The Covid-19 pandemic is forcing either limited public access or temporary closure of municipal and community facilities until further notice. While everyone is urged to continue practising proper hygiene techniques, residents are advised to check municipal websites for information on their property tax payments and other needs.

What's open and what's closed in Prescott and Russell?

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting day-to-day operations for all municipalities in the Prescott-Russell region.

Public service and recreation facilities throughout the region are either shutting down or setting access restrictions as part of local efforts to curb the spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus, which causes Covid-19, a viral disease that has flu-like symptoms.

Since the Eastern Ontario Health Unit confirmed an actual case of Covid-19 in Eastern Ontario, outside of the Ottawa area, municipalities, local health agencies, and others have adjusted their public access policies until the pandemic situation changes.

Hospitals

Hawkesbury and District General Hospital (HGH) and Winchester District Memorial Hospital (WDMH), both regional hospitals serving residents at either end of Prescott-Russell, have adopted similar limited access guidelines for both patients and visitors to their facilities, following EOHU recommendations.

Screening procedures are in effect at both hospitals for new patients, to identify those that might have the Covid-19 virus. The screening procedure includes questions about the patient’s past travel history, including any recent trips to China or Southeast Asia, Japan, Iran or Italy, or close contact with someone who has been to any of those areas; signs of any symptoms like fever, shortness of breath, or a worsening cough, contact with someone who is a confirmed or suspected Covid-19 case.

Visiting restrictions are now in effect. Anyone who feels sick is asked not to visit family or friends who are in the hospital for treatment. WDMH is restricting patient access to one visitor at a time, except in cases of compassionate reasons.

Clarence-Rockland Health

The Clarence-Rockland Health Team has sent out emails to its clientele to tell them that the clinic is not able to test for COVID-19. Clarence-Rockland residents can go to the Ottawa Public Health’s COVID-19 assessment centre at the Brewer Arena, 151 Brewer Way, in Ottawa. The testing centre is for those who have returned from recent travel abroad and show symptoms of Covid-19, or who may have had recent contact with someone diagnosed with Covid-19.

Anyone who meets those criteria can call 613-446-7677 and speak to a nurse who will evaluate their symptoms over the phone to decide if they need to see a doctor or should go to the Brewer Arena testing centre.

PR Residence

Public access is now restricted at the Prescott-Russell Residence, following a directive from the Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health. The 146-bed long-term care facility, located in Hawkesbury, is home to seniors from all over Prescott-Russell.

The provincial directive urges access to the Residence limited to “essential visitors” until further notice for the safety and well-being of the senior residents. “Essential visitors” include those who visit residents who are very ill or need hospice care. All visitors must submit to a screening procedure and will not be allowed in if they do not pass the procedure.

Visitor access is limited to one visitor per resident at the same time. Family members are asked to use the phone, social media messaging, Skype, or other methods to talk with their relatives at the Residence.

Facility staff and hospice service providers have access to the building. Residence administration will re-evaluate the access restriction policy as it monitors changes in the COVID-19 situation.

School Districts

All publicly funded schools in Ontario are closed for an extra two weeks following the annual March Spring Break. The provincial government announced the extended school closure, March 12, as part of a provincial COVID-19 containment policy. Both English and French in both public and Catholic school districts will remain closed until April 5.

UCPR

The United Counties of Prescott and Russell (UCPR) is restricting access to its main office in L’Orignal. On March 17 most employees at the L'Orignal were asked to work from home until further notice. Residents and all UCPR clients are now asked to phone the UCPR office number with any questions and not go to the office itself.

Except for dealing with emergency cases involving Ontario Works and Housing Services, the UCPR administration office in L'Orignal is closed. The Ontario Works office in Rockland is closed.

All EarlyON Child and Family Centre programs provided through the UCPR social service department are cancelled until further notice. The Rockland EarlyON Centre playroom is closed as of March 17 until further notice.

