Now five long-term care outbreaks across EOHU territory, region at risk of return to Stage Two

The number of COVID-19 outbreaks at long-term care facilities and retirement homes across the jurisdiction of the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) had increased to five as of Friday, October 16.

Four of the 35 cases at the Prescott and Russell Residence in Hawkesbury had been resolved.  When asked why they were declared resolved just seven days after the positive test results were obtained, EOHU Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis said on Friday that because the outbreak had initially been classified as a respiratory illness that was later found to be COVID-19, the required 10 days for as case to be resolved had passed.

Roumeliotis said that the origins of the outbreak at the Prescott and Russell Residence have still not been determined.

Additional COVID-19 outbreaks were in effect on October 16 at The Palace Retirement Home in Alexandria, Foyer St-Jacques in Embrun, and in Cornwall at Sandfield Place Retirement Home and St. Joseph’s Continuing Care Centre (Kane House).

There were 134 active cases of COVID-19 across the jurisdiction of the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) as of Friday, October 16, bringing the number of cumulative cases to 409.  Out of that amount, 262 cases were officially resolved.

As of October 16, the highest number of active cases were in the Town of Hawkesbury where there were 40.  At 26, the second-highest number were in Russell Township, and 17—the third highest amount, were in the City of Clarence Rockland.  There were 10 active cases in La Nation, eight in North Glengarry, seven in Alfred and Plantagenet, and four active cases in Champlain Township as of October 16. The only municipality under EOHU jurisdiction without any active cases of COVID-19 as of Friday was East Hawkesbury.

Possible return to stage two for EOHU

Due to the steady increase of cases across the EOHU’s territory, Roumeliotis said on Friday that discussions are taking place with the Ministry of Health about if the region should be returned to a modified version of Ontario’s Stage Two for how businesses and services should open and operate.

He said that if the current rate of increase continues, a move to Stage Two is possible.  Roumeliotis said he has already had discussions with the wardens of the United Counties of Prescott and Russell and Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry, and the mayor of Cornwall about the possibility.

The EOHU’s territory is bordered by Ottawa, which was moved to Stage Two one week ago.  The Vaudreuil-Soulanges region to the east in Québec is a red zone under that province’s alert system.

Roumeliotis said on Friday that residents of the EOHU territory should be avoiding all travel outside the region.  He also warned against hockey teams from Ottawa and red zones of Québec where arenas are closed who have been attempting to rent rinks in Eastern Ontario communities.


There were COVID-19 cases at seven schools across the EOHU’s territory as of October 16.  All cases were at schools in Clarence-Rockland and Russell Township.  When there are two or more cases at a school, it constitutes an official outbreak.

Two students and one staff member at École élémentaire catholique Embrun-Pavillon St-Jean and Pavillon La Croisée.

One student at École élémentaire catholique Sainte-Félicité in Clarence-Rockland.

One student at École élémentaire catholique St-Joseph in Russell.

One student at École élémentaire catholique St-Viateur in Russell.

One staff member at École intermédiare catholique Pavillon Embrun.

One student at École secondaire catholique L’Escale in Rockland.

One student at École secondaire catholique Embrun.

One student at Rockland District High School.

Hospital, deaths, testing

Five COVID-19 patients from the EOHU’s jurisdiction were in hospital as of October 16, and one patient was in intensive care.

The number of COVID-19 deaths across the EOHU territory as of October 16 remained unchanged at 12.

As of October 16, 69,560 COVID-19 tests had been performed across the EOHU`s jurisdiction at the six testing centres and by paramedics.

Provincial statistics

According to the Ontario Ministry of Health, there were 8,904 active cases of COVID-19 across Ontario as of October 15, out of a cumulative 62,908 cases.

The Ministry reported that 54,004 or 85.8 per cent of cumulative cases were resolved as of October 15. Also, as of October 15, there were 261 COVID-19 patients were in hospital across Ontario.  Out of those 261 patients, 67 were in intensive care, and 36 patients were on ventilators.

There had been 3,031 deaths due to COVID-19 across Ontario as of October 15.

EOHU active COVID-19 case map, October 16, 2020

EOHU-COVID-19 media briefing, Friday October 16, 2020

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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