THANKSGIVING activities should only be between members of your immediate household, the Eastern Ontario Health Unit has urged.
THANKSGIVING activities should only be between members of your immediate household, the Eastern Ontario Health Unit has urged.

Stay home this Thanksgiving: EOHU

Stephen Jeffery
EAP
Health officials have urged Prescott-Russell families not to mix households or travel unless absolutely necessary over the Thanksgiving holiday, as Ontario recorded a new single-day record of new COVID-19 cases.

Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis asked residents to stick to small, single-household gatherings over the long weekend to prevent further spread. He said he wanted to avoid a repeat of Labour Day, which led to a surge in cases across the province.

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Le BSEO demande aux familles de rester chez elles ce weekend

“I understand that it's very difficult,” Dr. Roumeliotis. “We're all sick and tired of this, and have been dealing with it since March. But this is a way we will hopefully not repeat what happened after Labour Day. We want to make sure that curve starts going down in our area.”

Dr. Roumeliotis said those living alone could join another household, but asked that extra precautions be taken to protect those aged over 70 or with underlying medical conditions. He suggested virtually hosting others, or holding an outdoor event if people from outside the household were visiting.

Five of the six new cases reported in the EOHU area on Thursday came from Prescott-Russell. Eighty-six cases were active across the EOHU region, while the total since the pandemic began stood at 316. Two people were hospitalised, though neither were in intensive care, and an outbreak of the virus continued at Foyer St-Jacques Nursing Home in Embrun.

Ontario reported 797 new cases on Thursday, of which 183 were in Ottawa. Dr. Roumeliotis had earlier said during a Monday media briefing that many weekend cases in Prescott-Russell had come from commuters to and from Ottawa.

All testing centres in the region have moved to appointment-only. The Casselman testing centre has closed, with resources moved to the Calypso parking lot in Limoges. Appointments can be made at the following centres in the EOHU area:

  • Akwesasne: 613-575-2341 ext. 3220
  • Alexandria: 613-933-1375 or 1 800 267-7120
  • Cornwall: 343-475-0160
  • Hawkesbury: online booking system
  • Limoges (Calypso parking lot): 1 800 267-8260
  • Rockland: fill in an online form for an appointment
  • Winchester: 613-801-2333

All centres will be closed on Monday, October 12 for the Thanksgiving holiday.

EOHU also released more information about the demographics of cases on its website. The data showed 51 per cent of infections in Prescott-Russell were in males compared to 49 per cent in females, while almost 40 per cent were in those aged between 20 and 39.

The next media conference is due on Tuesday, October 13.