EASTERN ONTARIO — Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, the Eastern Ontario Medical Officer of Health, again delivered his bi-weekly media briefing on Tuesday, December 1st, about the latest developments in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Roumeliotis reports a slight decline in the rolling average of infections in Eastern Ontario, a marked improvement from October, which he said was a reassuring trend. He emphasized the importance of maintaining the downward trend to keep this region in the Yellow zone (as opposed to Orange).
However, 39 cases have been added to the EOHU jurisdiction area since Friday — one in Akwesasne, fourteen in Prescott-Russell, eleven in SD&G, and seven in Cornwall. The number of hospitalizations and deaths have remained the same. As of December 1st, the total active cases in the Eastern Ontario region stands at 123, with five currently hospitalized and thirty-one fatalities.
There are two ongoing outbreaks at Woodland Villa in Long Sault and the Prescott and Russell Residence, a decrease from last week. The Russell Meadows retirement home outbreak was officially declared over on Sunday, November 29th. Woodland Villa in Long Sault has reported no new cases after an outbreak was declared on November 13th, which may mean the end of the outbreak is on the horizon.
The Prescott and Russell Residence’s major outbreak stands at 109 residents (81 now resolved), as well as 67 employees (64 now resolved). Unchanged is the number residents who have died in connection with contracting the virus at that facility: 14.
There are currently sixteen active cases in eleven schools and one closure at a Casselman Catholic school. Roumeliotis explained that these cases were traced back to other outbreaks and that the infection had not occurred within the school.
Additionally, in response to a question from the Standard-Freeholder, Roumeliotis denied that two individuals, one employed at Home Depot in Cornwall and another at Dominos Pizza, continued to work after testing positive for COVID-19. He affirmed that neither employee had exposed their workplace to the virus.
“This is not true. The employee did not work while they knew they were positive,” Roumeliotis said. “What we usually do is we go back forty-eight hours and look at their contacts because the person could be asymptomatically transmitting before symptoms begin. A similar question was for Dominos Pizza in Cornwall. Again, there was no exposure in their workplace. The individuals did not go to work sick.”
In total, 874 people in the region have been infected with COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.