COVID-19 cases top nearly 1,400 in region

Nine active cases in South Dundas.

CORNWALL – Between December 24th and 30th, 125 new cases of COVID-19 were diagnosed in the Eastern Ontario Health Unit region, including four in South Dundas.

The overall tally since the pandemic began in February reached a new milestone of 1,393 cases.

As of the December 30th update from the EOHU, there are 259 active cases of COVID-19 in the EOHU region. For the second day in a row, the region experienced double-digit increases in new cases, outstripping the number of resolved cases. Five people are currently hospitalized, none are in intensive care units.

In South Dundas there have been 14 cases total, 9 of which are active. Neighbouring North Dundas has had 31 cases, four are active. South Stormont has had 46 cases overall, six are active.

Around the region, the City of Cornwall has 255 cases, 61 active. SDG Counties – including the South Dundas, North Dundas, and South Stormont cases – has had 279 cases, 57 cases are currently active.

Prescott-Russell has had 819 cases, 140 active; and the Northern Portion of Akwesasne (Cornwall Island, ON and Snye, QC) have had 40 cases, one of which is active.

There are nine active outbreaks including eight long-term care homes and at the Cornwall Community Hospital. The eight LTC home outbreaks include Stor-Dun-Glen Lodge and St. Joeseph Continuing Care in Cornwall, Woodlawn Villa in Long Sault, and homes in Russell, Lancaster, Plantagenet, Hammond, and Akwesasne.

Since the pandemic began, 33 people have died from COVID-19  in the region, most of those deaths were in LTC homes.

With the arrival of two approved vaccines in Canada, the EOHU is advising residents to remain vigilant and maintain public health measures.

Limited amounts of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are already in Canada but their delivery is being prioritized by the government.

Residents, staff, and other employees of long-term care and retirement homes, health care workers, and adults in Indigenous communities are the first to receive the vaccine.

So far the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which requires ultra-cold storage facilities, has started to be given to health care workers in Toronto and Ottawa. The Moderna vaccine requires less frigid storage methods and will first be deployed to LTC and retirement home residents and staff.

Adults who do not fit one of the priority categories will have to wait until more supplies are received in Canada, likely not until mid-2021.

“While the arrival of the vaccine in Canada is a promising sign for the future, the reality is that the majority of Canadians will not have received their vaccine until the second half of 2021,” said EOHU Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis. “In the meantime, I am urging residents to maintain public health measures like masking, physical distancing and proper hand washing to avoid spikes in our communities, keep our schools open and protect our local businesses.”

With the December 26th lockdown, school infection reporting will not be updated until elementary students begin returning to in-class learning on January 11th.

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