The Glengarry News

Seeing 'Red'

publisher Mar 23, 2021 - 8:19am

As the number of COVID-19 cases and frustration levels rise, Eastern Ontario will likely move from “Orange” to “Red” next week under the Ontario response framework.

“It is worrying,” Eastern Ontario Health Unit Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis said Monday.

Meanwhile, health unit employees, like their colleagues across the province, are being subjected to verbal abuse.

“The civility is gone,” Dr. Roumeliotis said, pleading with the public to show respect for employees who are working seven days a week to ensure citizens remain safe. The verbal abuse has been so bad that some staff members have been reduced to tears. “They have been yelled at, screamed at,” he said.

When Dr. Roumeliotis contacted Premier Doug Ford about the abuse, the Premier agreed that it was “unacceptable.” Employees “are just doing their jobs,” stressed Dr. Roumeliotis.

The number of active cases in Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry-Prescott-Russell, Cornwall and the northern part of Akwesasne rose by 55 to a total of 227 between March 19 and 22. The percentage of variants of concern has increased to about 44 per cent, close to the provincial average. The infection rate for the region as of Monday was 63.7 per 100,000 population. A rate that consistently remains above 40 would prompt the province to move a region into the more restrictive red zone.