CORNWALL – As the testing backlog continues to clear, the number of COVID-19 cases shows a continued upward trend.
The Eastern Ontario Health Unit reported a record 673 new infections over a three-day period from December 31, 2021 to January 2, 2022. But those tests reflect the backlog of tests as the province changed its testing strategy on December 31, 2021, limiting PCR tests to high-risk settings and individuals.
COVID-19 rates have reached record-setting levels due to the more contagious Omicron variant.
The EOHU reported 2,244 active COVID-19 infections and 9,057 overall infections since the pandemic began.
Infections increased by 30 people in South Dundas over the New Year’s weekend. As of January 3, there are 71 active infections in South Dundas, and 206 cumulative infections since the pandemic began.
North Dundas has 97 active infections, North Stormont 71, South Stormont 195, and the City of Cornwall 725 people infected.
Changes by the province for tracking the pandemic now focus more on hospitalizations and intensive care unit admissions.
The EOHU reported nine patients hospitalized with COVID-19, two of whice are in the ICU. One additional death was also reported, increasing the overall death toll for the pandemic in the region to 135 people.
Six COVID-19 outbreaks are reported in long-term care homes in the region including Woodlawn Villa in Long Sault and Heritage Heights in Cornwall. There are no LTC outbreaks reported in Dundas County.
Three daycares and three schools are in reported outbreak due to testing. Changes to COVID-19 testing regulations and reporting mean COVID-19 infection numbers in schools will no longer be reported. Outbreaks will be determined by large-scale student or staff absenteeism.
Phillip Blancher, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Morrisburg Leader