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175 active cases of COVID-19 across EOHU jurisdiction, 1,616 new cases across Ontario

There were 175 active cases of COVID-19 among residents of the jurisdiction of the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) as of Tuesday, May 18. There had been 178 active cases on Monday, May 17.

As of Tuesday, there were eight COVID-19 patients in hospital across the EOHU’s territory and three of those patients were in intensive care.

There had been 103 deaths due to COVID-19 across the jurisdiction of the EOHU as of May 18.

On May 17, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis said there were a net amount of 30 new cases of COVID-19 across the EOHU’s jurisdiction during the past weekend. Out of those 30 cases, 13 were in the City of Cornwall, 11 were in Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry, and six were in Prescott and Russell.

Restrictions

The provincewide shutdown and stay-at-home order is to remain in effect for the entire province of Ontario. The Ontario-Québec boundary is also closed to all but the most essential traffic. The restrictions are in effect until June 3. Originally, the stay-at-home order and shutdown were to end on May 20, but on Thursday, May 13, provincial officials decided to extend it to allow COVID-19 cases to decrease further, allow vaccinations to increase, and to minimize the spread of COVID-19 over the Victoria Day long weekend.

On Monday, Roumeliotis said he has inquired with the Ministry of Health four times if public boat launches can reopen and has not received a response. All public and private marinas across the EOHU’s territory are presently closed and the health unit has opted to treat public boat launches the same as marinas and keep them closed. However, the public health department in the City of Ottawa has interpreted the restrictions differently and has not closed public boat launches within city limits.

Ontario statistics

There were 1,616 new, active cases of COVID-19 across Ontario as of May 18. According to calculations based on statistics from the Ministry of Health, there were 24,966 active cases of COVID-19 across Ontario as of Tuesday. On Monday, there had been 25,869 active cases.

There were 1,484 COVID-19 patients in hospital across Ontario as of Tuesday. Out of those patients, 764 were in intensive care, and 559 patients were on ventilators.

There had been 8,506 deaths due to COVID-19 across Ontario as of May 18, which was an increase of 17 deaths from May 17.

Vaccinations

As of May 18, 89,263 COVID-19 vaccine doses had been administered across the jurisdiction of the EOHU.  Approximately 3,000 people from the EOHU’s territory have received both doses.

Roumeliotis said on Monday that approximately 53 per cent of eligible adults across the EOHU territory had received one vaccine dose. He is anticipating an eventual vaccination rate of 65 to 70 per cent.

Across Ontario, 7,286,177 vaccine doses had been administered, and 442,102 Ontario residents had been fully vaccinated by receiving both required doses as of May 18.

As of Tuesday, all individuals aged 18 and older (born in 2003 or before) are eligible to make COVID-19 vaccination appointments in Ontario.

Individuals classified as Group Two, including retail workers aged 16 and 17, are also eligible to make vaccination appointments in Ontario.

Appointment booking is also available directly through the provincial booking system at www.Ontario.ca/bookvaccine. Individuals who require assistance with booking can call the Provincial Vaccine Information Line at 1-888-999-6488.

Appointments can be made by an individual or with the help of someone. If you know someone who is part of an eligible group, please encourage them to get vaccinated. Those needing assistance with booking or getting to their COVID-19 vaccine appointment should visit our website to access local supports.

Roumeliotis is anticipating 24,000 more vaccine doses will be delivered to the EOHU before the end of May. More clinics will be added across the EOHU’s territory for throughout June. The EOHU is currently in discussions with school boards about offering COVID-19 vaccinations to students when it is permitted.

Following the withdrawal of the AstraZeneca vaccine from first dose use across Ontario, the EOHU is still waiting directions on how that particular vaccine will be used in the future. On Monday, Roumeliotis announced that 44 pharmacies across the EOHU territory will be receiving doses of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines during the next two weeks.

“The quicker we get it done, the quicker we can get out of restrictions,” he said.

Standby list

To avoid vaccine wastage by ensuring as many individuals as needed are available to receive remaining doses at the end of a clinic, the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) is now extending the eligibility criteria for the standby list to individuals aged 18 or older who have not yet been able to book an appointment to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

COVID-19 vaccination clinics throughout the EOHU region are operating efficiently and ethically to ensure that vaccine wastage is minimized. All vaccine doses at each site are planned for and allocated. Should doses remain at the end of a clinic due to missed or cancelled appointments, individuals on the standby list could be called in to receive the extra doses to avoid vaccine wastage at local clinics.

Individuals who receive their first vaccination using the Standby List are unable to immediately make an appointment for the second dose.

Institutional outbreaks

The following hospitals, long-term care, retirement residences, and group home facilities under EOHU jurisdiction also had COVID-19 outbreaks as of May 18:

Rockland Manor

Residence St-Mathieu in Hammond

On May 17, Roumeliotis also confirmed a COVID-19 outbreak at a window manufacturer in Alexandria is also under investigation.

Schools 

All schools in Ontario have switched to learning online indefinitely.

EOHU COVID-19 case map, May 18, 2021

Map: Eastern Ontario Health Unit.

James Morgan

James Morgan is a freelance contributor. He has worked for several print and broadcast media outlets. James loves the history, natural beauty, and people of eastern Ontario and western Quebec.

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