Roumeliotis walks back following Ottawa on COVID-19 restrictions

Local Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

CORNWALL – A day after saying he would “consider strongly” to be included if Ottawa introduced tighter COVID-19 restrictions, local Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis has walked back the urge to clamp down the area east of the capital.

When asked Thursday during a news conference about a possible rollback to Stage 2 in Ottawa, Roumeliotis says that “Ottawa spills over into our area” and that the Eastern Ontario Health Unit area is among the top 30 in Ontario with an increase and progression of COVID-19 cases.

The province announced new restrictions for Ottawa, Peel and Toronto on Friday for gathering limits in bars, restaurants, gyms and health clubs. Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams said other medical officers of health could apply to be included in the hot spot restrictions if they could make a “data driven” case.

But late Friday night, the EOHU sent out a news release where Roumeliotis said “I don’t see the need at this point for targeted measures in our area.”

The doctor applauded “the government’s efforts to lower the number of cases in area experiencing high rates of transmission.”