Dr. Paul Roumeliotis is doing virtual “house calls” with members of all the municipal and regional councils in the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU). The focus of the EOHU’s chief medical health officer is to update community leaders on the status of COVID-19 cases within the Eastern Ontario region after the first year of the pandemic, provide up-to-date information on the status of vaccination plans for the region, and also deliver a simple message for residents in all communities during Ontario’s second lockdown. “Stay home. Stay safe. Save lives,” said Dr. Roumeliotis.
The chief medical officer began his virtual “house calls” with a presentation January 13 to the United Counties of Prescott-Russell council (UCPR). He also made a presentation to Hawkesbury town council during a special session January 15.
During his talks, Dr. Roumeliotis presented line and bar graphs on COVID-19 cases for the EOHU region. He noted that the line graph for new cases of COVID-19 for Prescott-Russell shows signs of “reaching a plateau” when compared to graph for the City of Cornwall where the line continues at an almost vertical angle, indicating a continue rapid increase in numbers of new cases.
Dr. Roumeliotis expressed optimism about the chance of case numbers starting to decline overall for the EOHU region later in the year as the vaccination program takes effect. But he also repeated past warnings about some residents getting “too complacent” about the pandemic and ignoring guidelines for social distancing, wearing a mask, practising proper handwashing hygiene, and also avoiding unnecessary travel or large gatherings. He emphasized that the pandemic still exists and while the vaccination program is starting, new cases of COVID-19 can still develop if people do not take precautions.