The active COVID-19 case count across the jurisdiction of the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) keeps increasing, and that means the five-county area could be on the brink of becoming an orange zone again.  The territory is currently under a yellow-protect designation.

“Today we had a record number of cases added that were outside a major outbreak,” said EOHU Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis on the afternoon of Friday, December 4.

There were 43 new cases of COVID-19 under EOHU jurisdiction as of Friday, and 20 of them were in the United Counties of Prescott and Russell.

“I’m quite worried about that,” said Roumeliotis about the case increase.

He said that most of the cases are within families where one or more members have been travelling to Montréal, returning home, and members of the household have not been taking any serious precautions.

There were 178 active cases of COVID-19 across the EOHU’s territory on December 4 out of a cumulative 942 cases.  A total of 734 cases are now resolved and there have been 31 deaths due to COVID-19 across the EOHU’s jurisdiction since the start of the pandemic.  Six COVID-19 patients from across the health unit’s territory are in hospital but none were in intensive care as of Friday.

School cases

As of December 4, there were two official COVID-19 outbreaks in schools under EOHU jurisdiction.  Two or more cases in a school is an official outbreak, unless otherwise stated.

École élémentaire catholique St-Isidore is closed because five staff members there have tested positive.  Roumeliotis said that the closure was necessary because too many teachers had to self-isolate at home, therefore making it difficult to continue classroom instruction.

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 December 4, six students and one staff member comprised the six active cases of COVID-19 connected with the school.

As of December 4, there were also cases of COVID-19 connected with the following schools across the EOHU’s territory.

One student at Laggan Public School

One student at École secondaire publique le Sommet in Hawkesbury

One student at École secondaire catholique de Casselman

One student at Tagwi Intermediate School in North Stormont

One student at École élémentaire catholique Saint-Trinité in Clarence-Rockland

One student at École élémentaire catholique Embrun Pavillon St-Jean/Pavillon La Croisée

One student at North Dundas Intermediate School

Childcare centres

As of December 4, there was one active case of COVID-19 in a child at Centre éducatif au jardin des calins in Casselman.

Long-term care outbreaks

Some improvements were reported by Roumeliotis on Friday, December 4 regarding the COVID-19 outbreak at the Prescott and Russell Residence in Hawkesbury.  The outbreak began on October 9 and has affected 109 residents and 68 staff members at the long-term care facility.  As of Friday, 10 cases among residents remained active and 85 cases were resolved.  Resolved cases do not include deaths.  The number of deaths due to the Residence outbreak remained at 14 on December 4.

Out of the cases of COVID-19 among staff at the Prescott and Russell Residence, 66 out of 68 were resolved as of Friday, leaving two active cases.

Ontario situation

As of December 3, there were 14,997 active cases of COVID-19 across Ontario, according to the Ministry of Health.  There were 1,780, or 1.5 per cent more active cases on December 4 than on December 2.

The Ministry reported that 104,792 or 84.8 per cent of cumulative cases were resolved as of Thursday.  Resolved cases do not include deaths.

There were 674 COVID-19 patients in hospital across Ontario as of December 3.  Out of those 674 patients, 207 were in intensive care, and 116 patients were on ventilators.

There had been 3,737 deaths due to COVID-19 across Ontario as of December 3, comprising three per cent of all cumulative cases.

EOHU COVID-19 active cases as of Friday, December 4, 2020

Map: Eastern Ontario Health Unit.

EOHU COVID-19 media briefing, December 4, 2020.