EASTERN ONTARIO — Mass testing of hundreds of area nursing home residents and employees continues to roll out across the region, and so far, early results have been coming back negative for COVID-19 — following the confirmed cluster of 11 cases at a single Plantagenet institution a week ago.
Seven long-term care homes have undergone testing as of yesterday, with an eighth — Parisien Manor in Cornwall — set for sampling today, Eastern Ontario Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis said during his daily media briefing yesterday. “We plan to do the rest into next week,” he said, explaining the effort stems from a ministry directive requiring mass testing at all nursing homes, to be completed no later than 10 to 15 days from now. “And we’re on track for that.”
Staff and residents at Dundas Manor in Winchester and Heartwood in Cornwall underwent sampling yesterday.
St-Jacques Nursing Home in Embrun, Caressant in Bourget, Woodland Villa in Long Sault, Residence Prescott-Russell have all been tested in recent days as well.
The Eastern Ontario Health Unit has been bracing for potential positive tests in asymptomatic individuals after the first home to undergo mass sampling in the region — Pinecrest in Plantagenet — came back with 10 positives out of the 117 residents and staff sampled — all of whom continue to show no symptoms, according to the doctor. An earlier test conducted on a staff member who fell ill also came back positive at Pinecrest (for 11 cases in total at that home, one with symptoms, 10 still without).
Follow-up testing at the other homes so far hasn’t fit the Pinecrest pattern in the test results released to date. As of April 30, according to the United Counties of Prescott-Russell, whose paramedics carried out the tests in that municipal jurisdiction, 121 tests have all come back negative at St. Jacques. Ninety-nine have similarly shown no infection at Caressant, with a dozen tests pending at that home, again as of April 30.
Dr. Roumeliotis said the area’s retirement homes are set to undergo mass testing of staff and residents after the nursing homes are done.