Two COVID-19 deaths at Woodland Villa, Eastern Ontario Medical Officer of Health reports

Natascha Wood
Nation Valley News

EASTERN ONTARIO — The region continues to see the numbers of new COVID-19 cases stabilizing but has sadly recorded three additional deaths — including the first two fatalities connected with the virus at Woodland Villa in Long Sault.

“Right now there are 21 positive cases there, 18 active and two resolved,” said Dr. Paul Roumeliotis in his scheduled media briefing today, addressing the situation at the Long Sault nursing home.  “And unfortunately, we did have two deaths there.”

Riverview Manor has also recorded a death, an individual who died in hospital, the Eastern Ontario Medical Officer of Health reported.

EOHU stats show the region’s total COVID-19 death count now stands at 55.

Thirty-six people have tested positive for COVID-19 —10 in Prescott-Russell, 9 in SD&G, and 17 in Cornwall — since the doctor’s last media briefing last Friday.

There are 26 COVID-19 patients hospitalized, and five in the ICU. Sixteen outbreaks in congregate living settings are ongoing in Tsiionkwanonhso:te Long Term Care Home, Lancaster Long Term Care Home, Woodland Villa, Glen Stor Dun Lodge, Maxville Manor, Sandfield Place LTC, Riverview Manor, Chartwell Chateau Cornwall, Pinecrest Nursing Home, Iakhihsohtha Lodge, Valoris-211 Russell Road, Rideau Place, Manoir Carillion, Centre d’Acceuil Roger Segin, and Pods JMP2 2600 and JMP1 1600 at Cornwall Community Hospital. Crucially, no new outbreaks have been reported since January 28th.

Roumeliotis confirmed that residents in 18 long term care homes and six high-risk retirement homes have now received their first doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. He is hoping to get second doses to all residents and staff by the provincial deadline of February 15th.

In anticipation of the vaccine distribution’s expansion, Roumeliotis explained that the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) offices currently used as testing centres in Alexandria and Casselman are slated to become vaccination clinics. Once that happens — the official date is not yet known — the testing function at those two sites will respectively move to Glengarry Memorial Hospital and a building operated by the Hawkesbury & District General Hospital in Casselman.

Beyond the Casselman and Alexandria vaccination sites, the doctor can’t yet pin down the locations of other locations where the public will receive the jab — though more are planned.  He foresees “multiple separate sites” operating simultaneously in the region to accommodate “multiple populations.”

“The plan is to accommodate many people at once,” he said, comparing it to the distribution of H1N1 flu vaccine in 2009.

“For sure we’ll be doing multiple sites at the same time, and likely multiple separate sites at the same time for multiple populations.”

And while Pfizer dominated the early vaccine rollout in the doctor’s jurisdiction, the Moderna version has also gone into the arms of nursing home and retirement home residents more recently. Two hundred doses were acquired of that vaccine were received last week. “That’s how we were able to finish off our long-term care and then start into the retirement homes.”

The EOHU is still head of 14 other Ontario health units that have only just received their first shipments of vaccine this week — the Moderna brand — he pointed out.

Planning is also underway to ensure the LTC and retirement home residents receive their second doses 21 to 27 days after they took the first. Staff and essential visitors will have to wait 35 days for the second shot, he said.

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