Community Hospital (CCH) and the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) are
concerned about the high COVID-19 case rates and low vaccination rates in
Cornwall, which are significantly contributing to increased community spread
and hospitalizations in the city. Test positivity rates in Cornwall are
currently 5 times higher than the provincial average.
As of October
7, there are 18 patients admitted at CCH with COVID-19, 5 in the Critical Care
Unit; last month, on September 7, there were only 2 in hospital. There are also
8 CCH staff members at home with COVID-19. The hospital has already needed
to tighten its visitor restrictions as a direct result and fears more changes
to its operations and health care services will be required.
“The rate at
which COVID-19 spreads in a community has a direct impact on its local
hospital. It is very important for our patients that we maintain non-COVID
related health care services such as elective surgeries, therefore we are
pleading with the community: please take COVID-19 seriously, get vaccinated and
stay vigilant,” said Jeanette Despatie, President and CEO of CCH.
concern is that some neighborhoods in Cornwall have among the lowest
vaccination rates in Ontario, with as low as 69% of eligible residents being
fully vaccinated. By comparison, 84% of the eligible population within the
larger EOHU jurisdiction is fully vaccinated, and 82% of the province’s
eligible population is fully vaccinated.
“It is not a
coincidence that we are seeing such a large spike in cases and hospitalizations
in Cornwall. The vast majority of these are occurring in unvaccinated
individuals,” stated Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, Medical Officer of Health at the
EOHU. “In addition, high rates of community COVID-19 transmission translate
into higher rates of cases and outbreaks in congregate and school settings,
which we’re now seeing.”
Both CCH and
EOHU are worried about a potential rise in cases and hospitalizations in the
days and weeks following the Thanksgiving long weekend. “The solution is
to increase the vaccination rate in the Cornwall area and to continue following
public health guidelines, especially during this upcoming Thanksgiving Day
weekend," urged Dr. Roumeliotis.
For the latest
local updates on COVID-19, including statistics, vaccination information, and
tips for celebrating safely, please visit the EOHU website at www.eohu.ca/coronavirus.
For the latest
updates on CCH services and operations, please visit the hospital website at www.cornwallhospital.ca.
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