Two weeks more of social distancing before restrictions can be reviewed

(Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

CORNWALL – The medical officer of health for Cornwall, SD&G and Prescott-Russell says we’re going to have to continue our social distancing and staying at home at least another two weeks to beat COVID-19.

Dr. Paul Roumeliotis of the Eastern Ontario Health Unit made the comments Monday as the province released models showing that we may be starting to – as they call it – planking the curve.

“I want to stress…we’re in the middle of April…and so we still have a couple of weeks more to ensure that we continue that track (levelling out) before we can make any decision as to where we’ll be in terms of, can we retract…some of these measures,” Roumeliotis said.

The doctor says he’s bombarded with questions about whether people can go back to normal life activities: Can we go to prom? Can we go to hockey? He says we need to continue to be vigilant.

“I want to take this as a sign of the good work that we’ve done. Very hard, painful work. It’s a big price that a lot of people had to pay, both economically, physically, socially, psychologically, I understand, but we’re seeing the benefits if you compare us to other countries, we’re doing much better, and I think we’re on the right track,” Roumeliotis said.

On Monday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford appointed a committee to start planning for the gradual lifting of the pandemic measure. Anything will be done slowly to ensure that the social distancing work by the public is not undone.

The province reported its largest single day increase to date – 606 new cases on Monday – bringing the case total to 11,184 cases (as of 10:30am Monday).