TORONTO – Local COVID-19 numbers have been sharply increasing for the past two weeks in the Eastern Ontario Health Unit region. As expected, the provincial government announced this afternoon that the region will move into Orange-Restrict restrictions as of 12:01 a.m. December 14th.
The move to Orange means that restaurants can only seat four customers per table rather than six under Yellow level restrictions. Restaurants and bars must stop serving alcohol an hour earlier and close an hour earlier than before. Restrictions for spas, hair salons, and barber shops include no services for anything that requires removing a face mask for a set amount of time. There also will be more restrictions on visitation, volunteering, and testing to enter a long-term care facility to see a family member.
A full list of restrictions in place under the Orange-Protect level is available here.
The EOHU region was last in Orange-Protect between November 26-23.
The rolling seven-day average of infections per 100,000 people has been above 25 cases. The EOHU reported on December 11th that the average was 49.5.
As of December 11th, the region had 292 active cases, the highest ever since the pandemic began. The region’s tally for COVID-19 infection stands at 1,067 with 32 deaths attributed to the pandemic. There was one new death from the virus in the past week.
SDG has 90 active cases of COVID-19, none of which are in South Dundas. South Dundas remains below five cases overall since the pandemic began. North Dundas has six active cases while South Stormont has 17. South Glengarry, a COVID-19 hot spot, has 49 active cases.
Prescott-Russell has 133 the active cases, while COVID-19 numbers have sharply spiked in Cornwall. The city now leads all municipalities with 68 active cases.
EOHU Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis confirmed that many of the new cases have epidemiological links to other cases, with infection inside a household spreading from one family member to another.
“Most are, including a big cluster in Cornwall,” he said.
Two outbreaks are active in schools in the region, one in a French-Catholic elementary school in St. Isidore, the other at the Al Rashid Islamic Institute – a boarding school in South Glengarry.
Three long-term care homes in Cornwall are also listed by the EOHU as having an outbreak of COVID-19 in the facility. The fourth outbreak, at Residence Prescott-Russell has been active since October 7th. Eight people are in hospital, and one of those hospitalized are in Intensive Care.
Also moving up the COVID-19 response framework ladder is the neighbouring Leeds-Grenville-Lanark District Health Unit area. That region moves from Green to Yellow as of December 14th as well.