Eastern Ontario sees 107 new cases of COVID-19 over weekend; 9 outbreaks in schools

Natascha Wood
Nation Valley News

EASTERN ONTARIO — In his twice-weekly media briefing on April 12th, 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 107 new cases since Friday, April 9th. 48 were in Prescott-Russell, 34 were in SD&G, and 25 were in Cornwall. As of today, 72% of active cases in Eastern Ontario have been attributed to the COVID-19 variants, primarily the UK variant.

There are 33 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 and seven in the ICU. There have also been four more deaths attributed to the virus in Eastern Ontario, bringing the regional death toll to 88 since the beginning of the pandemic.

There are 14 outbreaks, now primarily in schools because most people living in and working in congregate living settings have been vaccinated. Congregate living outbreaks are in Maxville Manor, St-Joseph’s Continuing Care Centre – Complex Continuing Care side, and the East Wing and CCC Unit of the Hawkesbury & District General Hospital.

School outbreaks are at Morrisburg Public School, St. Mary Catholic School, École secondaire catholique Le Relais, École élémentaire catholique de l’Ange-Gardien, École secondaire catholique de Casselman, École secondaire catholique régionale de Hawkesbury, École élémentaire catholique Curé-Labrosse, Bridgewood Public School, and École secondaire catholique La Citadelle. Roumeliotis explained that most of the cases found at the schools were not connected, but came from outside, largely from family gatherings over Easter.

Given the number of outbreaks in schools, the Doctor expressed support for Premier Ford’s decision to have schools return to online learning by April 15th. In the past, Roumeliotis has been hesitant to get behind the closure of schools, but unfortunately, it is now necessary until the cases begin to decrease.

Roumeliotis went on to provide an update about the vaccination rollout, which is still going strong across the region at mass immunization sites and now pharmacies. He reports that the clinics have been operating smoothly and people have been arriving for their appointments. However, the EOHU remains limited by the supply of vaccine it has been receiving.

The Doctor reminds the public to continue adhering to public health measures, like masking, maintaining social distancing, and keeping within your household.

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