EOHU COVID positivity rate dips below 10 per cent

Nick Laurin
EOHU COVID positivity rate dips below 10 per cent
Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, Medical Officer of Health with the EOHU during a conference call on May 25, 2021.

CORNWALL, Ontario – On March 23, 2022, Dr. Paul Roumeliotis from EOHU provided a weekly COVID-19 update.

Even though Dr. Paul’s media briefings stopped last week, he will be providing a weekly COVID-19 update on Wednesdays.

“I still think it’s important for us to provide the community and the media updates on where we are with COVID-19,” said Dr. Roumeliotis.

Dr. Roumeliotis started the presentation by providing some local status updates and statistics.

“We have no ICU admissions, and we’re only at 3 hospitalisations,” said Dr. Roumeliotis. “Our numbers are really going downwards. Our positivity rate is down, it’s about 9.9 per cent as of yesterday (March 22), and just to remind you, this was about 30 to 40 per cent about 6 weeks ago.”

Additionally, Public Health Units across the province of Ontario are also experiencing a downwards trend.

As of today, there have been a total of 211 deaths in Ontario due to COVID-19.

“We’ve had more deaths in wave five (the most recent one), it’s not because it’s a deadlier virus, it’s because many more people got infected,” said Dr. Roumeliotis. “We had 3,000 to 4,000 cases a day, as compared to wave two where we had 300 to 400 cases a day.”

Currently, Ontario is sitting at 88.3 per cent of people who have received their first dose. 84.3 per cent of people have received their second dose. 59.6 per cent have received their third dose.

Dr. Roumeliotis showed a graph demonstrating that a third vaccine dose offers better protection against Omicron infection over time, rather than two doses.

“We’re also doing studies on antibody levels on individuals who have been vaccinated, and then doing them serially after they’ve been vaccinated,” said Dr. Roumeliotis. “If you get a third dose, you get almost more than double protection over time, compared to two doses.”

Dr. Roumeliotis believes that fourth doses may be required this fall, but no decision has been made yet.

Even with the mask mandate being lifted in Ontario, Dr. Roumeliotis explains that masks are still an effective public health measure to reduce COVID-19 transmission.

“If I wear a mask, basically what happens is that it prevents me from spreading germs, that’s the bottom line. We also know that masks protect the wearer as well,” said Dr. Roumeliotis. “Cloth masks probably give between 55 to 66 per cent protection, a medical mask 66 to 70 per cent, according to one study done.”

The weekly update ended with Dr. Roumeliotis reminding people to not forget the basic tenets of public health in regards to COVID:

  •     Screen for symptoms, and stay at home when sick
  •     Use Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) as necessary
  •     Wash your hands frequently
  •     Cough and sneeze into your arm
  •     Wear a mask when required or based on your individual risk or situation.
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