Two more deaths were confirmed at the Prescott and Russell Residence on Friday.
Two more deaths were confirmed at the Prescott and Russell Residence on Friday.

Prescott-Russell Residence COVID death toll rises to nine

Stephen Jeffery
EAP
Another two people have died at the Prescott-Russell Residence, it was confirmed on Friday.

The announcement brought the COVID-related death toll at the residence to nine, three weeks after an outbreak was first declared at the Hawkesbury facility. No new positive cases were reported at the residence on Friday, with 134 confirmed since October 9. Seventy-two cases – in 45 residents and 27 employees – were active, while another 53 – in 27 residents and 26 employees – had been resolved.

Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis said about 20 staff members who had recovered from COVID would soon return to work. He said the most recent test results at the residence indicated the spread of the virus had slowed.

“I’m heartened that the last testing that we did, the percentage of people who came back positive was less than the first time,” he said. “We have had some indication that it’s spreading less aggressively.”

Red Cross and emergency services staff remained at the residence to assist with staff shortages from the outbreak. EOHU audited the facility each week to ensure all protocols were being met.

Updated modeling on Ontario’s COVID situation showed the EOHU area remained among the top five regions for new cases per 100,000 people. However, only 4.5 percent of cases had no identifiable link to other cases, compared to 65 percent in Toronto and 48.8 percent in Ottawa.

Dr. Roumeliotis said the surge in new cases during October came mainly from long-term care outbreaks and clusters, which were easier to track and contain. “The lower the number, the better it is, because we have an epidemiological link,” he said.

Six new cases were confirmed in the region on Friday, of which four were in Prescott-Russell and two were in Cornwall. There were 132 active cases in Prescott-Russell, with a total of 431 since the pandemic began. Those active cases comprised:

  • 80 in Hawkesbury;
  • 19 in Clarence-Rockland;
  • 10 in Alfred & Plantagenet;
  • 8 in Champlain;
  • 8 in Russell;
  • 5 in The Nation;
  • 1 in Casselman, and;
  • 1 in East Hawkesbury.

The next EOHU briefing is due on Monday.