Ontario Providing Additional Public Health Support for Peel Region
TORONTO — The Ontario government is taking immediate action to enhance the local public health response to COVID-19 in Peel Region by expanding access to testing as well as increasing case and contact management and hospital capacity. These additional supports are part of the 2020 Budget, Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover, which includes an additional investment of $572 million in Ontario’s hospitals to help offset the costs of COVID-19, including testing, assessment centres, laboratory and medical equipment, and personal protective equipment.
Details were provided today by Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development and Prabmeet Singh Sarkaria, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction and MPP for Brampton South.
“We are working across government and alongside our partners in health care and public health to stop the spread of COVID-19 in Peel Region,” said Minister Elliott. “Our government is focusing public health resources where they are needed the most to protect the individuals, families and workers in Peel Region.”
The seven-day indicators of public health trends in several communities in Peel Region, such as Brampton, support the decision to move the region to the Red – Control level. The Medical Officer of Health for the Region of Peel issued additional public health measures on Saturday, November 7. Local medical officers of health have the ability to tailor restrictions in their communities based on regional circumstances and needs.
In response to the increased need for local COVID-19 testing, Ontario is providing more sites and innovative options such as:
- Establishing three new community-based testing centres in Brampton by Tuesday, November 10 at Snelgrove Community Centre, Gore Meadows Community Centre and Greenbriar Community Centre;
- Implementing mobile testing sites, including at the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Peel Dufferin Mobile Health Clinic in Brampton, to respond to an increase in localized demand for tests within the community and to provide access to testing in communities where travel is a barrier to getting tested;
- Opening limited walk-in availability at assessment centres for those who can’t book an appointment online or by phone; and
- Implementing up to 7 pharmacies or specimen collection centres in partnership with LifeLabs, Dynacare and Alpha over the next two weeks.
Ontario is also exploring opportunities to engage with community leaders to help promote awareness of the importance of COVID-19 testing and to develop culturally and linguistically sensitive targeted communications to encourage testing in the region.
Additional case and contact management support will be allocated to Peel Regional Health Unit. This includes:
- Up to 70 case and contact management staff have started onboarding to support Peel Region directly.
- Ten public health units across the province with lower case counts are now assisting Peel Region with case investigation.
To support hospital capacity pressures and the continuation of surgeries and procedures, Ontario is investing $42 million for up to 234 new beds at three hospitals and their alternate health facilities in Peel Region. This includes:
- William Osler Health System receiving up to 87 total patient beds with 41 beds at Osler’s Brampton Civic Hospital and 46 beds at Osler’s Etobicoke General Hospital.
- Trillium Health Partners receiving up to 141 total patient beds with 99 beds at Mississauga Hospital, 36 acute beds at Queensway Health Centre and 6 beds at Credit Valley Hospital.
- Headwaters Healthcare receiving up to 6 total patient beds.
To continue to protect the most vulnerable, only essential visitors, including up to one caregiver per resident, have been allowed in long-term care homes in Peel Region since October 7. Anyone planning a visit to a long-term care home in Peel Region, or any other region, is advised to contact the home in advance to get information on the home’s visitor policy and any restrictions. A complete list of homes affected by visitor restrictions is posted online and updated as the areas with higher community spread change.
Click here to read the full press release.