HAWKESBURY — A total of five residents of the Prescott and Russell Residence have died due to COVID-19. The count was revised upward yesterday with two new deaths reported by the operator of the Hawkesbury nursing home, the United Counties of Prescott and Russell (UCPR), which again offered condolences.
Eastern Ontario Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis also remarked on the loss during his Zoom session with local media yesterday evening.
“Terrible, it’s just terrible,” observed the doctor, also comparing it to the region’s first significant nursing home outbreak in Plantagenet last spring. “Once it gets in, it’s just terrible.”
As of today, Oct. 27, the Prescott and Russell Residence has seen 112 cases — 68 residents and 44 employees. Of those, 58 remain active (35 residents and 23 employees), with 49 resolved.
A number of agencies have come in to help fill a staffing gap at the home, with so many employees having to stay away for the requisite quarantine period after testing positive.
Another round of testing is planned this week at the facility.
Dr. Roumeliotis also reported 21 cases in 15 schools in his jurisdiction plus two outbreaks in daycare facilies.
Generally in the Eastern Ontario region, contact tracing is showing that cases are linked to other confirmed cases of the virus, a fact that had Dr. Roumeliotis looking on the bright side. “I’d be more worried if we had no epidemiological link [between cases], and we saw it [the virus] at large, a sort of unexplained presence of the virus,” he said. “This is a better containment approach for us.”
“Our trends are going into the hot zone, at this point,” he added. “Let’s see what happens with the numbers, and hopefully we’ll be able to see them go down.”
There are currently 218 active cases across the five Eastern Ontario counties area (including the City of Cornwall), with a total 561 infections recorded since the start of the pandemic. The latest deaths bring the total regional fatality count up to 17.