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Health unit records first COVID-19 deaths, focus on long-term care needs are a priority

In his first daily briefing of the week on Monday, May 4, Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis spoke about the first two COVID-19 deaths within EOHU jurisdiction.

A woman in her 70’s and a man in his 80’s died of COVID-19 on Sunday, May 3.  Both were residents at the Pinecrest Nursing Home in Plantagenet where an outbreak had been reported during the previous week.

“I’d like to offer my condolences to the families,” said Roumeliotis.

The names of the deceased are not being released in order to protect confidentiality and privacy.

At the Pinecrest facility, eight residents and three employees had initially tested positive but were not showing any symptoms of COVID-19.  One of the deceased residents was among the eight who initially tested positive.  According to Roumeliotis, the resident began showing COVID-19 symptoms prior to dying.  The other deceased resident had initially tested negative but tested positive after beginning to show COVID-19 symptoms.

“I understand there are some more symptomatic patients and we’re keeping an eye on that,” said Roumeliotis about the situation at Pinecrest.

“We are committed to continue our testing,” emphasized Roumeliotis about plans to continue testing every resident and employee at all long-term care facilities throughout the EOHU’s jurisdiction as per directions from the Ontario government.

As of May 4, there were 23 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in long-term care facilities within the EOHU territory.  A second outbreak was confirmed on May 2 at the Woodland Villa facility in Long Sault, near Cornwall.  The cases at Woodland remained asymptomatic as of Monday.

An earlier outbreak at a Valoris group home in Plantagenet has been declared as resolved.

Also, on Monday, the United Counties of Prescott and Russell announced that all residents and employees at the Prescott-Russell Residence long-term care facility in Hawkesbury had tested negative for COVID-19.

Roumeliotis said that he will not hesitate to authorize second rounds of testing at long-term care facilities if necessary.

Monday EOHU numbers

On Monday, May 4, the total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 within the jurisdiction of the EOHU territory was 101.  However, that number included 54 resolved cases so the number of active cases in the EOHU territory was 47.

Out of the 47 active confirmed cases of COVID-19 within the EOHU territory on Monday, there were 38 active cases among residents of the United Counties of Prescott and Russell and 29 resolved cases.  On Monday, there were six active cases in the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry and 14 resolved cases.  In the City of Cornwall, there were three active cases and 11 resolved cases as of Monday.

Among the active cases within the EOHU territory on Sunday, three patients were in hospital, and two of those patients were in intensive care.

Ontario figures

There were 17,923 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Ontario on Monday, May 4, according to the Ministry of Health.  That meant an increase of 2.1 per cent from the 17,553 confirmed COVID-19 cases across the province on Sunday, May 3.  Out of the total number of confirmed cases, 12,505, or 69.8 per cent of the 17,923 were listed by the ministry as resolved.

Across Ontario on May 4, there were 984 COVID-19 patients in hospital.  Out of that number, 225 patients were in intensive care and 175 patients were on ventilators.

There had been 1,300 deaths due to COVID-19 in Ontario as of Monday, which an increase from the 1,216 deaths reported across Ontario on Sunday.

COVID-19 cases within the Eastern Ontario Health Unit jurisdiction on Monday, May 4, 2020

Map: Eastern Ontario Health Unit

To watch the complete EOHU daily COVID-19 briefing for Monday, May 4, click here:

James Morgan

James Morgan is a freelance contributor. He has worked for several print and broadcast media outlets. James loves the history, natural beauty, and people of eastern Ontario and western Quebec.

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