With the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada, it has begun to affect many cities in Ontario, including, of course, Brampton and in the Region of Peel. Here is a roundup of recent news items to help you stay up to date.

Emergency declared in Region of Peel

In an official statement, the Region of Peel declared an Emergency in support of the Province of Ontario’s efforts to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Declaring an Emergency is an important step in slowing the spread of COVID-19 and protecting the residents, businesses and employees in Peel. We’re working with Caledon, Brampton and Mississauga to ensure we are all protected during this time,” said Regional Chair, Nando Iannicca. “We are thankful to the Province of Ontario and the Canadian government for their commitments to protect every resident from the impacts COVID-19 is having on our communities. We are doing everything we can to contain the virus. Declaring an emergency allows us to act quickly and be able to respond to this evolving situation.”

The number of cases of COVID-19 continues to grow

Three new cases of COVID-19 have been diagnosed in the Peel Region. According to Ontario’s COVID-19 website, all three were women in their 50’s who were travelling, with one of them coming in close contact. The status of each of them is one in self-isolation while the status of the other two is pending.

Brampton Transit has changes going into effect soon

In response to COVID-19 and to ensure Brampton Transit is serving its community safely, bus service will be changed as follows, starting March 23:

  • Monday to Friday: Enhanced Saturday service – includes additional service on some routes and earlier morning trips on select routes
  • Saturday: Regular Saturday service
  • Sunday: Regular Sunday service

Brampton Transit terminals and its contact centre will maintain regular hours of operation.

Brampton Transit also reports it is doing the following:

  • Busloads will be limited to half seated capacity to support social distancing practices. This means that once buses are half-full, stops will be bypassed and passengers may be left behind. Every effort will be made to deploy buses to pick up the remaining passengers.
  • On busier routes, articulated buses will be put in place to assist with passengers’ ability to maintain social distancing while on board. This means that Züm articulated buses may be seen on regular routes. Please pay attention to the destination signs on the buses.
  • To ensure there is adequate distance between everyone on the bus, including employees, seats will be blocked with yellow tape and passengers are asked to not sit in these seats.
  • An enhanced cleaning and disinfecting schedule remains in effect. It is Brampton Transit’s goal to disinfect all hard surfaces, operator compartments and seats every 48 hours. Facilities and terminals that have hard surfaces will be wiped down and disinfected on a daily basis. Riders are encouraged to carry their own personal disinfectant when travelling, such as hand sanitizer or wipes, and wash their hands often.

Any change in hours of operation will be communicated at the Brampton Transit website.

Air Canada phasing out nearly all international flights

Air Canada has also stated that it will ‘gradually suspend the majority’ of its international flights by the end of March, but will also only serve ‘a small number of international and trans-border destinations’ from a select few Canadian cities beginning of April. A small number of flights will be open in April between Canada and six international airports include London, Paris, Frankfurt, Delhi, Tokyo, and Hong Kong to help repatriate citizens back to Canada.

Auto plants shutting down

Numerous auto plants in Ontario are also shutting down due to the pandemic. Car manufacturing plants including Fiat Chrysler in Brampton and Windsor will be shutting down through the end of March. Other auto plants shutting down also include Ford, General Motors, Honda and Toyota.

Courts shutting down

Provincial and Superior courts are now shutting down amid the coronavirus pandemic and the recently declared provincial state of emergency.

According to a press release, the Provincial Offences Courthouses located at 5 Ray Lawson Boulevard in Brampton and 950 Burnhamthorpe Road West in Mississauga have been closed since Tuesday, March 17.

The Superior Court of Justice located at 7755 Hurontario Street in Brampton will also be suspending all regular operations until further notice.

The Ontario Court of Justice, also located at 7755 Hurontario St., has established procedures to control how many people attend in-person court sessions for criminal and family matters. All non-urgent matters have been adjourned.

The press release also noted that the Attorney General has put in for a court order to suspend enforcement of eviction tribunals, and Tribunals Ontario will not issue new eviction orders until further notice.

The statement read, “As this public health situation evolves, the government is committed to providing Ontarians with safe and reliable access to critical front-line services, including supporting the delivery of justice at its courthouses and tribunals.”

For more information, please see the full, detailed press release here.

Are you worried you have COVID-19 or that you might be at risk? Take this self-assessment from the government of Ontario here: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/self-assessment/.

Read about the new Peel Memorial COVID-19 assessment centre, including symptoms and criteria for using it, here.

For further information on COVID-19, visit www.peelregion.ca/coronavirus.

To see current City of Brampton updates and FAQs on services and facility and programming closures, please visit www.brampton.ca/covid19.