The Prescott-Russell Licensed Home Child Care Agency has closed all of its home-based daycare outlets as of March 17. They will remain closed until April 5, following a Ministry of Health recommendation. Parents who have contracted with these home-based daycares will not be billed for the closure period.

For all payments related to Early Years Services, provincial offences, and Ontario works, online payment can be done through Paymentus at http://en.prescott-russell.on.ca/services/online_payment.

Emergency Services

The Prescott-Russell regional ambulance administrative office in Plantagenet is closed to the public. Paramedics will continue to answer 911 calls.

Any resident who thinks they have symptoms of COVID-19, including fever, persistent and worsening cough, and/or difficulty breathing should first call either their doctor, or Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000, or the Eastern Ontario Health Unit at 613-933-1375, and describe the symptoms then follow the instructions they receive.

PR Transpo

The PR Transpo public transit service is suspended until further notice. People who use the regional transit system must make other travel arrangements.

Court

For all provincial court matters, residents are advised to go to https://www.ontariocourts.ca/scj/covid-19/ for advice on how to proceed, or consult with their lawyer, the Crown counsel’s office, or call the provincial court registry office in L’Orignal at 613-675-4661 or 1-800-667-6307, extension 2700.

Municipalities

Operation of municipal offices and other facilities, in response to the COVID-19 situation, varies from municipality to municipality in Prescott-Russell. All municipalities are adjusting their operations to maintain basic and essential services for residents. Emergency service calls through 911 are still available.

East Hawkesbury Township office is closed to the public but staff is still at work inside. Residents can phone or email with questions about services or problems. Property tax payments and other fees can be handled either through online banking or by putting the cheque or money in an envelope with a letter explaining what it is for and putting the envelope in the mail drop box at the municipal office in Saint-Eugène.

All community centres and other municipal facilities are closed to the public until further notice.

Champlain Township municipal office and the building and public works departments’ office are closed to the public for the duration, March 17, with access limited to staff. Payments for property taxes and other fees can be done through online banking or by using the secure outside drop box at the township office on Pleasant Corner Road. Residents are asked to phone staff at the municipal office with any questions about services or to deal with problems.

Public access to Hawkesbury Town Hall, on Higginson Street, was still available as of March 16, but only through Door B on the Higginson Street side of the building. Visitors must follow sanitary procedures while inside.

Municipal administration asks residents to avoid going to the office if the matter is not urgent. Phone with any questions or concerns about services and programs. For property tax payments and other fees, use online banking if possible. All payment dates for taxes, water and sewer service fees remain in effect.

The municipal public works office and the Hawkesbury Fire Station are closed to the public though staff will still be on site to deal with day-to-day municipal services and emergencies.

The Hawkesbury Public Library is closed until April 5. Anyone with books are asked to keep them at home until the library reopens, as the library book deposit chute will be locked. Late fees will not apply to the books signed out while the library is closed due to the COVID-19 situation.

The Robert Hartley Sports Complex is closed until further notice under an EOHU Covid-19 prevention directive. All rental fees for reservations affected by the closure are cancelled. Anyone registered for an aquatic class will get a cancellation credit.

Alfred-Plantagenet Township is restricting public access to its municipal office. Staff will be inside to deal with residents’ questions and complaints by phone or email. Payment of property taxes and other fees is possible by online banking, Canada Post, or using the secure exterior drop box at the municipal office in Plantagenet. Dog owners can renew their tags through the online form on the township website or phone the municipal office.

All of the township’s public libraries are closed until further notice. Use the drop boxes for any books which are due.

In Casselman, the municipal office and public library are closed, though staff will be inside to deal with residents’ questions and concerns by phone. The J.R. Brisson Complex and all municipal community centres are closed for the duration. The April 6 community hockey tournament is cancelled.

The March 16 Casselman Public Library Board meeting, the March 24 municipal council meeting, and the March 26 committee of adjustment meeting are all cancelled.

