Prescott-Russell Residence hits 25 COVID cases

Stephen Jeffery
EAP
Nineteen additional cases of COVID-19 were confirmed at the Prescott and Russell Residence in Hawkesbury on Tuesday.  

The figures released on Tuesday afternoon bring the number of COVID-19 cases in the facility to 25 since the first was reported on Friday. Seventeen residents and eight employees tested positive to the infection, the United Counties of Prescott and Russell (UCPR) confirmed.  

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25 personnes atteintes de COVID à la Résidence Prescott-Russell

The total stood at six in Monday’s report, but UCPR said at the time it was still waiting for results from tests taken on Friday. The laboratory responsible for the testing was closed for two days over the weekend. 

Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis said the incident began as a respiratory outbreak, with symptomatic individuals tested on one floor of the building. Once the first positive result returned, all residents and staff at the facility were tested and then isolated as if until they tested negative.  

Dr. Roumeliotis said Hawkesbury Hospital was available to assist with the outbreak. The federal government announced that the Red Cross would assist with some long-term care facilities in Ontario, but Dr. Roumeliotis said no details had been released yet for assistance in the region. The source of the outbreak at the Prescott and Russell Residence has not been determined. 

“We’re doing the tracing right now, but we don’t know,” he said. “At this point we just want to ensure that we tested everybody, and that we had all the precautions in place to prevent further infection.” 

Despite the outbreak, only two people were in hospital due to COVID-19 across the entire EOHU region as of Tuesday afternoon. Neither were in intensive care. Another outbreak in the region, at the Foyer St-Jacques Nursing Home in Embrun, was expected to end in the coming days. No new school outbreaks were reported since Thursday last week. 

The Prescott and Russell Residence outbreak accounted for many of the 31 new cases across the EOHU region over the weekend. There were 105 active cases confirmed in the region as of Tuesday afternoon, of which 80 were in Prescott-Russell. Hawkesbury and Russell had 25 cases each, followed by Clarence-Rockland at 12, The Nation at 10, Champlain and Casselman at three each, and Alfred and Plantagenet at two. East Hawkesbury had no active cases. 

 Dr. Roumeliotis urged those planning to visit from outside the area, especially COVID-19 hotspots in both Ontario and Quebec. He said one concern came from Ottawa hockey teams asking to use local arenas after that city had modified Stage 2 restrictions imposed on the weekend. 

“We had them try book local ice from Quebec as well, and I recommended municipalities not to [allow] that, because we want to avoid interregional travel,” he said. “In Ontario and in Quebec as well, people are told not to travel outside their zones.”