EOHU sounding COVID-19 alarm as cases rise

·2 min read

CORNWALL – The number of COVID-19 infections continue to increase in the EOHU region, led primarily by infections based in Cornwall.

Over the past week, nearly two-thirds of all new infections have been centred in postal codes that represent Cornwall.

These increases prompted the Eastern Ontario Health Unit and the Cornwall Community Hospital to ring the alarm about lower vaccination rates in the city.

According to the EOHU, test positivity in Cornwall was five times the provincial average, and some areas of the city have two-dose vaccination rates as low as 69 per cent. The two-dose vaccination average for people 12 years or older in the health unit region is 84 per cent.

“It is not a coincidence that we are seeing such a large spike in cases and hospitalizations in Cornwall,” said EOHU Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis. “High rates of community COVID-19 transmission translate into higher rates of cases and outbreaks in congregate and school settings, which we’re now seeing.”

He added that a large majority of COVID-19 infections in Cornwall are people who are unvaccinated.

Roumeliotis said he and CCH officials worry that Thanksgiving holiday gatherings will increase further spread and infections.

“The solution is to increase the vaccination rate in the Cornwall area and to continue following public health guidelines,” he said.

As of the October 8 local update, there were 154 active COVID-19 infections with 13 hospitalized and six in Intensive Care.

Since then, 13 new cases were added October 9, and 17 cases on October 10.

Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, no local or provincial case information is available before The Leader’s publication deadline.

As of October 9, there was still one active case in South Dundas, eight in North Dundas, 12 in South Stormont, five in North Stormont, and 76 in Cornwall. Of the 61 cases diagnosed since October 1, 19 cases are people under the age of 20, 22 are in the 20-39 demographic, and 20 are people age 40 and older.

COVID-19 vaccinations remain available at all six EOHU offices, at pop-up clinics operated by the health unit and its community partners, and at local pharmacies. Gilmer Pharmacy in Iroquois and Seaway Valley Pharmacy in Morrisburg both offer COVID-19 vaccinations in South Dundas.

Phillip Blancher, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Morrisburg Leader

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