ontario gathering limit

Brampton's top doctor wants a complete ban on all private get togethers

Remember a few months ago when people in Brampton kept defying Ontario gathering limits to have huge house and backyard parties, sometimes with hundreds of people even though the city was one of the worst COVID hotspots in the entire country?

Though police haven't been busting as many of these incidents in the Toronto-area city as of late, the top doctor of the region is now calling for an outright ban on all private get togethers, whether they have 100 people or the up to 10 indoors/25 outdoors currently permitted by the provincial government.

Medical Officer of Health Dr. Lawrence Loh — Peel Region's counterpart to Toronto's Dr. Eileen de Villa, who last month got her wish when she suggested that indoor dining and fitness classes be shut down — advised for the new moratorium, along with a ban on weddings until February 2021 and a few other restrictions, on Wednesday.

"The reality is that one of the most significant drivers of transmission in our region is people getting together and socializing at home," he said to Mississauga City Council.

"If we are going to reopen high-risk settings like restaurants and gyms, we need to have a counterbalance on some of the other drivers of transmission."

The proposal comes just weeks before major holidays like Christmas, Hannukah, Diwali and more, known for bringing family and friends together over dinners and other types of social gatherings — Loh's exact impetus.

Peel — and Brampton specifically — is still one of the worst places in Ontario as far as virus numbers are concerned, though this Saturday, it will be allowed out of the modified Stage 2 lockdown it was put under last month along with Toronto, Ottawa, and later York.

Mississauga's mayor is among those supporting Loh's latest motion, though she admits "it's going to be tough to enforce."

Loh also wants all indoor religious ceremonies in Peel to be capped at 50 people regardless of facility size and capacity, and for restaurants and bars to only permit people to sit indoors together if they live in the same household.

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