higher than the period from late July to early August.
The trend is not surprising and follows the loosening of restrictions when Mississauga was allowed to enter Stage 3 at the end of July. Similar patterns of recent high rates of infections have been seen in other large municipal regions across the country, particularly in Ottawa, the GTA and population centres in Quebec, all of which have recorded high numbers in September, compared to most of August.
On Monday, Ontario reported 700 cases, the highest daily total the province has seen throughout the pandemic. This follows the 491 cases reported across Ontario on Sunday, which represented the highest daily total in the province since May 2, when 511 cases were recorded.
The graph at the top, for Mississauga, shows its numbers are still nowhere near Brampton's, bottom, but both cities are now seeing a sharp rise in cases, compared to early August.
Brampton has seen its cases jump since the middle of August and has a case rate since the beginning of last month that is almost four times higher than Mississauga’s. Its numbers over the same recent 10-day period dwarf its neighbours. From September 17 to 26, it recorded 557 cases, a rate more than twice that of Mississauga, on a per capita basis.
Adjusted numbers by the Region of Peel show Brampton recorded its highest daily total yet on Friday, when the city had 97 COVID-19 cases. Its previous high mark was 83 cases on both April 19 and May 23, around the height of the first wave. It has been in a second wave for more than a month.
For Mississauga residents concerned that the neighbouring city could plunge both back into Stage 2, the recent case counts suggest each municipality is facing similar problems now.
Though the larger city has had adequate testing, with three assessment centres during the pandemic, compared to just one in Brampton (which last week saw a second one finally set up by the Province) it will now get even more screening support to help bring its numbers back down.
When the Province announced that 60 private pharmacies in Ontario’s hotspots would take appointments for COVID-19 tests, eight of those on the list are in Mississauga (Brampton has nine).
The regular assessment centres are now only seeing people with COVID symptoms or underlying conditions or specific risk of exposure to the novel coronavirus.
Mayor Bonnie Crombie is urging residents to help get the city’s numbers back under control. “Social interactions continue to drive new cases,” she posted on social media Friday, as case counts in Peel hit their highest daily mark since the end of May. She said 80 percent of all new cases were acquired “in the community or through household contact. We control the spread of this virus through our actions. Avoid large gatherings and consider shrinking your bubbles to essential people in your lives.”
With the majority of cases now hitting those under 40, the trend toward younger people getting infected largely because of parties and other social gatherings under the looser Stage 3 allowances, last week the province prohibited the sale of alcohol in establishments past 11 p.m. It has also reduced social gathering limits to 10 from 50 indoors, and 25 from 100 outdoors. The new restrictions do not apply to establishments that are properly staffed.
Crombie last week during her weekly press conference said, “Fall is officially upon us. Kids are back at school. The weather is getting a bit cooler and we’re starting to spend less time outdoors and more time indoors. We’re also, unfortunately starting to see a rise in cases…”.
Her assurance of a plan in place, with the city’s hospitals and public health officials, to ensure capacity to respond to “a possible second wave” could now be amended, as it’s clear Mississauga, like much of the GTA and some other parts of the country, is in a second wave.
Brampton pharmacies offering COVID-19 tests:
Shoppers Drug Mart, 11965 Hurontario Street, Brampton, ON, L6Z 4P7, (905) 495-0311, https://stores.shoppersdrugmart.ca/en/store/1177/?utm_source=G&utm_ medium=lpm&utm_campaign=LPM_SDM
Shoppers Drug Mart, 160 Main Street South, Brampton, ON L6W 2E1, (905) 451-0111, https://stores.shoppersdrugmart.ca/en/store/705/
Shoppers Drug Mart, 10665 Bramalea Road, Brampton, ON, L6R 3P4, (905) 793-2011, https://stores.shoppersdrugmart.ca/en/store/1447/
Shoppers Drug Mart, 34 A Avondale Boulevard, Brampton, ON, L6T 1H3, (905) 793-4444, https://stores.shoppersdrugmart.ca/en/store/701/
Shoppers Drug Mart, 366 Main Street North, Brampton, ON, L6V 1P8, (905) 456-0167, https://stores.shoppersdrugmart.ca/en/store/1353/
Shoppers Drug Mart, 10048 McLaughlin Road, Brampton, ON, L7A 2X6, (905) 846-4444, https://stores.shoppersdrugmart.ca/en/store/1199/
Shoppers Drug Mart, 1 Kennedy Road South, Brampton, ON, L6W 3C9, (905) 454-4464, https://stores.shoppersdrugmart.ca/en/store/1058/
Shoppers Drug Mart, 3938 Cottrelle Boulevard, Brampton, ON, L6P 2R1, (905) 794-7071, https://stores.shoppersdrugmart.ca/en/store/1326/
Rexall, Unit A01 – 545 Steeles Avenue West, Brampton, ON, L6Y 4E7 (905) 453-1625, https://www.rexall.ca/storelocator/store/980
Mississauga pharmacies offering COVID-19 tests:
Shoppers Drug Mart, 6975 Meadowvale Town Centre Circle, Mississauga, ON, L5N 2W7, (905) 826-7112, https://stores.shoppersdrugmart.ca/en/store/779/
Shoppers Drug Mart, 101 – 5602 Tenth Line West, Mississauga, ON, L5M 5S5, (905) 858-4618, https://stores.shoppersdrugmart.ca/en/store/1147/
Shoppers Drug Mart, 1 – 5425 Creditview Road, Mississauga, ON, L5V 2P3, (905) 858-8711, https://stores.shoppersdrugmart.ca/en/store/791/
Shoppers Drug Mart, 7070 Mclaughlin Road, Mississauga, ON, L5W 1W7, (905) 696-9791, https://stores.shoppersdrugmart.ca/en/store/902/
Shoppers Drug Mart, 579 Lakeshore Road East, Mississauga, ON, L5G 1H9, (905) 278-5506, https://stores.shoppersdrugmart.ca/en/store/1275/
Shoppers Drug Mart, 3980 Grand Park Drive, Mississauga, ON, L5B 4M6, (905) 566-9600, https://stores.shoppersdrugmart.ca/en/store/908/
Shoppers Drug Mart, 2470 Hurontario Street, Mississauga, ON, L5B 0H2, (905) 896-2500, https://stores.shoppersdrugmart.ca/en/store/776/
Shoppers Drug Mart, 700 Burnhamthorpe Road East, Mississauga, ON, L4Y 2X3, (905) 279-1812, https://stores.shoppersdrugmart.ca/en/store/774/
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