EASTERN ONTARIO — The region is on its second day of Orange-Restrict zone since it was put in place yesterday, Monday, December 14th, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. And it comes just as 61 cases were reported over the weekend and ten were reported yesterday, bringing the cumulative cases to 1,135 since the start of the pandemic. Ten were in Cornwall, two in Akewsasne, thirty-three in Prescott-Russell, and sixteen were in SDG.
There are now 333 active cases in Eastern Ontario and thirteen outbreaks at schools, long-term care homes, and retirement residences. The school outbreaks at École élémentaire Catholique Saint-Isidore, École élémentaire Catholique La Source in Moose Creek, and the dormitory at the Al Rashid Islamic Institute have yet to be resolved.
The congregate living outbreaks at Parisien Manor, Royal Manor Rest Home, St-Joseph’s Continuing Care Centre, The Palace Long Term Care, Heritage Heights, and the Tsiionkwanonhso:te Long Term Care Home are also ongoing. However, Medical Officer of Eastern Ontario Dr. Paul Roumeliotis confirmed that the outbreak at Residence Prescott-Russel remains stable, with only one active case — a staff member — out of a total 177 cases.
Additionally, new congregate living outbreaks were reported in the past few days at Champlain Long Term Care in L’Orignal, Sunset Cove Retirement Home in Long Sault, and Valoris Residence in Hammond.
As the pilot vaccination clinics for health care workers in Ottawa and Toronto enter their second day of administering the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, Roumeliotis said that he expects to rely heavily on the Moderna vaccine in Eastern Ontario, which may arrive by the end of the month, pending approval by Health Canada. He said this is because the Moderna vaccine will be much better suited to mobile clinics travelling between and into long-term care homes, especially in rural areas.
The doctor also intends to tackle crowding at big box stores, saying he will issue a section 22 order imposing limits on the number of people allowed within separate departments inside these bigger retailers.
Roumeliotis summed up his media briefing by again stressing the importance of adhering the health guidelines over the holidays. He said that if the numbers do not improve, Eastern Ontario may stray into the Red-Control zone.
“You see we’re almost teetering at the Red Zone, and I don’t want to go there. I don’t want to have a post-holiday surge. Again, I’m asking people to stay at home, don’t travel, don’t receive visitors from out of the region, stay with your family bubble, and hopefully, we can continue seeing that slight decrease that we want,” Roumeliotis said.