Eastern Ontario will move to the orange-restrict level of the province’s COVID-19 framework on Monday.
Eastern Ontario will move to the orange-restrict level of the province’s COVID-19 framework on Monday.

Orange alert: restrictions for Eastern Ontario from Monday

Stephen Jeffery
EAP
The Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) area faces orange level restrictions from Monday, after two weeks in the more lenient yellow zone

The provincial government announced on Friday that the orange “restrict” levels will be implemented in the EOHU region, which includes Prescott-Russell, Cornwall, Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry, and the northern portion of Akwesasne. The changes will come into force at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, December 14.

LISEZ UNE VERSION FRANÇAISE DE CET ARTICLE 
L'Est de l'Ontario passera au niveau d'alerte orange dès lundi

The order does not maintain closures, but imposed additional restrictions on bars, restaurants, fitness centres and other indoor public spaces. Last calls at bars and restaurants will change from 11 p.m. to 9 p.m., only four people will be permitted at a table instead of six, and theatres, arenas, and fitness centres will be limited to 50 people per complex. Personal care services that required the removal of masks would not be permitted.

The decision was made after new cases, the average weekly rate of infection, and the reproduction rate rose in the region. There have been 114 new cases in the region since last Friday, including 10 in the last 24 hours. Many of those cases have been linked to outbreaks and clusters in western Prescott-Russell, Cornwall, and South Glengarry.

EOHU Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis said about 60 percent of the cases in the area came from close contacts. “I’m discouraged we’re in orange, but I can tell you this is a trend we’re seeing provincially,” he said. “This is part and parcel of the second wave of a pandemic, we’re seeing these patterns across the province and across the country.”

Outbreaks

The Prescott and Russell Residence outbreak remained stable, with no changes in numbers in recent days. Eighty-five of the 109 resident cases had been resolved, as had 67 of the 68 staff cases. Fifteen deaths at the residence have been attributed to COVID since the outbreak began more than two months ago.

An outbreak continued at École élémentaire catholique Saint-Isidore, with cases in five students and eight staff members. Other school cases included one student and one staff member at École élémentaire catholique Embrun - Pav. Saint-Jean/Pav. La Croisée, two students at École élémentaire catholique Saint-Viateur, and one student each at École secondaire catholique de Casselman, École élémentaire catholique de Casselman - Pav. St-Paul/Ste-Euphémie, École secondaire publique Le Sommet, École élémentaire publique De la Rivière Castor, and Mother Teresa Elementary school.

The region

Across the region, eight people were in hospital, with one in intensive care. Thirty-two people have died since the pandemic began in the region.

Of the 292 active cases, 133 were reported in Prescott-Russell communities, including:

  • 29 in Russell;
  • 25 in Hawkesbury;
  • 24 in Casselman;
  • 24 in The Nation;
  • 18 in Clarence-Rockland;
  • 9 in Champlain;
  • 4 in Alfred-Plantagenet, and;
  • 0 in East Hawkesbury.

More information about changes under the orange “restrict” level can be found at the Ontario government’s website.