The Centre d’Hébergement Ormstown (CHO) is the latest in a string of Valley health institutions to be struck by an outbreak of COVID-19. According to the provincial government, the virus has infected 15 percent of the residents for a total of 11 positive cases as of Jan. 6. The CHO is currently listed at a yellow alert level, meaning the situation is being monitored very closely. The Gleaner has reached out to the Montérégie West Integrated Health and Social Services Centres (CISSSMO) for more information and will continue to follow the story as it develops.
Valley cases on the rise
The number of positive cases diagnosed daily in the region continues to grow, with 36 individuals in the Haut-Saint-Laurent having tested positive in the seven days since Dec. 31. This brings the total number of active cases in the Haut-Saint-Laurent to 55. During the same period, 32 more cases were diagnosed in the MRC des Jardins-de-Napierville for a current total of 43 active cases, 104 in the MRC de Beauharnois-Salaberry for a total of 175 active cases, and 271 in the MRC de Vaudreuil-Soulanges, which now has 365 active cases.
There are four municipalities in the Valley that are listed as having five or more active cases, including Ormstown, where 14 individuals have tested positive for the virus; Saint-Anicet, which has 9 cases; Franklin, which has 8, and Howick, which is now listed as having 5 cases.
The number of new cases being diagnosed in the Montérégie is grossly outpacing the number of individuals who have received a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. As of today, 7461 healthcare workers who work in CHSLDs, intermediate resources and family resources, as well as in the hospital network, have been vaccinated in region as a whole. Across the province, a total of 48,632 people have been vaccinated to date with a first of two doses.
New measures introduced
Premier François Legault introduced a new round of measures on Jan. 6 in an attempt to stop the out-of-control spread of the virus. In response to the province’s high daily case numbers, currently averaging around 2500, the government will impose a province-wide curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m., starting on Saturday. All non-essential businesses must remain closed, office workers must work from home, and all businesses must close by 7:30 p.m. except pharmacies and service stations. All indoor and outdoor social, recreational and sports activities are now limited to family bubbles or individuals living at the same address. All group activities must be cancelled. Schools however will open as planned on Jan. 11 for elementary students and on Jan. 18 for secondary students. Strengthened measures were announced for schools including the wearing of masks for grade 5 and 6 students when indoors, and the mandatory wearing of medical procedure masks by everyone in the classroom at the secondary level. More details are to be revealed tomorrow during a press conference with Education Minister Jean-François Roberge.