Nation Valley News
EASTERN ONTARIO — In his twice-weekly media briefing on March 25th, Eastern Ontario Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis provided updates on the latest COVID-19 developments in the region, reporting that there have been 29 new cases of the virus added since yesterday (March 24th). 16 were in Prescott-Russell, eight were in SD&G, and five were in Cornwall. There are also 30 patients hospitalized with the virus and six in the ICU.
There are eight outbreaks ongoing across the region at Chartwell McConnell, Baldwin House, Heartwood LTC, Maxville Manor, Sandfield Place Retirement Home, Greenview Manor, and the East Wing and the CCC Unit of Hawkesbury & District General Hospital. The outbreak at The Palace Long Term Care home was declared over on Tuesday, March 23rd.
Given the upward trend in new cases, Roumeliotis confirmed that Eastern Ontario will be returning to the Red-Control zone, effective Monday, March 29th. He hopes that these measures will curb the spread of the original COVID-19 strain as well as the increasingly prevalent UK strain, while preventing the EOHU from being further overwhelmed. An official announcement is expected to come tomorrow.
“All our indicators are in the Red zone,” the doctor said.
Despite the struggles currently facing the Health Unit, efforts to distribute the COVID-19 vaccines are continuing, though the delivery of only 4,000 doses a week from Pfizer puts the EOHU at a considerable disadvantage against COVID-19. The EOHU does not have any supply of the Astra-Zeneca vaccine, nor is it currently slated to receive any, and Moderna deliveries are not as frequent as those from Pfizer. Still, Roumeliotis says plans are underway to open more vaccination sites in the coming weeks.
In response to a question from Nation Valley News about the new Rapid Testing site at Dundas Manor Retirement Home, Roumeliotis explained that rapid tests being available three days a week — rather than daily — is an attempt to find a balance between testing being effective and being “a pain”. He also explained that the site’s purpose is to ensure staff and visitors who have not yet received their first or second dose are safe to enter the facility.