There were 114 active cases of COVID-19 among residents of the jurisdiction of the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) as of Monday, May 31.
Seven new cases had been added across the EOHU’s territory during the May 29-30 weekend.
As of Monday, there were seven COVID-19 patients in hospital across the EOHU’s territory and three of those patients were in intensive care.
The number of deaths due to COVID-19 across EOHU jurisdiction was 104 as of May 31.
The current stay-at-home order and shutdown in Ontario ends on June 3. The Ontario government has announced a progressive “roadmap” to reopen the province that will depend on vaccination rates and case numbers. The first step in the process is tentatively to begin on June 14.
On May 31, EOHU Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis confirmed that the Ontario government is extending the checkpoints for non-essential traffic entering the province until June 16. He said the provincial government is still developing regulations on what measures will be taken for the period of June 3 to 14.
Roadmap to Reopen outlines three steps to easing public health measures, guided by the following principles:
- Step One An initial focus on resuming outdoor activities with smaller crowds where the risk of transmission is lower and permitting retail with restrictions. This includes allowing outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people, outdoor dining with up to four people per table and non-essential retail at 15 per cent capacity.
- Step Two Further expanding outdoor activities and resuming limited indoor services with small numbers of people where face coverings are worn. This includes outdoor gatherings of up to 25 people, outdoor sports and leagues, overnight camps, personal care services where face coverings can be worn and with capacity limits, as well as indoor religious services, rites or ceremony gatherings at 15 per cent capacity.
- Step Three Expanding access to indoor settings, with restrictions, including where there are larger numbers of people and where face coverings can’t always be worn. This includes indoor sports and recreational fitness; indoor dining, museums, art galleries and libraries, and casinos and bingo halls, with capacity limits.
The province will remain in each step for at least 21 days to evaluate any impacts on key public health and health system indicators. If at the end of the 21 days, the following vaccination thresholds have been met, along with positive trends in other key public health and health system indicators, then the province will move to the next step:
- Step 1: 60 per cent of adults vaccinated with one dose.
- Step 2: 70 per cent of adults vaccinated with one dose and 20 per cent vaccinated with two doses.
- Step 3: 70 to 80 per cent of adults vaccinated with one dose and 25 per cent vaccinated with two doses.
Based on current trends in key health indicators, including the provincial vaccination rate, the government expects to enter Step One of the Roadmap the week of June 14, 2021. The province will confirm closer to the expected start of Step One.
The previous colour-coded regional green, yellow, orange, and red levels of measures have been discontinued in Ontario. The new approach of gradual reopening based on low cases and high vaccination rates will apply to the entire province instead of having different rules for different regions.
Checkpoints remain in place for all private vehicles entering Ontario from Québec. The checkpoints will likely be continued or discontinued based on the results of the review of the stay-at-home order which is expected next week. Presently, the order is to expire on June 3.
There were 916 new, active cases of COVID-19 across Ontario as of May 31. According to calculations based on statistics from the Ministry of Health, there were 12,567 active cases of COVID-19 across Ontario as of Monday.
There were 731 COVID-19 patients in hospital across Ontario as of Monday. Out of those patients, 617 were in intensive care, and 382 patients were on ventilators.
There had been 8,711 deaths due to COVID-19 across Ontario as of May 31, which was an increase of 13 deaths from May 30.
As of May 31, 113,042 COVID-19 vaccine doses had been administered across the jurisdiction of the EOHU.
Across Ontario, 9,082,025 vaccine doses had been administered, and 706,832 Ontario residents had been fully vaccinated by receiving both required doses as of May 31.
On May 31, Roumeliotis said 18,000 vaccination appointments were available across the EOHU’s territory up to June 21.
On Monday, Roumeliotis explained that the provincial COVID-19 vaccination booking system now allows for individuals aged 80 and older to change their second dose appointment to a date sooner than originally planned.
However, there have been difficulties for individuals who were vaccinated in February and early March before the provincial system was created in making appointments for their second dose. Roumeliotis again assured these individuals that the EOHU knows who these individuals are, and arrangements will be made for them to get their second doses on time.
“Don’t worry. You will get your vaccine,” he said on Monday.
Youth aged 12 to 17, and all other individuals aged 18 and older (born in 2003 or before) are eligible to make COVID-19 vaccination appointments in Ontario. On May 31, the EOHU announced that more appointments for this age group are being made available between June 14 and 21.
Appointment booking is 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.
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.
As of Monday, May 31, there were zero COVID-19 outbreaks at long-term care facilities, hospitals, retirement residences, and group home facilities under EOHU jurisdiction.
All schools in Ontario have switched to learning online indefinitely. With a progressive reopening of various businesses and services across the province planned for the weeks ahead, officials have been facing questions about if in-person learning will resume at any schools during the five weeks remaining in the school year.
On Monday, Roumeliotis said that an announcement is expected from the provincial government during the next week about if or how in-classroom learning will resume at Ontario’s schools.
New Chief a “Good guy”
On May 30, Ontario Minister of Health Christine Elliot announced that Dr. Kieran Moore will become the province’s Chief Medical Officer of Health effective June 25 and replacing Dr. David Williams, who is retiring. Moore is the Medical Officer of Health for the Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Health Unit.
On May 31, Roumeliotis called Moore a “good guy,” and enthusiastically endorsed his appointment.
“Kieran is an excellent medical officer of health and he’ll make an excellent Chief Medical Officer.”
Roumeliotis said he has worked with Moore extensively through his contacts with other public health agencies in eastern Ontario. He said Moore has an excellent understanding of the public health system.
EOHU COVID-19 case map, May 31, 2021
EOHU COVID-19 media briefing, Monday, May 31.