The rise was more than double that recorded on the previous weekend, when 35 new cases were reported. Seventeen of the 71 new cases were reported in Prescott-Russell, predominately in the Russell municipality. The rise across the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) was centred on Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry, with 30 new cases, and Cornwall, with 24.
The Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) had 227 active cases on Monday, the first time there had been more than 200 cases since February 5. At that time, the region remained in lockdown as part of a province-wide stay at home order.
Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis said the weekend rise was linked to a mix of outbreaks, clusters, and community spread. He said he would recommend the region enter the red zone later this week.
“Unfortunately, I have no choice, you saw the numbers,” he said. “Unless we get a miraculous decrease over the next couple of days [the area will enter red].”
The province was expected to announce a decision about the region’s place in the colour-coded measures on Friday.
There was one outbreak reported in Prescott-Russell in the east wing of the Hawkesbury and District General Hospital. Three staff members and eight patients tested positive to variants of COVID-19. No Prescott-Russell schools were in outbreak, but one student case was reported at Mother Teresa Elementary School in Russell.
Call for civility
Dr. Roumeliotis asked residents to “be patient” after staff were verbally abused while contacting those who tested positive to COVID-19. At a Monday afternoon media briefing, Dr. Roumeliotis said staff had been “yelled at, screamed at with abusive language”.
“Our staff literally are sometimes in tears because they’ve been so rudely spoken to, hung up on,” he said. “I’m pleading with people… they’re trying to protect everybody by doing their job. Please be more polite to our staff.”
Of the 227 active cases in the EOHU on Monday, 54 were in Prescott-Russell communities, including 14 in Russell, 10 in Clarence-Rockland, 9 in Hawkesbury, 8 in Casselman, 6 in Alfred-Plantagenet, 4 in East Hawkesbury, 2 in Champlain, and 1 in The Nation.