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Will Halton be moved back to Stage 2 this week?

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

October 25th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Is it time for a painful reality check?

Are we paying attention to the COVID-19 numbers?

1042 new cases identified in Ontario – highest number ever and the colder weather that will keep us inside more often has yet to really start.

Region graph Oct 25

We are in the beginning of a second wave – it was expected. How long will it last?

Burlington MPP Jane McKenna penned a letter to the Chief Medical Officer for the province urging him not to put Halton back into Stage 2. York, Peel and Toronto were moved into Stage 2 earlier in the month when their numbers kept climbing.

With Peel in Stage 2 there are reports of people from those communities driving into Halton for dinner at our local restaurants.

A tough question: Are restaurants essential?

More than 15 schools in Halton have reported infections – not huge numbers but infections nevertheless.

A Burlington MacDonald’s reported an infection; a very popular Oakville supermarket reported an infection.

Is it time to think in terms of mothballing the hospitality sector?

These are tough decisions that have to be made.

McKenna has asked the Provincial Medical Officer to hold off – isn’t that a decision that is made by the Halton Medical Officer of Health?  In her letter McKenna said: “In June, when we began to emerge from the lockdown, the advice given by our medical experts was to wait two weeks (the incubation period), before lifting any restrictions. When taken together with our decreasing case counts, there is no evidence to suggest that moving Halton to a modified Phase 2 will have any meaningful impact on reducing case counts. One thing that is certain, is that many people and businesses can not financially withstand another shutdown.”

Noteworthy is the fact that neither Oakville Mayor Rob Burton nor Halton Hills Mayor Rick Bonnette signed the letter – perhaps they were unavailable?

Burlington is spending very large sums of money to protect the people who work at city hall. The majority are still working from their homes and for the most part doing a good job.

The economy is vitally important – is a healthy population not just as important?

Do we really have to get out for a beer and mix with people? Can we not buckle down, find within us the personal discipline and do what is in our best interests and see ourselves through what is a crisis that has the potential to rip us apart as a society?

What will we do if a third of the schools are shut down for a couple of weeks at a time? What happens when the number of classroom teachers who become infected are in the hundreds?

Is this being alarmist?

That 1042 number of infections reported on Sunday by the province was a fact.

The Premier will be sweating this one out when it is the public that needs to do the sweating. The people from Toronto and Mississauga who travel to Burlington and Oakville for an evening out have to learn to stay within their own communities and spend time with the people who are in their immediate circle.

This virus may be very hard to beat and we may have to wait until there is a vaccine – but in the meantime we can limit its growth by limiting what we do.

Do your best to not pick up the infection from someone else and do your best to not pass it along if you do get it.

In the meantime we wait for the numbers from the province Monday morning and wait to hear what the Halton Regional Medical Officer of Health has to say.

Her job just got a lot harder.

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5 comments to Will Halton be moved back to Stage 2 this week?

  • Bev

    I wish ALL politicians would focus on their jobs and leave medical and science to those that have the knowledge to deal with this Covid pandemic. Health officials do not tell politicians how to run the city or provinces. Please concentrate on your own duties and don’t try to delve into unknown territory. Leave our health and wefare to the experts.

  • Michelle Harris

    I do not appreciate being called a Karen for calling out what it is politics and playing to their donors. Neither mayor made their point. If you look at the dashboard over 50% of those infected “cannot say where they may have gotten it from”. BS they are just lying. Just like “Ken” calling names is probably the bully running people over at the grocery store wearing his mask as a chin guard, while hosting huge parties at his house. We live and see what is going on in our community and people are not being responsible. Until their is respect for all, “Ken’s need to grow up

  • Rick Wilson

    Look at all the Karen’s responding. Go hide in your basement while the rest of us love our lives and support our families. We will not live in fear anymore!

  • Penny Hersh

    I totally disagree with this letter. Covid 19 cases are on the rise in Halton Region as well. It is one thing to support local business but another to put residents’ lives in danger.

    How many more people will have their surgery, or screening tests postponed because our hospitals cannot deal with the onslaught of Covid patients. Our front line workers are exhausted, just imagine if we cannot control this second wave. There is a backlog of surgery cases, etc. that will be impossible to clear unless hospitals are permitted to have surgeries and testing taking place on the weekends. Why are the mayors not asking for this?

    Many people are not following the “recommendations” by the Medical Officer of Health in Halton Region. This uptick in cases are a result of families getting together for Thanksgiving. How many pictures on Facebook showed families that don’t live in the same house celebrating the holiday? We were asked specifically not to do this.

    Outdoor patios that are enclosed in plastic are not outdoor patios. Plastic tents with heaters and no proper ventilation pose a definite threat to those who decide they have to go out, even though it has been “suggested”, not mandated that they stay home, social distance, and not meet with others outside of their households.

    Politicians are not physicians. Would you go to a politician if you had a health issue? I certainly hope not.

    When will people realize that to have a healthy economy you have to have a healthy population.

  • Michelle Harris

    Oakville Mayor and MMMW wasted no time being on the press this weekend. As they sit at home being safe. While most of us returned to work, and watch what goes on around us. Even the Halton Medical officer said earlier this week we should be in stage 2. How out of step are these …..elected officials,,,,, Give them a pay cut, and they may finally get with reality They are playing to the donor base and do not get out and around to actually witness the risk to residents,