Ontario has reached a key milestone in its fight against COVID-19, having achieved its target to administer first doses to 65 per cent of Ontarians aged 18 and over ahead of schedule. The province is also preparing to roll out the eligibility for accelerated second dose appointments starting with individuals aged 80 and over, beginning May 31. If there is sufficient vaccine supply, it is anticipated that the majority of Ontario residents who choose to receive the vaccine will be able to be fully vaccinated by the end of summer. Ontario has already begun offering second doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at an accelerated pace with a 10-week interval for individuals who received their first dose between March 10 to March 19, 2021. This significant progress has enabled the government to allow the provincial declaration of emergency and Stay-at-Home Order to expire on June 2. The province’s emergency brake will remain in effect, with public health measures and restrictions still in place, until the province is ready to enter Step One of Ontario’s Roadmap to Reopen. Step One may begin as early as two weeks after 60 per cent of Ontario’s adults receive at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and if key indicators, such as risk of COVID-19 variants, hospitalizations, ICU occupancy and new hospital admissions and case rates continue to decline. Based on current trends in key health indicators, the province expects to enter Step One of the Roadmap the week of June 14. The province will confirm timelines closer to the expected start of Step One.
Two people have been declared dead at the scene of a single-vehicle collision that occurred shortly before 4:30 p.m. on the westbound Highway 401 Westbound, between Boundary Road and McConnell Avenue in South Stormont Township.
A third person in the vehicle has been transported to hospital with life-threatening injuries, reports the Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry Ontario Provincial Police detachment.
The crash occurred when the vehicle left the roadway and struck a ditch.
SD&G OPP is seeking the assistance of motorists who were travelling in the area and observed the crash, or who may have dash cam footage from their vehicle. Contact SD&G OPP at 1-888-310-1122.
The Eastern Ontario Health Unit has received a report of a phone scam in the area about the COVID-19 vaccine. Please note that the COVID-19 vaccine is free. If you receive a call requesting financial information to receive the vaccine, please hang up immediately and do not provide any personal information such as your health card or credit card number. Never allow anyone inside your home offering the vaccine in return for a fee. Alert the police.
The Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) is working hard to ensure that its COVID-19 vaccination efforts, including booking, continue to operate efficiently and ethically.
The EOHU appreciates that individuals who received their first dose, but who don't have an appointment scheduled for their second dose, want to ensure their second dose is received on time and in accordance with their respective recommended dose interval.
"We recognize that for some, this time frame is nearing and, understandably, they are worried," the health unit says.
The provincial booking system currently only allows individuals to book first and second dose appointments at the same time. Individuals who have received a first dose of the vaccine without using the provincial booking system are not currently able to book an appointment for their second dose only. The Province is in the process of upgrading its booking system to allow individuals to book a single dose appointment only. As soon as this feature becomes available, instructions will be shared on the EOHU website, on social media and by e-mail to those who pre-registered with the EOHU for their second dose prior to April 28. In the meantime, the EOHU is planning clinics for those requiring a second dose based on future vaccine allocation. Individuals who have received their first dose, but don't yet have an appointment for their second dose, will not be missed or forgotten. In recent weeks, the EOHU has unfortunately had to turn individuals away at our clinics who had booked a single second dose that did not respect their recommended dose interval. We ask that individuals needing a second dose appointment only please continue to follow the latest updates and rest assured that appointments will be made available to them. For the latest information about COVID-19 vaccines, including which population groups are eligible to receive it and how to access it, regularly visit the Eastern Ontario Health Unit's website at www.EOHU.ca/vaccines
"I am happy to report that my COVID-19 period of isolation ended this past Thursday," reports Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry MPP Jim McDonell. "While I contracted the virus before my vaccination had time to provide me with its maximum protection, I do not doubt that it was responsible for my low level of symptoms. I am grateful for the many best wishes I received for my speedy recovery. Thank you very much!"
Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry MPP Jim McDonell is self-isolating after testing positive for COVID19.
"After receiving my first dose of vaccine, I can tell you that I was particularly diligent in following the masking and distancing guidelines for the short two-plus week period required to achieve its protection," he says in a statement.
"The only situation I can recollect was waiting for an apartment elevator when someone masked in line inadvertently sneezed. I remember feeling uncomfortable, but it happens. Whether this was the point of contact, I can't say for sure, but I mention this only so that you may appreciate how little contact it takes for these new variants to spread and for the increased risk our essential workers and people in large urban areas face daily. While the short period of vaccination could not stop me from picking up the virus, I can credit it for the minor symptoms that I am experiencing that could easily be explained as the common cold."
The number of active COVID-19 cases in the region served by the Eastern Ontario Health Unit dropped by nine to 292 between April 28 and 29. Of this number, 30 are hospitalized; five are in intensive care. To date, 101 people have succumbed to the disease. The per-capita rate of infection is 58.8 per 100,000 residents in the territory that includes Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry, Cornwall, Prescott-Russell and the northern part of Akwesasne. In SDG, the infection rate is 31.9 per 100,000.