CORNWALL – As the provincial government moves to the second phase of its vaccination plan, the Eastern Ontario Health Unit will open six mass vaccination centres to administer doses.
Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, medical officer of health for the EOHU said that centres will open in Winchester, Cornwall, Alexandria, Casselman, Rockland, and Hawkesbury. These will not be the only mass-immunization sites for the region, but they are the ones to start. He identified the Cornwall Civic Centre as the Cornwall location, the other centres will be in arenas as well due to physical spacing requirements.
He did not give a timeline on when those centres would open.
Roumeliotis said there will also be mobile clinics for vaccination for those who cannot attend a clinic.
“Next month will be increased acceleration of vaccine output,” he said. “This does not take into account AstraZeneca and Johnson and Johnson vaccines.”
The EOHU is already scheduling vaccination appointments for people 80 years old or older (born 1941 or earlier) and is sending out automated robocalls to inform eligible people of instructions on how to book an appointment. Walk-ins are not accepted.
The provincial Phase Two vaccination plan will vaccinate: older adults between 60 and 79 years of age; individuals with specific health conditions and some primary caregivers; people who work or live in congregant living centres; people who live in so-called “hot spots” where there are high rates of death, hospitalization, or transmission; and certain workers who are unable to work from home.
Ontario is launching an online booking tool around March 15th for scheduling vaccinations.
While vaccination plans continue to ramp up, so have COVID-19 infection numbers in the region.
Active infection numbers have increased from 108 on February 26th to 164 as of March 5th. Overall there have been 2,870 people who have contracted the Novel Coronavirus since the pandemic was declared one year ago.
In South Dundas, there is one active case, North Dundas has two active cases, and South Stormont has 27 active cases. The City of Cornwall (53) accounts for nearly one-third of all active cases of COVID-19 in the region.
So far only four people have been identified as having COVID-19 variants, three linked to an outbreak last week at the St. Albert Cheese Cooperative in St. Albert, the fourth case was in Akwesasne.
Of the six long-term care home facilities currently in a declared outbreak, only the Woodland Villa in Long Sault involves residents who have tested positive. The other five facilities in declared outbreak have only employees who have tested positive. All residents of LTC homes who wanted a vaccine have now received both doses, and all residents of retirement homes have receive at least one dose.
Isolated COVID-19 cases have been detected in 11 schools. Each of the 11 have one staff member or one student who tested positive. These include Morrisburg Public School in Morrisburg, Rothwell-Osnabruck School in Ingleside, and North Stormont Public School in Berwick. No outbreaks have been declared in those schools.
The region remains in the Orange-Restrict zone with a rolling seven-day average of infections per 100,000 people of 32.1, and the reproductive rate is 1.15.