14 outbreaks and 32 patients hospitalized with COVID-19; Roumeliotis asks public for patience

Dr. Paul Roumeliotis on April 1, 2021.

Natascha Wood
Nation Valley News

EASTERN ONTARIO — In his twice-weekly media briefing on April 1st, 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 32 new cases since Wednesday, March 31st. Nine were in Prescott-Russell, two were in SD&G, six were in Cornwall, and 14 were in the Northern Portion of Akwesasne.

The numbers of hospitalizations and outbreaks continue to rise, as has been the case across the province. In Eastern Ontario, there are currently 32 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 and eight in the ICU, two of which are in their 50’s.

There are 14 outbreaks across the region, three of which are in schools. Congregate living outbreaks are in Chartwell McConnell, Baldwin House, Heartwood LTC, Maxville Manor, Sandfield Place Retirement Home, Heritage Lodge, Le Genesis Retirement Home, St-Joseph’s Continuing Care Centre – Complex Continuing Care side, The Palace Long Term Care, and the East Wing and CCC Unit of the Hawkesbury & District Memorial Hospital. As it stands now, the St-Josephs Continuing Care Centre outbreak is the only outbreak with positive residents. All other congregate living outbreaks are the result of staff testing positive for the virus. School outbreaks are in Morrisburg Public School, St. Mary Catholic School, and École secondaire catholique Le Relais.

Unfortunately, there have also been an unprecedented number of deaths attributed to the virus since Monday. Nine people have tragically succumbed to COVID-19 in the past three days, bringing Eastern Ontario’s death toll to 82.

In more positive news, there are 41 vaccination clinics operating in Eastern Ontario, with more expected to open in the coming weeks. Three Eastern Ontario pharmacies are slated to begin offering vaccinations as an extension to the pharmacy rollout pilot. The pharmacies are in Winchester, Embrun and Hawkesbury.

Dr. Paul Roumeliotis on April 1, 2021.

Dr Roumeliotis also announced that the EOHU has been allocated a delivery of the AstraZeneca vaccine and a Johnson and Johnson delivery by the end of April. Additionally, Canada will receive five million doses of the Pfizer vaccine sooner than planned. With this increase in supply on the way and the infrastructure to distribute it, Roumeliotis is hopeful that vaccinations on other age groups will be able to begin soon. Canada will also receive

In response to the study released by the Ontario Medical Association that named Eastern Ontario as a hotspot for online sharing of misinformation, Dr Roumeliotis explained that the Health Unit is doing everything it can to combat the problem, using social media and local media outlets to provide accurate information. He noted that the EOHU is one of the only Health Units in Ontario to do frequent media briefings.

Ontario goes into a month-long shutdown on Saturday, April 3rd, 2021 at 12:01 AM. To learn more about the rules and restrictions under the new shutdown, please visit the Government of Ontario’s website. Data suggests that if the province does not shut down now, cases may rise to 6,000 in a single day by the end of April. Dr Roumeliotis urges everyone to stay within their household and adhere to the restrictions so that Eastern Ontario can breathe a sigh of relief sooner rather than later.

The next media briefing with Eastern Ontario Medical Officer Dr Paul Roumeliotis will be on Tuesday, April 6th at 4:15 PM.

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