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Ontario city considered COVID-19 hot spot warns 'reckless' backyard parties need to stop
TORONTO -- The mayor of Brampton, Ont. is urging residents to stop the "reckless" behaviour after more than a dozen charges were laid in relation to "backyard parties" over the past week.
Mayor Patrick Brown said between May 26 and June 1, a total of 56 charges were laid against people not following municipal and provincial orders put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19.
He noted that 19 of the charges related to parties in the backyards of homes in the city.
"Please understand this is not the time for social gatherings," he said during his weekly news conference on Wednesday. "We must listen to the advice of public health."
Brampton, which has been identified as one of the province’s COVID-19 hot spots, "continues to be challenged" by the disease, Brown said.
The region's medical officer of health noted Wednesday that Peel Region is still seeing about 50 new cases each day.
"I continue to be alarmed that when you look at the positive cases we have, a high number of young people between the ages of 20 and 29 are testing positive," Brown said.
"You may not appreciate the severity of this virus but you are spreading it. You are putting loved ones, parents and grandparents, at risk. And this reckless behaviour must stop."
Brown also announced Wednesday that Brampton will follow other municipalities in the province by requiring passengers on public transit to wear masks.
The directive, Brown said, will come in effect on July 2 and passengers will be permitted to wear any type of face covering, including scarves.
"This is about ensuring the safety of passengers. It is about the safety of our Brampton Transit System," he said.
"I understand our transit system is integral to the city. Brampton is the food-processing capital of Canada. We've got more food pressing companies than any other big city. We've got medical laboratories. Public transit is critical for these essential front-line jobs."