The Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) has confirmed that Prescott and Russell, Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry, and the City of Cornwall will be one of the destinations in a series of provincial COVID-19 education and enforcement campaigns for businesses across the province. The campaign aims to help businesses stay safe and stay open by ensuring that they are taking the necessary steps to protect employees, consumers, and the public from COVID-19.
Multi-ministry teams, working in coordination with the EOHU, plan to visit local businesses from December 3 to 5 to conduct assessments and promote COVID-19 health and safety requirements. During the visits, officers will provide business owners with assessments and guidance on how to operate safely during the pandemic and comply with public health requirements in the Reopening Ontario Act. Under the province’s new COVID-19 Response Framework, certain businesses and establishments are required to develop a COVID-19 safety plan for their workplace. Officers will be asking employers to produce their safety plans and will provide feedback and direction on them. The aim of the campaign is to ensure that workplaces have the resources and information they need to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, and to help businesses take any corrective steps needed to operate safely. While the focus is on education, officers can exercise their enforcement discretion if they find significant non-compliance.
The provincial campaign will complement the EOHU’s local efforts that have been ongoing since the start of the pandemic.
“EOHU public health staff, in collaboration with local enforcement partners, having been working diligently with businesses in our region to help ensure they can operate safely and protect their workers and customers,” states Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, Medical Officer of Health.
The provincial initiative has also recently visited the Peel and London-Middlesex regions. It found the most common areas of non-compliance have been improper mask use, lack of screening, and improper sanitization.
New enforceability for Section 22 Orders
Due to a recent amendment to Ontario Regulation 950 under the Provincial Offences Act, Section 22 Orders issued by Medical Officers of Health under the Health Protection and Promotion Act in the province are now enforceable without having to go to court to seek a warrant before fines can be issued. Tickets can be issued by law enforcement officers, including police officers, by-law officers and public health inspectors, for any contravention of a COVID-19 specific communicable disease class Section 22 Order.
For more information on COVID-19, including local Section 22 Orders, please visit the Eastern Ontario Health Unit’s website at www.EOHU.ca/coronavirus.
Long-term care outbreaks
The COVID-19 outbreak at the Prescott and Russell Residence long-term care facility in Hawkesbury remained in effect on November 27. One new case in a resident was reported. There have been a total of 176 cases of COVID-19 at the Residence since the outbreak began on October 9. As of November 27, there were 17 active cases in residents, and three active cases in employees at the 146-bed facility. So far in the outbreak, there had been 109 cases in residents and 67 cases in employees.
The outbreak at the Prescott and Russell Residence has resulted in 14 deaths due to COVID-19.
Other long-term care outbreaks of COVID-19 under EOHU jurisdiction remained in effect on November 27 at Russell Meadows Retirement Home and Woodland Villa in Long Sault.
École élémentaire catholique de Casselman Pavillon Sainte Euphémie remains closed to all students and staff until December 7 due to a COVID-19 outbreak at the school. As of November 27, five students and one staff member comprised the six active cases of COVID-19 connected with the school.
Other cases of COVID-19 among staff and students at schools under EOHU jurisdiction as of November 27 included the following.
Two students at St. Jude Catholic Elementary School near Vankleek Hill.
One student at École élémentaire catholique Embrun Pavillon St-Jean/Pavillon La Croisée
One staff member at École élémentaire catholique St-Isidore
One student at École élémentaire publique Rose des Vents in Cornwall
Across the EOHU’s territory as of November 27, there were 90 active cases of COVID-19 out of a cumulative 835 cases that includes 714 resolved cases.
As of November 27, four patients from the EOHU’s jurisdiction remained in hospital due to COVID-19 and no patients were in intensive care.
At the six testing and assessment centres, and with the assistance of paramedics, 82,780 COVID-19 tests had been performed across the EOHU’s territory as of November 27.
As of November 27, there had been a total of 31 deaths due to COVID-19 across the jurisdiction of the EOHU.
There were 13,255 active cases of COVID-19 across Ontario on November 26, according to the Ministry of Health. There were 1,855, or 1.7 per cent more active cases on November 26 than on November 25.
The Ministry reported that 94,366 or 84.8 per cent of cumulative cases were resolved as of November 26. Resolved cases do not include deaths.
There were 541 COVID-19 patients in hospital across Ontario as of November 26. Out of those 541 patients, 151 were in intensive care, and 101 patients were on ventilators.
There had been 3,595 deaths due to COVID-19 across Ontario as of November 26, comprising 3.2 per cent of all cumulative cases.