The number of new cases of COVID-19 for the Eastern Ontario region has dwindled to almost zero while the number of resolved cases continues to increase. But Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, chief medical officer for the region, warns against becoming complacent about the situation and urges vigilance for residents in following pandemic protection procedures, including wearing a mask when shopping and also maintaining social distance and handwashing on a regular basis.
The number of new cases of COVID-19 for the Eastern Ontario region has dwindled to almost zero while the number of resolved cases continues to increase. But Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, chief medical officer for the region, warns against becoming complacent about the situation and urges vigilance for residents in following pandemic protection procedures, including wearing a mask when shopping and also maintaining social distance and handwashing on a regular basis.

Cautious optimism now about regional COVID-19 situation

Gregg Chamberlain
EAP
The pandemic situation in Eastern Ontario seems to be improving but regional health officials warn against complacency.

Doctor Paul Roumeliotis, chief medical officer for the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU), described the numbers for cases outstanding and resolved for COVID-19 in the region as ‘very encouraging” but he still urged vigilance for all residents in following pandemic protection protocols. He noted that all health officials throughout Canada are still concerned about the potential for a “second wave” of COVID-19 cases as the provinces and territories all begin their economic restart plans.

“Are we prepared for a second wave?” Dr. Roumeliotis said during his August 17 media teleconference. “I can tell you that we will get cases and that we are prepared to take care of them.”

Dr. Roumeliotis noted that strict observation of mandatory masking regulations and other public health safety guidelines, including social distancing and regular handwashing, will reduce the risk of new COVID-19 infection incidents.

As of Monday, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases for the EOHU region was 181, with 165 of those cases classed as resolved, which means the people infected have recovered. No new outbreaks or deaths resulting from COVID-19 have occurred. Dr. Roumeliotis also confirmed that the EOHU is in regular consultation with officials for the Five Counties region and the City of Cornwall on future plans for lifting the current state of emergency for public health orders that were declared in Eastern Ontario earlier this spring during the early stage of the pandemic.

The EOHU is now focused on working with school districts on finetuning their school start-up plans for September, and with local daycare operators who expect to have more children to look after soon as many parents go back to work. Dr. Roumeliotis also confirmed that the EOHU will monitor for any outbreaks at schools or daycares and notify the public when such incidents occur.

“It’s a matter of trying to prepare for all of that,” he said. “My concern is are we doing the best we can to protect the children.”