Region to remain in Orange as COVID-19 cases increase

Twelve active cases in South Dundas.

March 19, 2021 map of total and active COVID-19 cases in the Eastern Ontario Health Unit region. (Supplied/EOHU graphic)

CORNWALL – No new regional restrictions will be imposed as COVID-19 cases continue to increase in the Eastern Ontario Health Unit region.

Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, medical officer of health for the EOHU said during his March 18th media availability that he had recommend the region remain at the Orange-Restrict level under the provincial COVID-19 reopening framework. The City of Ottawa moved from Orange to Red Friday morning due to escalating case counts.

Five new cases have been diagnosed in South Dundas, increasing the active case count to 12 for the municipality. There are six active cases in North Dundas, 14 in South Stormont, and 74 in the City of Cornwall. Overall there are 171 active cases, and 3,062 total cases since the pandemic was declared one year ago.

The region’s intensive care unit capacity in hospitals according to the province is currently 67 per cent. There are 22 people hospitalized with COVID-19, six are in the ICU. There have been 69 COVID-19 related deaths in the EOHU.

Statistics for new cases in the region are relatively stable. The reproductive rate has dropped to one from 1.15. The rolling seven day average of new infections per 100,000 people is 41.8. The average has been above 40 for the past 11 days.

There are eight facilities currently declared in an outbreak, all but one is staff-related only. The longest outbreak so far in the pandemic is now declared over. The outbreak at the Woodland Villa in Long Sault was first declared on December 27, 2020 and was finally declared over on March 17, 2021. Fifty residents and 19 staff had tested positive at the facility, and six residents died.

Eleven students and one staff member across 10 schools in the region have active cases of the Novel Coronavirus. There are no outbreaks but some schools in the EOHU will be having voluntary asymptomatic COVID-19 testing as part of an initiative by the Ministries of Education and Health.

Vaccinations expanded

Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced Friday morning (March 19th) that province-wide vaccinations of people age 75 and older will begin booking on March 22nd. Until now, people age 80 and older could book online or by phone for a vaccination appointment.

The EOHU is running six appointment-only vaccination clinics including at the Joel Steele Arena in Winchester. Other sites in the region include in Cornwall, Alexandria, and Rockland. As vaccinations continue into Phase Two, more sites will be opened. Roumeliotis said that pharmacies and doctor’s offices are also in the plan once supply allows.

All residents of long-term care homes and retirement homes have received both doses of vaccine.

To date, 16,335 doses of vaccine, mostly Pfizer-BioNTech have been given in the EOHU. Nearly 3.68 million doses of vaccine have been administered in Canada since the first vaccines were approved in December 2020.

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