Cornwall Mayor calls on Premier for more support to fight COVID

Image of Nick Seebruch
By Nick Seebruch
Cornwall Mayor calls on Premier for more support to fight COVID
A still of Mayor Bernadette Clement addressing Cornwall residents in a Facebook live video.

CORNWALL, Ontario – Cornwall Mayor Bernadette Clement is calling on Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Minister of Health Christine Elliot to provide more resources to help combat the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I am respectfully requesting urgent consideration of our community requiring additional resources to support us in our specific battle against the virus and its variants at this particularly critical juncture of the pandemic,” reads Mayor Clement’s letter, which was co-signed by Jim McDonell, MPP for Stormont, Dundas, and South Glengarry.

The Mayor cites rising numbers of COVID-19 Variants of Concern (VoCs) as well the impact the pandemic is currently having on the Cornwall Community Hospital (CCH). The province ranks the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) region as being in the top 10 provincially for the rate of VoCs.

RELATED: Cornwall Council receives hospital update

In a Special Council Meeting on April 8, Jeanette Despatie, CEO of the CCH told Council that the pandemic was currently straining the hospital’s capacity not only in terms of available beds, but also on their personnell.

It not only creates a challenge for beds, but for staffing. These are demands that we have never seen before, but have definitely prepared for,” said Despatie.

Despatie warned at that time that she believed that the worst was yet to come.

“We really do think it will get worse before it gets better. Hopefully people are just extra vigilant. We have asked for this over the course of the last year, but never has it been more important than now,” she said.

Clement outlined these concerns in her letter. She also stated that while two pharmacies in Cornwall had been approved to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine, they had not yet begun to do so.

“We have been advised that only two pharmacies have been identified in our City of approximately 47,500 people,” the Mayor’s letter reads. “We look forward to the time when those pharmacies begin booking appointments.”

READ MORE: Two Cornwall pharmacies added to COVID-19 vaccine distribution list

As of Friday morning, April 16 there were 143 active COVID-19 cases in the City of Cornwall with a total of 498 active cases across the EOHU region. At that time there were also 37 people hospitalized with the disease and eight individuals in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

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