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Increase in COVID-19 Cases in EOHU Region Reinforces Importance of Staying at Home and Following Public Health Measures

2020-03-28

An increase in positive COVID-19 cases in the Eastern Ontario Health Unit region over the last day is a strong reminder of the importance of following public health advisories on staying home and physical distancing, as the threat of spreading the virus grows.

The Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) has received confirmation of five new cases of COVID-19 in the last day, all in the counties of Prescott-Russell. One patient is currently in intensive care at the Cornwall Community Hospital. The latest cases bring the total number in the EOHU region to nine. Of these, four have no travel history, and it is believed they may have become infected through the community.

“We know that there is community spread of COVID-19 elsewhere in Ontario and Canada, and we believe that our area is no exception,” states Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, Medical Officer of Health. He adds that the increase in cases is not unexpected. The health unit is currently waiting on hundreds of test results for residents across the EOHU territory, and expects the numbers to grow not just in Prescott-Russell but throughout the region. “I want to make it clear that while the new cases are in the Prescott-Russell area, residents in the rest of the region should not feel that their risk is lower. We strongly encourage everyone to continue staying at home as much as possible, and practise physical distancing to reduce the threat of spread.”

The EOHU is urging residents to remain at home and avoid all non-essential outings. When going out for absolute essentials like groceries and medication, everyone must maintain a minimum distance of 2 metres (6 feet) from one another. A 14-day quarantine is also now mandatory for all Canadians returning from travel outside of the country. Returning travellers must go straight home upon their return to the country, and rely on help from family, friends, their municipality and local agencies for anything they need.

If you think you may have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, first self-isolate and then use Ontario's Self-Assessment Tool to see if you need to seek further care.

If you need further assistance, call TeleHealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 or your health care provider. You can also call the EOHU at 613-933-1375 or 1 800 267-7120.

More details on how to protect yourself and your family from getting or spreading COVID-19 are available on the EOHU’s website at EOHU.ca/coronavirus. The website also includes local updates, what to do if you have symptoms, information on testing/assessment centres and more.

Visit Ontario’s website at Ontario.ca/coronavirus to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.

Eastern Ontatio Health Unit / Bureau de santé de l'Ontario