Pre-coronavirus normalcy in SD&G not expected in 2020

Local Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis speaks about 'flattening the curve' of cases through self-isolation and social distancing on Wednesday, March 11, 2020 -- the same day the World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus a worldwide pandemic. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

SD&G – The region’s medical officer of health says we likely won’t see our pre-pandemic way of living this year.

“It’s not business as usual, I believe for the rest of the year. Not to say that we’re going to be having these measures until the end of the year. But I don’t think we’re going to be going back to any state of normalcy before at least the fall or late fall or even into winter as we approach December,” Dr. Paul Roumeliotis said Wednesday.

Roumeliotis was doubtful children would be returning to school in May. The province had set May 4 as a return date but Premier Doug Ford indicated this week that date is unrealistic. Education Minister Stephen Lecce is expected to outline details soon for the remainder of the school year.

Back here in SD&G, as for the measures for crowd control and store closures, Roumeliotis says when and if those are lifted, it will be a gradual approach. “Those gatherings are not going to go from five to 100. It’s going to be very progressive,” he said.

Roumeliotis says it’s “hard to say” whether kids will be in classrooms before the end of June. “It’s going to be touch and go whether they go back to school.”

“For now these measures will continue because we’re right at the area of making sure that we’re maintaining the low numbers of increases day by day. We’re still getting increases but in a more manageable way and our hospitals are still coping.”

There have been 61 positive cases of COVID-19 in the region – 10 in Cornwall and 15 in SD&G. Thirty-four people of the 61 have recovered. Five people are in hospital. There have been no deaths.