As two cases of the new COVID-19 variant of concern, Omicron, have been confirmed in Ottawa, the Eastern Ontario Health Unit Medical Officer, Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, explained that preventative measures are being taken, but that the Delta variant is still the biggest threat as a local outbreak is declared.
Active cases throughout the EOHU rose sharply over the weekend with an outbreak declared at a factory outside of Cornwall with most cases in unvaccinated residents and their close contacts as “investigations are underway” as to the source.
In Ontario 782 out of 784 cases (45 of which were added in the EOHU) reported over the weekend were the “Delta” variant.
With little known globally about “Omnicron” Dr. Roumeliotis explained that this mutilation is not surprising with more vaccination required throughout the rest of the world with only a quarter of the South African population, where the variant was first detected, vaccinated.
“A large part of their population is vulnerable,” he said. “75% of people in South Africa are walking around and are targets.
“Low rates of vaccination gives the virus more chances to mutate as it spreads through more people.”
With restrictions on flights from at risk countries now in place, Dr. Paul said the Federal Government is taking the right steps to mitigate the risks, emphasising that we need to focus on local vaccination rates, including 3rd doses and 5-11 year old vaccine roll out as well as strictly sticking to Public Health Measures.
Three residents in the EOHU are being tested, having recently come back from at-risk areas.
Lower percentages with new, more accurate numbers
New population data from “Stats Canada 2020 projections” has recently been released, modifying the local vaccination percentages due to an updated population number in the EOHU.
With a 3% increase in the total population, combined with the now eligible almost 15,000 5-11 year old's in the region, the vaccinated percentage has dropped.
As of Monday November 29, 82.4% of residents had received at least one dose with 79.4% having received both. Dr. Paul said he was hoping for numbers in the “high 80%’s” once eligible children in the region have been vaccinated.