‘We’re losing:’ Renfrew County district acting medical officer supports stay-at-home order

By Alex Goudge

The Renfrew County and District Health Unit's acting medical officer of health is happy to see the province move to a stay-at-home order because he thinks, not only his area, but Ontario as a whole, is losing the fight against COVID-19.

Dr. Robert Cushman is especially concerned about the recent rise in hospitalizations, especially among younger people, spurred on by COVID-19 variants.

The doctor also says he's seeing a jump in the number of high-risk contacts of people who test positive for the virus. The Renfrew County and District Health Unit is currently chasing around 200 contacts, which is the most it's ever encountered throughout the pandemic.

Dr. Cuchman says this shows people are socializing far too much, so the stay-at-home order is necessary for the health unit to catch up.

“We need this, otherwise we're going to be in big trouble,” Dr. Cushman tells CityNews. “We need this while we are catching up with vaccinations.”

The doctor explains, 80 per cent of recent cases in his region are related to 'bad behaviour' and residents not adhering to public health guidelines.

He adds, widespread province-wide orders have their advantages too, since people tend to travel to areas with less restrictions when they are only enforced regionally.

“People move like water, they'll take the easiest path. Water moves downhill and people will move to a place with fewer restrictions.”

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