Return to Orange Level restrictions expected

CORNWALL – A surge in COVID-19 infections throughout the Eastern Ontario Health Unit region is expected to return the region back to Orange-Restrict level restrictions.

“I do expect to be put into Orange given our numbers,” said EOHU Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis. “Likely the decision is to be made Thursday (December 10th).”

For nearly two weeks, the EOHU region, which includes SDG Counties, Cornwall, Prescott-Russell, and the northern portion of Akwesasne, has seen levels to prompt the move to Orange.

The rolling seven-day average of infections per 100,000 people has been above 25 cases. Four of the last five days have seen a rate of over 40 cases per 100,000 people in the region. Since the weekend, over 30 new infections were added to the already high levels of active cases. As of December 7th, the region had 213 active cases, the highest ever since the pandemic began. The region’s tally for COVID-19 infection stands at 978 with 31 deaths attributed to the pandemic.

SDG has 35 active cases of COVID-19, none of which are in South Dundas. South Dundas remains below five cases overall since the pandemic began. North Dundas has five active cases while South Stormont has 17.

Prescott-Russell has 108 of the active cases, while COVID-19 numbers have sharply spiked in Cornwall. The city now leads all municipalities with 65 active cases.

Roumeliotis confirmed that many of the new cases have epidemiological links to other cases, with infection inside a household spreading from one family member to another.

“Most are, including a big cluster in Cornwall,” he said.

Two outbreaks are active in schools in the region, one in a French-Catholic elementary school in St. Isidore, the other at the Al Rashid Islamic Institute – a boarding school in South Glengarry.

Twelve schools in the EOHU region reported positive COVID-19 results in staff or students. There are a total of 31 people infected in schools in the region.

Last week, the Upper Canada District School Board said there were two cases at North Dundas District High School however only one case was reported by the EOHU in the intermediate division at the school.

An outbreak is declared in a school when there are two or more connected cases of infection. A school can have more than two cases and not be in outbreak if there is no connection between the cases.

Three long-term care homes in Cornwall are also listed by the EOHU as having an outbreak of COVID-19 in the facility. The fourth outbreak, at Residence Prescott-Russell has been active since October 7th. Six people are in hospital, none of those hospitalized are in Intensive Care.
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