83 COVID-19 cases added in a week

·3 min read

CORNWALL – Despite rising numbers of COVID-19 infection in Eastern Ontario, the top doctor for the region says the numbers are starting to trend in the right direction – downward.

According to the Eastern Ontario Health Unit’s rolling seven-day average of COVID-19 infection, numbers are starting to decline.

“The trends for the overall health unit have been up and down and have stabilized around the 25 to 30 mark,” said EOHU medical officer of health Dr. Paul Roumelitotis during his November 2nd media update.

During the first peak of the second wave, infection numbers were at around the 55 person mark for the rolling seven-day average. Roumeliotis credited the new public health measures imposed over a week ago.

“This is a slight downward trend, which I am quite happy about,” he said.

Even with COVID-19 rates beginning a downward trajectory, the region added 83 new cases in the past week. As of November 2nd, there have been 633 infections since the pandemic began, 203 of the cases are considered by the EOHU as active.

Over the weekend, three more residents of the region’s worst outbreak died. The outbreak at Prescott Russell Manor in Hawkesbury has seen 83 residents and 55 staff members infected. Of those, 48 residents and 34 staff are considered resolved and 12 people have died from the outbreak at that government-run long-term care home.

“This is terrible, it is a tragedy. Our hearts go out to the families,” Roumelitois said.

In SDG County, South Glengarry continues to lead in COVID-19 infections with 41 overall cases, six currently active. North Dundas has had 18 cases, one of which is active. Meanwhile numbers for South Dundas remain unchanged with fewer than five total cases, and no active cases reported.

There are currently eight people hospitalized due to the virus, two of which are in the intensive care unit at Cornwall Community Hospital.

In North and South Dundas, no schools or LTC facilities have active cases of COVID-19 or outbreaks. There are four LTC facilities in the EOHU region in outbreak, and there are eight cases spread across six schools in the region. One daycare in Cornwall also had an outbreak in the past week.

Flu Clinics Coming

The EOHU is planning to roll out two drive-through flu clinics, one in Cornwall, the other in Casselman, in the coming weeks. In addition, the health unit will be offering flu shots at its six public health offices across the region including in Winchester.

While private pharmacies in larger centres in Ontario have seen shortages and cancelled appointments, that hasn’t been an issue here so far.

Roumeliotis said that supplies of this year’s flu vaccine through public health have been good and that the vaccine for high risk individuals has been distributed already.

“We just started our clinics this week and we’re getting booked quite quickly,” he said.

Roumeliotis said that there are no plans to add further drive through clinics at this time, meaning South Dundas residents who want a flu shot will have to travel to Winchester or Cornwall to receive one.

Phillip Blancher, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Leader