Two ‘variant’ cases reported in EOHU region; Roumeliotis supports keeping region in Orange-Restrict

Natascha Wood
Nation Valley News

EASTERN ONTARIO — The region has seen a slight increase in new cases from yesterday compared to previous days, according to the Eastern Ontario Public Health Unit’s website. In his twice-weekly media briefing, Medical Officer Dr. Paul Roumeliotis reported an increase of 10 — three were in Prescott-Russell, three in SD&G, and four in Cornwall. Five COVID-19 positive patients remain in hospital, with one in the ICU.

The doctor also reported the region’s first two COVID-19 cases involving the newer, more transmissible variants of the virus. The EOHU will issue a press release, likely tomorrow, confirming whether or not those people have tested positive for one of the three variants.

There are currently eight ongoing outbreaks of COVID-19 across Eastern Ontario, one of which is a school outbreak Glengarry District High School, where there have been nine cases reported. The remaining seven outbreaks are in congregate living settings — Woodland Villa, Riverview Manor, The Palace Long Term Care, Maxville Manor, Iakhihsohtha Lodge, Chartwell McConnell, and Glen Stor Dun Lodge. The outbreak at Manoir Carillion in Chute-à-Blondeau was declared over by the EOHU yesterday (February 25th).

Given these numbers, Roumeliotis says he would support the region remaining in the Orange-Restrict zone for another week.

The vaccine rollout continues across the region. Health care workers and first-responders, including police and firefighters, have been receiving their first doses of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or the Moderna vaccine. Roumeliotis expects to begin vaccinating those over the age of 80 during the week of March 1st, though an exact date has yet to be determined.

“The more vaccine comes, the quicker it comes, the more we’ll be moving forward into other phases of the rollout,” Roumeliotis said. “The next one will be the 80 plus age-group, so stay tuned for that. We’re ready to go, it’s just a matter of finalizing a few things.”

To aid in the rollout, Health Canada reported this week that it is now in the final stages of approving an additional COVID-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca. The vaccine is expected to be approved in the coming days.

Related:

Four ‘variant of concern’ cases pop up in EOHU region, health unit says; three at St-Albert Cheese

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