The Nation Municipality office is closed to the public but staff will be at work inside to deal with residents’ needs by phone or by email. For property tax and other fee payments, use the secure outside drop box at the municipal office or go online at https://nationmun.ca for other electronic payment options.

As of March 16, the Rockland municipal office for the City of Clarence-Rockland was still open to the public though residents are urged to phone for help with any problems or concerns unless they are urgent in nature. Phone also for information on online payment or other options for property taxes and other fees.

The Clarence-Rockland Recreation and Cultural Complex, which includes the YMCA and Rockland Public Library, is closed as is the Bourget Public Library. The Clarence Creek Arena and all community halls in Clarence-Rockland are closed. The Clarence-Rockland Arena is closed to the public but access is allowed for students and staff at the Canadian International Hockey Academy for hockey skills instruction, training, and practice.

The Clarence-Rockland municipal daycare is closed until further notice. Mayor Guy Desjardins confirmed during a phone interview Sunday, that council will consult with staff to work a reimbursement plan for parents who have paid in advance for daycare service at the facility.

Limited public access continues at the Russell Township municipal office in Embrun. A bylaw enforcement department officer will be stationed in the foyer to conduct a screening procedure for anyone coming in. Residents are asked to phone instead with questions about services or problems for staff to handle.

Property tax payments and fees for other services can be done online. Check the municipal website for options. Dog tag renewals are extended to May 31.

The municipal daycare is closed as are both arenas, the Sports Dome, bowling alley, and the public library outlets. Staff and council will discuss reimbursement procedure for rental fees and membership during the March 16 council session.

Churches

The Eastern Ontario Health Unit, following the recommendation of the Ontario Ministry of Health, has asked all churches and other places of worship in the Eastern Ontario region to close for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. Residents are advised to phone their local church or place of worship for information on the status of  any counselling or services offered through the facility.

Job Fair and Entertainment

The Centre de services à l’emploi Employment Services Centre (CSESC) has cancelled the March 28 Employment and Skills Development Fair at Alfred College. The CSESC is looking into compensation for exhibitors, suppliers, and partners. The CSESC office is also closed for the duration, but staff will be available by phone, email, and teleconference to deal with clients’ needs regarding employment.

The Eastern Ontario Health Unit, following the recommendation of the Ontario Ministry of Health, has asked that all bars, taverns, nightclubs, theatres, and other entertainment-related businesses close for the duration of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Hawkesbury Royal Canadian Legion Branch is closed until March 31 or until further notice. All planned special events during that time are cancelled.

The Nation Seniors Association Friends and Members Dinner for March 31 is cancelled.

The Russell Association for the Performing Arts (RAPA) has postponed its spring production of the musical Spamalot to a later date, still to be decided. Go to the RAPA website for information on advance ticket refunds.

Call for information

Changes to public access and/or operating hours for many local, provincial, and federal government offices and agencies are occurring on an almost-daily basis as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Similar changes in access and operating hours are happening for many businesses, community service agencies, recreation groups, and others. If in doubt about whether a particular scheduled event will take place, or if a particular program or service is available during the pandemic, phone for information or consult the website of the agency or person, if one is available.

Grenville-sur-la-Rouge

Alors que le niveau des eaux monte, Hydro-Québec a annoncé l’achèvement, avant l’échéance prévue, des travaux touchant à la capacité de déversement de la Chute-Bell, à Grenville-sur-la-Rouge.

«Nous sommes fiers d’avoir réalisé ces travaux plus rapidement que prévu, sans dépasser le budget initial, a déclaré Roger Gosselin, vice-président par intérim, Planification, Stratégies et Expertises chez Hydro-Québec Production. Les installations sont prêtes pour la prochaine crue printanière.»

The message was loud and clear for staff at Hawkesbury & District General Hospital that all their hard work during the COVID-19 pandemic is very much appreciated.

