COVID-19 numbers spike at long-term care home, four more deaths

EOHU Medical Officer Of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis – Zoom conferencing photo

CORNWALL – The Eastern Ontario Health Unit announced May 8th that there has been four additional deaths at the Pinecrest Nursing Home in Plantagenet. This increases the death toll at the facility to six.

Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, Medical Officer of Health for the EOHU, told media during his daily update that the number of COVID-19 infections have increased at the long-term care home.

“It’s sad news,” Roumeliotis said. “Our hearts go out to the families of these individuals.”

Two individuals died at Pinecrest on May 3rd, which were the first COVID-19 related deaths in the EOHU region. Roumeliotis has no specifics on the four new deaths at Pinecrest.

“I’m really worried about Pinecrest,” he said. “Once this infection gets into a home, it’s bad.”

Of the over 1,500 COVID-19 related deaths in Ontario, 74.6 per cent of those have been residents of a long-term care facility.

Roumeliotis said that the health unit has completed all of its long-term care home COVID-19 testing except for a facility on Akwesasne, which will be tested May 11th. There are only two outbreaks in homes in the EOHU area: Pinecrest, and the Woodland Villa in Long Sault.

While testing is largely complete in long-term care homes like Dundas Manor in Winchester, retirement homes like the Chartwell Hartford in Morrisburg, have not been tested. When asked by The Leader when that testing will be done, Roumeliotis said that it would be soon.

“We’re waiting for direction from the ministry.”

The health unit does have sufficient testing supplies to conduct the tests. Early in the pandemic, getting swabs and other testing equipment was a challenge due to high demand. Roumeliotis said that the EOHU has plenty and another order is due in next Tuesday.

In the EOHU region there has been a total of 130 people who have tested positive for COVID-19. Of those, 61 people have been marked as “resolved”, six people have died, three people are hospitalized, and two of those three are in Intensive Care units in Ottawa-area hospitals.

In Prescott-Russell, there are 94 cases (33 resolved), SDG has 22 cases (14 resoved), and the City of Cornwall has 14 cases, all of whom are marked as resolved. More than 60 per cent of all COVID-19 infections in the EOHU area have been in people aged 50 or older.

There have been over 3,100 COVID-19 tests performed in the five assessment centres across the region, the Winchester centre has completed 345 tests as of May 7th.

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