EbeneInfo – CA – « Hanging by our nails »: Province tends to lock down the York region, says top doc

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    While the York area health officer is still arguing the area should stay in the red control zone despite the rise in COVID-19, in some cases the province is prone to lockdown

    « We are by our nails on the red control zone, » said Dr Karim Kurji today opposite the regional council

    The York Region managed to avoid being locked down on November 23 joining Toronto and the Peel Region after a letter was sent to Premier Doug Ford

    Having been in the red control zone since November 16, the region’s COVID-19 incidence rate is 102 people per 100 as of December000 up 3 When Toronto was locked down, its incidence rate was 104, Kurji said

    « I have spoken with the Chief Medical Officer of Health (Ontario) (Dr David Williams) and some of his senior staff yesterday. And I can tell you these discussions have been difficult, « Kurji told the regional council

    « We will likely be pushed into the exclusion zone if our arguments are somehow contradicted by other experts »

    In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, local Medical Officers of Health and other health professionals, the Province is conducting weekly assessments – usually announced on Fridays – to bring the Regions of Public Health Units to a new level in their reopening framework / p>

    Kurji said there was a compelling and scientifically valid argument for not blocking the York area

    Although case numbers have increased overall in the past few weeks, the seven-day average showed that cases plateaued until they rose slightly in the past few days

    He added that the incidence rate in the York area is still lower than in Toronto and the Peel area, and that the positivity rate in York remains unchanged at 5.8 percent

    One of the province’s top considerations in moving a region into the exclusion zone of its COVID-19 reopening framework is hospital capacity, Kurji

    said

    « The rate of hospitalizations among residents of the York area has decreased over the past week 21 new hospitalizations were reported, including one admission to the intensive care unit, « he said, but added that the statistics did not include patients from other regions

    « I have regular conversations with our three (hospital) presidents and I feel like they can handle it, but they have bigger challenges. Sometimes the intensive care units are full or there are staffing problems but they come rightly « 

    According to Barbara Steed, executive vice president of clinical services for the Southlake Regional Health Center, Newmarket Hospital is currently 118 percent busy and the intensive care unit is 87 percent. There are five COVID-19 patients in the intensive care unit, one of whom Relocated from another facility outside the York area

    The York Area Public Health has commissioned statistical models showing that the area lockdown would have « minimal » positive effects, Kurji

    said

    It has also been found that residents’ mobility (residents who go out and connect with each other) has decreased 20 percent since the red zone restrictions began in November 16

    Kurji said there is more to consider than just the number of cases and hospital capacity. For example, the York area continues to have good public health capacities, tracking 88 percent of new cases within 24 hours

    « Most experts would give us two incubation times (28 days) after entering a red control zone to properly assess the effects, » added Kurji

    « I have asked the Department of Health to keep us in the red zone and monitor us closely as we are now in what is called a ‘red plus zone’, the plus in terms of restrictions and improved enforcement that we have brought to fruition « 

    He highlighted the increased enforcement efforts of the York area, including 1000 Black Friday weekend inspections coordinated by the Enforcement Task Force, as well as tighter restrictions on retailers and businesses

    These recommendations may lead to the perception that the York area received unjustified special treatment

    « But I think the ministry will have major justice challenges as it relates to other jurisdictions, » Kurji said

    One thing Newmarket Mayor John Taylor said would not improve the visuals of the situation was a motion from Richmond Hill Regional Councilor Carmine Perrelli

    The motion would have asked the York area to ask the province to remove the 10 diners limit in restaurants in the red control zone Taylor has deemed the proposal « out of touch » and likely the area’s efforts to avoid a lockdown , impaired

    « There is a very strong case for keeping us in the red zone at the moment, but our numbers are rising a little and we need to watch this closely. I fear that the provincial proposal before us at the moment is considered is received unaffected by the circumstances in which we find ourselves and could even affect our credibility in the future « 

    Kurji agreed, saying it was a motion if the York area numbers are much lower than now Perrelli and some other councilors argued that restaurants would be knocked down by the limit that is on capacity rather than an « arbitrary one. » « Number should be based

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    EbeneInfo – CA – « Hold on to our nails »: Province tends to block the York region, says top doc

    Source: https://www.newmarkettoday.ca/coronavirus-covid-19-local-news/hanging-on-by-our-nails-province-leaning-toward-york-region-lockdown-top-doc-says-3151788

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