Thursday night (April 2) at the hospital must have seemed like it would be the same as any other night for the doctors, nurses, and other hospital staff on shift. Until just at the hour of eight o’clock they saw a stream of police cars, sirens flashing, come rushing into the hospital’s emergency entrance parking lot, followed by several fire trucks from the Hawkesbury Fire Hall just a few blocks away up Spence Street.

Champlain Township will take a more proactive role now to help enforce the provincial pandemic protection regulations.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced stricter measures for dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic situation within the province, including some revisions of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act that his government enacted last month.

Un premier centre de dépistage à l’auto de la COVID-19 dans Prescott-Russell ouvrira demain (2 avril) dans les locaux du BSEO à Casselman.

«Je trouve cette approche géniale, elle permet une fluidité dans les tests à la COVID-19. C'est sécuritaire et rapide».

Education

With schools closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, one school district is working on a plan to help homebound students keep up on their studies so they can graduate.

The Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) is fast-tracking plans for a home-learning program for its students. The UCDSB has set up survey to get information from parents on what kind of Internet access they have that would allow their children to take advantage of online learning.

COVID-19

Dès l’annonce ce matin (le er avril) qu’Argenteuil s’ajoutait à la liste des régions à accès contrôlé par la Direction de la santé publique, la Sûreté du Québec a procédé à une première opération de contrôle au pont du Long-Sault, à Grenville.

Rappelons que vers 9h30 ce matin (le er avril), le gouvernement du Québec annonçait qu’Argenteuil venait allonger la liste des régions où les entrées et sorties seraient soumises à des contrôles. En début d’après-midi, des agents de la Sûreté du Québec (SQ) ont dressé un imposant barrage policier sur le pont du Long-Sault.

With schools closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, one Eastern Ontario school board has decided to help out local food banks with its school nutrition program supply.

The Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB), in cooperation with the Upper Canada Leger Centre for Education and Training (UCLCET), will donate the supplies from its school nutrition programs to food banks within its operations area to help families in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Éducation

L’Association des enseignants et enseignantes franco ontariens (AEFO) a scellé hier (le 31 mars) une entente de principe avec le gouvernement pour mettre fin à la grève.

L’AEFO a conclu cette entente après 34 jours de négociations avec le gouvernement ainsi qu’avec le conseil des associations d’employeurs (CAE), composé de l’Association des conseils scolaires des écoles publiques de l’Ontario ACÉPO) et de l’Association franco-ontarienne des conseils scolaires catholiques (AFOCSC), pour le renouvèlement des conventions collectives des enseignants, échues depuis le 31 aout 2019

COVID-19

Le gouvernement du Québec a ajouté ce matin Argenteuil à l’index des régions cloisonnées. À partir de midi, les entrées et sorties de la MRC seront contrôlées.  

Dans un communiqué émis plus tôt ce matin, le ministère de la Santé publique du Québec a indiqué que dès aujourd’hui (le 1er avril), à midi, des points de contrôle additionnels seront déployés aux abords et à l’intérieur de quatre nouvelles régions.

More cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in the Prescott-Russell area since the end of March.

The Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) issued a statement March 28 confirming five more cases of COVID-19, which brought the total for the Eastern Ontario region to nine at the time. Since then one more case has been confirmed, bringing the total to 10. All cases so far involve people from the Prescott-Russell area but residents elsewhere in the region should continue to practice pandemic precautions to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading.

Les précipitations de 25mm à 30mm, prévues entre cette soirée du dimanche 29 mars et le lundi 30 mars pourraient entrainer des inondations dans les zones basses avisent Conservaation de la Nation-Sud (CNS).

« Il est conseillé aux résidents de faire preuve de prudence à proximité des rivières car les prévisions météorologiques peuvent faire augmenter rapidement le débit des rivières et rendre les berges glissantes», a déclaré la CNS., par voie de communiqué.

L'organisme Banques alimentaires Canda lance un appel pour soutenir les organismes du pays qui souffrent d’une baisse conséquente de dons et des denrées alimentaires.

