TORONTO, ON, April 7, 2021 — In the wake of rapidly rising cases of COVID-19 in the Peel Region, Peel Public Health has shuttered schools for two weeks. However, data shows that this won’t necessarily reduce virus transmission in Peel.
In the wake of rapidly rising cases of COVID-19 in the Peel Region, Peel Public Health has shuttered schools for two weeks. However, data shows that this won’t necessarily reduce virus transmission in Peel.
Unlike other areas, which were largely able to transition to remote work, Peel, particularly the workplaces surrounding Toronto Pearson Airport, is the heart of the Toronto region’s manufacturing and distribution sector, made up of essential warehouses and factories that have kept food on our tables and delivered goods to our doors throughout the pandemic.
In fact, data from new research by the Toronto Region Board of Trade’s Economic Blueprint Institute, shows that the Peel Region has one of the lowest capacity for remote work in the entire Toronto Region with 53% of the 608,000 workers in that region needing to be on-site for work. The reality is that the people of Peel have taken on a disproportionate share of the risk of COVID-19 exposure, because the Peel region is where many of our essential workers live and work.
Despite notable efforts by employers in the region to create safe workplaces, production facilities operate at a rapid pace and often involve a high degree of physical contact, climate control and limited ventilation. Additionally, the continued movement of workers in and out of the area, including thousands of truck drivers who are traveling particularly long distances, means virus transmission has been and will continue to be difficult to control in the Peel region.
“Early research suggests that workplace-based vaccination would be more effective than an only vocation-based vaccine rollout strategy,” said Marcy Burchfield, VP of the Economic Blueprint Institute, “Meaning, we should be prioritizing regions of essential work like Peel if we want to be successful at reducing transmission of the virus.”
“The Government of Ontario has done an incredible job at rolling out the vaccine using primarily an age and vocation-based vaccine rollout strategy,” said Jan De Silva, President and CEO of the Toronto Region Board of Trade, “But as evidenced by the spike in COVID-19 cases in Peel, the missing link in Ontario’s vaccine rollout strategy is that government and employers should work together to deploy the vaccine to those who are the most exposed.”
These findings are from Toronto Region Board of Trade’s Economic Blueprint Institute’s forthcoming work in their Business District Profile Series. The series uses data to shine a light under the surface of the pandemic and reveals how it has impacted different districts of the Toronto Region in different ways, and how when it comes to recovery, there is no one-size-fits-all solution.
About Toronto Region Board of Trade
The Toronto Region Board of Trade is one of the largest and most influential business chambers in North America and is a catalyst for the region’s economic agenda. We pursue policy change to drive the growth and competitiveness of the Toronto region and facilitate market opportunities with programs, partnerships and connections to help our members succeed – domestically and internationally.
Andrew Perez, Media Relations Manager