CORNWALL, Ontario – Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, Medical Officer of Health with the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) is asking residents to avoid unnecessary travel amid rising cases of COVID-19 in the region.
As of Monday, Jan. 11, there are 695 active cases in the EOHU region, which represents an additional 166 cases from Friday, Jan. 8.
Dr. Roumeliotis shared new data with the public in his media call on Monday showing that most cases are the result of close contacts with either friends, family members or a co-worker.
He went on to state that he expected that the province of Ontario will announce further restrictions on Tuesday, Jan. 12. The province entered a shutdown on Dec. 26. Dr. Roumeliotis said it was possible that the province cancel all non-essential events and rule that all workers who can work from home, must do so.
“The message would be staying home, decreasing opportunities for going out,” he said.
When asked what he would ask people to do to help stop the spread of the pandemic, Dr. Roumeliotis re-iterated that residents should stay home.
“I’m asking people as much as possible stay home. Don’t travel. Don’t go out unless it is necessary,” he said.
According to Dr. Roumeliotis, the EOHU is in the top 15 health units across the province in terms of its COVID-19 positivity rate.
The EOHU region is going to receive its first doses of the Pfizer-BionTech COVID-19 vaccine this week, with doses of the Moderna vaccine on its way as well.
The first to receive doses of the vaccine will be residents and employees of long-term care facilities.
Dr. Roumeliotis said that vaccine doses will arrive in the region on a monthly basis, and he expects that the volume of doses will rise once the AztraZeneca vaccine is approved.
“Right now it is trickling out, but it will let loose very shortly especially if we get another vaccine approved,” he said.
At time of writing, the EOHU is reporting 244 COVID-19 cases in Cornwall, 37 in the Northern portion of Akwesasne, 68 in South Glengarry, 32 in South Stormont, seven in South Dundas, 11 in North Dundas, 13 in North Stormont, 29 in North Glengarry, zero in East Hawkesbury, 17 in Hawkesbury, 18 in Champlain, 17 in the Nation, 17 in Casselman, 52 in Russell, 92 in Clarence-Rockland and 41 in Alfred and Plantagenet.
There are currently 18 people hospitalized five are in an Intensive Care Unit. There have been 38 deaths from COVID-19 since March of 2020.