L’organisme de bienfaisance nationale lance un appel urgent pour aider les banques alimentaires dans le pays qui ont un besoin criant de soutien dans cette période de crise dû à la COVID-19.

Public awareness about the need to pay attention and follow pandemic prevention rules is one of the main reasons behind the state of emergency declaration for the Eastern Ontario region.

“Some folks are still not getting it,” said Stéphane Parisien, chief administrator for the United Counties of Prescott-Russell (UCPR), during a telephone interview today (March 27).

COVID-19

The chief medical health officer for Eastern Ontario welcomes the enactment of the Quarantine Act as part of federal action to contain the COVID-19 pandemic but would like more information on how the plan will work.

“We’re waiting for more details,” said Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, chief medical health officer for the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU), during his March 25 daily media teleconference.

East Hawkesbury Township Mayor Robert Kirby has declared an official state of emergency to “better manage” the COVID-19 pandemic for his municipality.

“I hope everyone is trying to follow the (pandemic) guidelines that exist because this is a serious situation,” Mayor Kirby said during a phone interview today (March 27).

Les Comtés unis de Prescott et Russell (CUPR) ont décrété, conjointement avec les Comtés unis de Stormont, Dundas et Glengarry (CUSDG) et la Ville de Cornwall, l’état d’urgence dans la région pour limiter la propagation de la COVID-19.

La déclaration d’urgence a été annoncée, lors d’une téléconférence, en présence de Pierre Leroux, président des CUPR et maire de Russell, Frank Prevost, président des CUSDG, Bernadette Clement, la mairesse de Cornwall, ainsi que le Dr Paul Roumeliotis, médecin hygiéniste du Bureau de santé de l’est de l’Ontario (BSEO).

Crise de COVID-19 ou non les banques alimentaires de Prescott-Russell continuent leur travail, mais ils s’attendent à une augmentation de la demande dans les semaines à venir.

« Nos étagères se vident doucement, mais on s’attend à une augmentation des appels dès  la semaine prochaine suite aux mises à pied dans les différents secteurs économiques de la région». C’est ainsi que le président de la banque alimentaire Bons Voisins d’Embrun Jean François Gignac résume la situation actuelle.

Ontario

The provincial government has released its annual Sunshine List of high-paying positions for municipalities, hospitals, school districts, and other areas of the public sector.

The provincial annual report lists all public sector employees, both at the provincial and municipal level, who received $100,000 or more in salary or total wages during the year. Among the staff for municipalities, school districts, and public health services agencies serving the Prescott-Russell region, there are more than 1100 names on the list for the year 2019.

COVID-19

Chambers of commerce in Prescott-Russell support mandatory closure of non-essential businesses to as part of Ontario’s COVID-19 attack plan.

“It’s a hard blow, but a necessary one,” said Marc Lecompte, president of the Hawkesbury Chamber of Commerce, during a phone interview March 23.

Éducation

Le gouvernement ontarien a lancé vendredi dernier une plateforme d’apprentissage numérique, encourageante pour les uns, mais aussi problématique pour certains parents et enseignants.

Afin de soutenir les familles et les élèves de la province, notre gouvernement a mis en place un portail centralisé pour l’apprentissage à domicile ». C’est ainsi que le premier ministre de l’Ontario Doug Ford a annoncé le vendredi dernier le lancement d’un portail en ligne pour accompagner les élèves dans l’apprentissage, pendant cette période de confinement obligatoire due à la COVID-19.

COVID-19

Avec son Plan d’intervention économique, le gouvernement du Canada lance une série de mesures financières pour aider les Canadiens touchés économiquement par la pandémie de COVID-19. Pouvez-vous en profiter?

Le gouvernement fédéral a mis sur pied des mesures économiques visant à soulager les citoyens, travailleurs d’abord, qui devront essuyer d’importantes pertes de revenus dans les semaines – ou même mois – à venir.  

