Mississauga to host COVID-19 town hall amid third wave variant case spike, new stay-at-home order

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Mississauga is hosting another COVID-19 town hall, its seventh since the beginning of the pandemic last year.

The virtual town hall is set for May 5 at 6 p.m. and will have Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie, Peel’s top doctor Dr. Lawrence Loh and other local officials providing updates on the COVID-19 pandemic, and fielding public questions.

The town hall is being held as COVID-19 cases in Mississauga and the rest of Peel have escalated dramatically, and local hospital capacity has neared its limit.

Since the last town hall in March, Ontario has ordered schools to close for in-person learning, reinstituted stay-at-home orders and mandated outdoor amenities — except for playgrounds — in the province to close.

Vaccination rollout has also been progressing with over 397,000 individuals getting vaccines, though local leaders have been critical of Peel’s allotment to date.

Variant strains have also become a major cause of COVID-19 cases in Peel, including B.1.1.7, first detected in the U.K., which now represent nearly 14 per cent of total cases, according to Peel’s April 23 epidemiological update.

Following concerns of growing COVID-19 cases in India and Pakistan, the federal government suspended commercial and private passenger flights from those countries till near the end of May.

Peel Council has asked the federal government to go farther and ban travel from international and domestic COVID-19 hot spots to Toronto Pearson.

Local municipal politicians have also consistently called on the provincial government to institute a paid-sick leave program to help limit COVID-19 spread in workplaces, which has been a significant source of the virus. 

Premier Doug Ford said on Thursday, April 22 that his government was planning on instituting its own paid sick leave program, after months of refusing to do so. 

Since March, Loh has also used his authority under Ontario’s Health Protection and Promotion Act to partially close at least seven workplaces in Peel, including two in Mississauga as well as Amazon facilities in Brampton and Caledon.