Ontario is moving Peel out of Stage 2 and into the COVID-19 red zone
Well, it looks like Brampton won't be joining Toronto in a modified Stage 2 for another week, as requested by the Peel's Medical Officer of Health: Instead, it'll become part of Ontario's first "red zone" restricted hot spot.
What this means for the residents of Brampton, Mississauga, Caledon, and all other towns located within the Peel Public Health Region is bittersweet.
Restaurants, bars and gyms will indeed reopen in Peel at midnight this evening after a 28-day-closure period, but they'll have a capacity limit of only 10 patrons at a time.
What being in the Red Zone means for Peel Region: restaurants & bars can serve indoors but max. 10 customers inside. Also gyms can reopen, but with restrictions, and no dining in shopping mall food courts. #COVID19Ontario pic.twitter.com/cgdYcAW4Jl— Mike Crawley (@CBCQueensPark) November 6, 2020
All indoor gatherings, public or social, are, in fact, capped at 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors under Red-Control measures. Dancing, singing and "the live performance of brass or wind instruments" are also prohibited at this stage, according to the province's framework document.
"We need to get this virus under control in Peel," said Premier Doug Ford on Friday of the noted coronavirus (and large party) hot spot. "The region is averaging 103 cases per 100,000. The per cent positive and daily cases are growing. Hospital capacity is under pressure."
While these restrictions are harsher than those which will be placed upon Toronto when it leaves Stage 2 and enters the Orange-Restrict zone on Nov. 14, Peel Regional Medical Officer of Health Dr. Lawrence Loh didn't want gyms and bars to reopen in Brampton at all.
Premier says Mayors in Peel were reluctant to close restaurants-even though Peel Medical Officer of Health asked for extension of their closures. Premier calls putting them in the "red zone" a— Cynthia Mulligan (@CityCynthia) November 6, 2020
"fair compromise." In other words - politicians are over ruling local public health
Ford acknowledged on Friday that the region's numbers are "through the roof," but did not go so far as to put the region in his government's harshest restriction level: Grey-Lockdown.
He called putting Peel in the red zone a "fair compromise" between mayors who didn't want businesses to suffer and doctors who fear that everyone will suffer much, much more with the reopening of certain facilities.
I suppose we'll have to wait and see what happens to find out who's right. In the meantime, let's hope that Brampton party people can chill for a bit while case numbers climb in their region.
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