COVID-19

Ontario is following Québec’s lead in the COVID-19 pandemic fight and ordering all non-essential businesses to shut down.

"This was a tough decision, but the right decision, as this is no time for half measures," stated Premier Doug Ford during an early-afternoon news conference Monday from Toronto. "But I have said from day one we will, and we must, take all steps necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19. The health and safety of every Ontarian must come first.”

LISEZ UN TEXTE SEMBLABLE EN FRANÇAIS
Doug Ford ordonne la fermeture des entreprises

COVID-19 concerns have cancelled the annual Spring Hazardous Household Wastes Collection Day event in Hawkesbury.

The joint program serves the Town of Hawkesbury, Champlain Township, and East Hawkesbury Township, with collection dates scheduled for the spring and autumn. Homeowners are able to bring in their cans of old paint, solvents, used motor oil, aerosol cans, old household batteries, and other items classed as household hazardous waste to a designated drop-off site for collection and eventual safe disposal.

COVID-19

The provincial government has created special penalties for anyone caught defying emergency health restrictions aimed at dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic in Ontario.

The OPP and other law-enforcement agencies now have three new charges for dealing with individuals, businesses, or other groups who defy the provincial health emergency restrictions in place to reduce the threat of COVID-19 spreading in Ontario.

Un troisième cas positif de COVID-19 vient d’être déclaré dans la région, un cas  qui soulève la question d’une éventuelle contamination communautaire

Le Bureau de santé de l’est de l’Ontario a déclaré cette soirée un troisième cas positif de COVID-19 dans la région. C’est le Dr Paul Roumeliotis médecin hygiéniste du BSEO qui vient de confirmer qu’il s’agit d’une personne dans la trentaine qui vit dans Prescott-Russell, elle n’a aucun antécédent de voyage.

COVID-19

Criminals are taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic panic to peddle a new line of frauds and cons.

The OPP and other law-enforcement agencies warn that COVID-19 frauds are now appearing through emails, by phone, and sometimes even with a stranger calling at a home to offer “help” safeguarding residents against infection by COVID-19 or with protecting their property and finances in case of future difficulties.

A local agency is trying to determine how much effect closing the Canada-U.S. border will have on Prescott-Russell’s tourism industry.

“Like everything else, it’s hard to say what will be the real impact,” said Audrey Lizotte, chair of Tourisme Prescott-Russell Tourism (TPRT).

COVID-19

La COVID-19 devient une réalité bien triste qui pousse les administrations, les restaurants, les commerces et les centres de loisirs à fermer les uns après les autres. Cette pandémie mondiale, qui frappe de plein fouet l’Ontario, a poussé certaines institutions bancaires à fermer leurs centres d’affaires dans Prescott-Russell pour prévenir une propagation du fameux virus.

Après une recommandation des services de santé de l’Ontario les six grandes banques canadiennes — la Banque de Montréal, la Banque CIBC, la Banque Nationale du Canada, la Banque Royale, la Banque Scotia et la Banque TD — qui font partie de l’association des banquiers canadiens ont décidé conjointement de réduire le nombre de leur succursale ouverte dans l’Ontario et aussi dans la région de Prescott-Russell, et ce depuis cette semaine. Les six banques ont expliqué dans des communiqués de presse que cette décision est une des solutions visant à préserver la santé et le bienêtre des employés, des clients et des collectivités.

«Les cinq centres de dépistage sont prêts, mais ils ne seront ouverts qu’en cas de besoin», a annoncé le Dr Paul Roumeliotis, médecin hygiéniste du BSEO, lors d’une téléconférence aujourd’hui.

On en sait maintenant un peu plus sur les futurs centres de dépistages que le bureau de santé de l’est de l’Ontario veut mettre en place dans la région. Dr Roumeliotis a annoncé que les cinq centres ouvriront au besoin à Hawkesbury, Casselman Alexandria, Cornwall et Winchester.