Step One of Reopening to begin on June 11th in Ontario; Delta variant cases still few in Eastern Ontario

Natascha Wood
Nation Valley News

EASTERN ONTARIO — In his twice-weekly media briefing on June 7th, 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 three new cases of the virus added since Friday, June 4th. One was reported in Prescott-Russell and two were reported in SD&G.

As for hospitalizations, there are still five patients hospitalized with COVID-19 and four patients in the ICU. The number of individuals in hospital with the virus has remained steady for approximately two weeks. Additionally, tomorrow marks the beginning of the third week since the end of the last COVID-19 outbreak in the region.

While these numbers are promising, the virus continues to pose a threat, as Eastern Ontario’s official death toll has, unfortunately, risen once more to 106, following the passing of another individual from COVID-19.

Roumeliotis reported that the EOHU has administered 124,074 doses of COVID-19 vaccine across the region. This means that approximately 74.3 per cent of the local population has received at least one dose. According to the Doctor, the EOHU is averaging 1,000 doses administered per clinic, per day. Pharmacies are receiving 4,000 doses a week, and primary caregivers are also being given supply to keep up with demand.

Roumeliotis encouraged everyone who is currently eligible to book their second doses, as it is the only way to protect from the more severe Delta variant. Those who are 70 years of age or above are eligible to book their second dose via the provincial booking system.

Following the announcement that Ontario will enter the first stage of its Reopening Plan on June 11th at 12:01 AM, the Doctor explained the allowances and restrictions that will be in place for at least 21 days. The first stage will allow outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people, outdoor dining with up to four people from different households per table, and access to non-essential retail at 15 per cent capacity.

For those hoping to enjoy the sun, outdoor pools, zoos, historic sites, outdoor fitness classes, and overnight camping will also be open for business. A full list of businesses and activities that will reopen with capacity limits can be found on the provincial website.

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