Eastern Ontario's top doctor recommends staying in Stage 3 with new restrictions for bars, restaurants and gyms
OTTAWA -- Eastern Ontario's top doctor is no longer recommending his region move into a modified Stage 2 during the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis is calling for stricter measures on bars, restaurants and fitness centres in Alexandria, Cornwall, Casselman, Hawkesbury, Clarence-Rockland and other areas of eastern Ontario to help control the spread of COVID-19.
On Sunday, Dr. Roumeliotis told CTV News Ottawa "we are likely going to or need to really look at over the next couple of days the possibility of us too in our area going into this modified Stage 2 type of restriction."
Now, Dr. Roumeliotis says with decreasing COVID-19 case numbers in the Eastern Ontario Health Unit region and the drop in cases in Ottawa, there is no need to move into a modified Stage 2.
"I recommended (Tuesday) that the Chief Medical Officer of Health recommends to cabinet that we not go into a modified Stage 2. However, to implement some regulations that are a bit more stringent for restaurants."
Dr. Roumeliotis told reporters that the regulations for bars and restaurants would mirror what's in place in Ottawa, including six people per table at a bar or restaurant and capacity limited to 100 people maximum. There would also be a limit on the number of people attending a gym class.
"I think that is a very logical step we should be taking in our area, given our numbers going up and are current situation," said Dr. Roumeliotis.
The eastern Ontario medical officer of health says the Ontario cabinet will have the final say on whether to implement new restrictions on bars, restaurants and gyms to help limit the spread of COVID-19.
Speaking on CTV Morning Live Thursday morning, Dr. Roumeliotis said there is no need to move eastern Ontario into a COVID-19 hot zone status, but added measures will help control the spread of the virus.
"Because we're having increasing cases anyways compared to last month and the previous months, I will be making some recommendations to the government to illicit some more stricter measures for restaurants," said Dr. Roumeliotis.
"Hopefully we're seeing a small light at the end of the tunnel."
CTV Morning Live host Leslie Roberts asked Dr. Roumeliotis if this changes his recommendation not to trick-or-treat on Halloween this year. Dr. Roumeliotis said it has not changed his approach.
"We’re still seeing increased numbers. Make no mistake about it, our transmission is still higher than it was and we still need to be prudent about it. The next couple of weeks will really make a difference, and unfortunately it includes Halloween."