New crowd control measures imposed at department stores as Eastern Ontario to remain in Orange-Restrict another week

EASTERN ONTARIO — Medical Officer of Health Dr Paul Roumeliotis confirmed in Friday’s media briefing that the region will remain in the Orange-Restrict zone for the coming week. This comes as a continued effort to keep the number of positive COVID-19 cases down in Eastern Ontario.

The cumulative cases since the beginning of the pandemic now stand at 1,171, with active cases at 292. As of Dec. 18, there has been an increase of seven cases since a day earlier, five of which were in Cornwall and two in Prescott-Russell. Roumeliotis expressed relief that the daily increase has remained in the single digits, pointing out that the previous days have all seen double-digit increases.

There are eight outbreaks in congregate living settings — Parisien Manor, The Palace Long Term Care, Heritage Heights, Tsiionkwanonhso:te Long Term Care Home, Champlain Long Term Care, Sunset Cove Retirement Home, Valoris Residence and the Prescott and Russell Residence (with only one staff member involved at that institution.) However, Roumeliotis said they are all stable, and pending testing, the outbreak at Parisien Manor may be declared over Friday night (Dec. 18).

In all, there are 47 active cases in 25 schools — but only three of those schools are classified as being in “outbreak” (a definition that requires two linked cases within a school setting). École élémentaire Catholique La Source, École élémentaire Catholique Saint-Isidore, and the dormitory at Al Rashid Islamic Institute represent the three ongoing outbreaks.

Roumeliotis also confirmed the issuing of a Section 22 order to limit the capacity of grocery stores, big box stores, and multi-departmental stores. He said this was done partly because of the inspections that took place earlier this month, but also because of numerous complaints about overcrowding received from members of the public.

“With holiday shopping, we’re seeing large crowds in many stores, which increases the risk of exposure to COVID-19 at this critical time,” Roumeliotis said in a press release. “I have issued this Order to protect employees, business patrons and the broader community. Putting measures in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 also protects our local businesses by helping us avoid business closures–a last resort to control the spread of the virus.”

The order went into effect today, Dec. 19.

Below, the case numbers in the EOHU jurisdiction area.

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