No COVID-19 cases at Prescott and Russell Residence; results in after Friday’s blanket testing

Prescott and Russell paramedics sample a person at Prescott and Russell Residence, May 1. Courtesy photo

HAWKESBURY — No cases of COVID-19 have turned up at Prescott and Russell Residence, according to the newly released results of mass testing undertaken there on Friday.

All 139 residents plus 160 employees were sampled at the Hawkesbury nursing home May 1 — one of a series of Eastern Ontario care homes to undergo blanket testing last week.

The United Counties of Prescott and Russell (UCPR), owner and operator of the facility, released the outcome late this morning, reporting its pleasure that all 299 tests have come back negative for the virus. Some employees were not tested, either because they are on sick leave or are working from home, says the UCPR.

Paramedics with Prescott and Russell Emergency Services have been carrying out the blanket testing of everyone in long-term care homes within Prescott and Russell counties — including the exercise conducted Friday — in accordance with the province of Ontario’s April 21 directive and implemented in partnership with the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU).

“We are extremely pleased and relieved with this great result, and grateful for the hard work of our employees, the attention paid to safety procedures, inside and outside the Residence, as well as to our infection control policies and procedures,” says Prescott and Russell Residence Administrator Alexandre Gorman.

“We have placed several specific measures in place to achieve this result, and I would like to acknowledge the excellent work of Ms. Paule Juillet, our Director of Nursing and the employee in charge of infection control, in order to mitigate the risks of any spread. Without her work, we certainly wouldn’t be in this position,” Gorman adds.

The UCPR is touting measures in place to cut the risk of infection, such as:

  • The implementation of the EOHU restrictions as soon as the directive was received, as well as an excellent communication with the EOHU;
  • The excellent work of management in supporting its employees and maintaining good communication at all times;
  • The refusal of transfers between hospitals and the Residence unless a negative result was received;
  • The implementation of a new schedule to ensure active screening at all times;
  • The creation of a new employee room, as well as new dining rooms for residents, in order to respect social distancing; and
  • The mandatory wearing of masks at all times for employees.

Eight nursing homes in the EOHU’s coverage area were tested as of last Friday. The very first mass-testing event carried out in the series, April 23 at Pinecrest Nursing Home in Plantagenet, found eight infected residents and two staff members — all of whom showed no symptoms. Precursor to that result was a confirmed infection in one Pinecrest employee who had felt unwell and had sought an individual test earlier that week — the very first positive case in an EOHU-area nursing home.

To date, those residents verified as infected in EOHU-area nursing homes have shown no sign of illness, including the fewer than five asymptomatic cases confirmed this past weekend at Woodland Villa in Long Sault.

Dundas Manor was also tested this past Friday, on the same day as the Prescott and Russell Residence, but results have yet to be released for that Winchester institution.


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