Nine active COVID-19 cases in South Dundas; vaccines have yet to arrive here but will be effective against UK strain, says EOHU

Natascha Wood 

Nation Valley News

EASTERN ONTARIO — In lieu of the semi-weekly media briefing, Eastern Ontario Public Health has released updated information about the pandemic as the region enters its fourth day in lockdown. Cases of COVID-19 are still on the rise, with 259 active cases in Eastern Ontario, 170 of which have been reported since December 22nd. 20 new active cases have been reported since yesterday— 20 in Prescott Russell, 15 in SDG, and 15 in Cornwall.

Outbreaks in congregate living settings are still ongoing in Tsiionkwanonhso:te Long Term Care Home, Valoris Residence (211), Pinecrest Nursing Home, and Lancaster Long Term Care. New outbreaks have been reported since the last media briefing (December 22nd) at Russell Meadows Retirement Home, St-Joseph’s Continuing Care Centre, Woodland Villa, Glen Stor Dun Lodge, and the Cornwall Community Hospital’s critical care unit. This will be St Joseph’s and Russell Meadows’ second outbreak in the last two months.

While students are on leave from school, EOHU has not been updating school-related outbreaks. However, a new outbreak was reported on December 24th at École secondaire catholique L’Escale in Rockland. It joins the month-long outbreak at École élémentaire catholique Saint-Isidore, which has yet to be resolved.

South Dundas has seen a marked rise in cases over the past few days, where before its numbers have remained relatively low compared to other municipalities. Currently, there have been fourteen total cases in the area, nine of which are still active. This is the first time South Dundas has reached double digits in case counts. Subsequently, the EOHU is urging people to continue taking precautions and following rules put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

This is especially important now that the fast-spreading COVID-19 variant is in Canada, with three cases reported in Ottawa. Though the EOHU says it has not detected the variant within its catchment area, it won’t know until it receives test results from an infected individual.

While less is known about the COVID-19 variant than the original strain, cases in the UK have led scientists to believe that the variant has increased ability to spread amongst the population and it might also result in the severity of symptoms. The EOHU says, however, that both vaccines, Pfizer and Moderna, will still be effective against both types of COVID-19. They are due to arrive in Eastern Ontario imminently.

Eastern Ontario Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis returns to his regular media briefing schedule next week.

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