Now nine COVID-19 deaths at Prescott and Russell Residence

During the afternoon of Friday, October 30, the United Counties of Prescott and Russell (UCPR) confirmed that two more residents had died of COVID-19 at the Prescott and Russell Residence in Hawkesbury.

A total of nine residents have now died because of the outbreak, which was first declared on October 9.

As of Friday, 72 cases of COVID-19 at the Residence remained active.  Residents accounted for 45 of the cases and the remaining 27 cases were among employees.  There were 53 resolved cases as of Friday.  In total, there have been 134 cases of COVID-19, 81 among residents, and 26 among employees, because of the outbreak.

Eastern Ontario Health Unit Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis said on Friday that 20 Prescott and Russell Residence employees have nearly completed their quarantine period at home and will soon return to work.  He said that their return will help reduce the staffing shortage at the Residence that the outbreak has caused.  The Canadian Red Cross and paramedics have been assisting at the facility due to the shortage of available staff.

Roumeliotis said that the EOHU is constantly monitoring how resident care, facility operations, and services such as meal delivery are carried out at the Prescott and Russell Residence, and other facilities with COVID-19 outbreaks in order to control infection.

Three other long-term care and retirement home COVID-19 outbreaks remained in effect under EOHU jurisdiction on October 30.  They are at The Palace Retirement Home in Alexandria, Lancaster Long-Term Care, and St. Joseph’s Continuing Care (Kane House) in Cornwall.

Rumours, reports, and restaurants

The Burger King restaurant on Main Street in downtown Hawkesbury has been closed during the past week.  Allegedly, the restaurant is closed because an employee had tested positive for COVID-19.  However, Roumeliotis said on Friday that he had no confirmation that a COVID-19 case was the reason for the closure.  He said that he would have been notified if any restaurant employee had tested positive.

“When it’s high-risk, they call me,” said Roumeliotis, in response to questions about the Hawkesbury Burger King closure and the closure of a medical doctor’s office in Cornwall.

Signs on the doors of the Burger King in Hawkesbury only read “By order of the King, temporarily closed for your safety.”

Additional public health orders for restaurants, bars, and gyms across the EOHU territory on October 26 due to increasing COVID-19 case numbers.  Roumeliotis said on Friday that the seven-day average growth rate for COVID-19 cases in the health unit’s jurisdiction has decreased to 44 cases.  He hinted that if the decrease continues, the additional orders could eventually be rescinded.

Local cases

There were 193 active cases of COVID-19 across the jurisdiction of the EOHU, as of October 30 out of a cumulative 607 cases.

Schools and childcare facilities

The Ontario government reported COVID-19 cases connected with the following schools and childcare facilities under EOHU jurisdiction on Friday, October 30.

One student at École intermédiare catholique Pavillon L’Escale in Rockland

One child at Centre éducatif Les Petits Trésors-Garderie St-Albert

One unidentified case at Mother Theresa Elementary School in Russell

One student at Bridgewood Public School in Cornwall

Three children and two staff members at Centre éducatif C.R.F.E. in Cornwall

Two students at Holy Trinity Catholic Secondary School in Cornwall

Hospital, deaths, testing

There were seven COVID-19 patients from the EOHU’s jurisdiction in hospital as of October 30, and two patients were in intensive care.  One patient was in the Cornwall hospital, and the other patient was in an Ottawa hospital.

As of October 30, the number of confirmed COVID-19 deaths across the EOHU territory was 19.

At the six COVID-19 testing and assessment centres and by paramedics across the EOHU territory, 74,328 COVID-19 tests had been performed as of October 30.

Roumeliotis said on October 30 that efforts continue to ensure that test results are delivered back to people within 48 hours.  When case numbers increased earlier in October, just 25 per cent of people across the EOHU territory were being notified of their test results within 48 hours.  Roumeliotis said that as of October 30, the number of people being notified within 48 hours had increased to 60 per cent.

Provincial statistics

According to the Ontario Ministry of Health, there were 10,796 active cases of COVID-19 across the province as of October 29, out of a cumulative 74,715 cases.  There were 896, or 1.2 per cent more active cases on October 29 than on October 28.

The Ministry reported that 63,919 or 85.6 per cent of cumulative cases were resolved as of October 29.

There were 314 COVID-19 patients in hospital across Ontario as of October 29.  Out of those 314 patients, 75 were in intensive care, and 52 patients were on ventilators.

There had been 3,127 deaths due to COVID-19 across Ontario as of October 29, composing 4.2 per cent of all cumulative cases.

Active COVID-19 cases across EOHU jurisdiction, October 30, 2020.

Map: Eastern Ontario Health Unit.

EOHU media briefing for October 30, 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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