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Ontario increases COVID-19 response in Peel Region as virus rates surge

A person walks past a COVID testing site located at an emergency room EPA/JUSTIN LANE

Ontario is increasing testing, contact tracing, and hospital resources in Peel Region as COVID-19 rates surge.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says three new testing centres and a mobile testing unit will be established in Brampton to address increasing virus numbers in that city.

Elliott says the province is also providing 70 more contact tracers to the region’s health unit, and funding for 234 additional hospital beds.

Ontario reported a record of 1,328 new COVID-19 infections on Sunday, with 385 reported in Peel Region.

Peel Region is currently the only one in the red category of the province’s new COVID-19 restrictions system, meaning indoor capacity at local restaurants and gyms is capped at 10 people, among other things.

But Peel’s medical officer of health Dr. Lawrence Loh said Saturday that stricter measures were needed and called on residents to limit contacts to members of their household and essential supports.