Now five long-term care outbreaks across EOHU territory, region at risk of return to Stage Two

The number of COVID-19 outbreaks at longterm care facilities and retirement homes across the jurisdiction of the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) …

The number of COVID-19 outbreaks at long-term care facilities and retirement homes across the jurisdiction of the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) had increased to five as of Friday, October 16.

Four of the 35 cases at the Prescott and Russell Residence in Hawkesbury had been resolved. When asked why they were declared resolved just seven days after the positive test results were obtained, EOHU Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis said on Friday that because the outbreak had initially been classified as a respiratory illness that was later found to be COVID-19, the required 10 days for as case to be resolved had passed.

Roumeliotis said that the origins of the outbreak at the Prescott and Russell Residence have still not been determined.

Additional COVID-19 outbreaks were in effect on October 16 at The Palace Retirement Home in Alexandria, Foyer St-Jacques in Embrun, and in Cornwall at Sandfield Place Retirement Home and St. Joseph’s Continuing Care Centre (Kane House).

There were 134 active cases of COVID-19 across the jurisdiction of the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) as of Friday, October 16, bringing the number of cumulative cases to 409. Out of that amount, 262 cases were officially resolved.

As of October 16, the highest number of active cases were in the Town of Hawkesbury where there were 40. At 26, the second-highest number were in Russell Township, and 17—the third highest amount, were in the City of Clarence Rockland. There were 10 active cases in La Nation, eight in North Glengarry, seven in Alfred and Plantagenet, and four active cases in Champlain Township as of October 16. The only municipality under EOHU jurisdiction without any active cases of COVID-19 as of Friday was East Hawkesbury.

Possible return to stage two for EOHU

Due to the steady increase of cases across the EOHU’s territory, Roumeliotis said on Friday that discussions are taking place with the Ministry of Health about if the region should be returned to a modified version of Ontario’s Stage Two for how businesses and services should open and operate.

He said that if the current rate of increase continues, a move to Stage Two is possible. Roumeliotis said he has already had discussions with the wardens of the United Counties of Prescott and Russell and Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry, and the mayor of Cornwall about the possibility.

The EOHU’s territory is bordered by Ottawa, which was moved to Stage Two one week ago. The Vaudreuil-Soulanges region to the east in Québec is a red zone under that province’s alert system.

Roumeliotis said on Friday that residents of the EOHU territory should be avoiding all travel outside the region. He also warned against hockey teams from Ottawa and red zones of Québec where arenas are closed who have been attempting to rent rinks in Eastern Ontario communities.

Schools

There were COVID-19 cases at seven schools across the EOHU’s territory as of October 16. All cases were at schools in Clarence-Rockland and Russell Township. When there are two or more cases at a school, it constitutes an official outbreak.

Two students and one staff member at École élémentaire catholique Embrun-Pavillon St-Jean and Pavillon La Croisée.

One student at École élémentaire catholique Sainte-Félicité in Clarence-Rockland.

One student at École élémentaire catholique St-Joseph in Russell.

One student at École élémentaire catholique St-Viateur in Russell.

One staff member at École intermédiare catholique Pavillon Embrun.

One student at École secondaire catholique L’Escale in Rockland.

One student at École secondaire catholique Embrun.

One student at Rockland District High School.

Hospital, deaths, testing

Five COVID-19 patients from the EOHU’s jurisdiction were in hospital as of October 16, and one patient was in intensive care.

The number of COVID-19 deaths across the EOHU territory as of October 16 remained unchanged at 12.

As of October 16, 69,560 COVID-19 tests had been performed across the EOHU`s jurisdiction at the six testing centres and by paramedics.

Provincial statistics

According to the Ontario Ministry of Health, there were 8,904 active cases of COVID-19 across Ontario as of October 15, out of a cumulative 62,908 cases.

The Ministry reported that 54,004 or 85.8 per cent of cumulative cases were resolved as of October 15. Also, as of October 15, there were 261 COVID-19 patients were in hospital across Ontario. Out of those 261 patients, 67 were in intensive care, and 36 patients were on ventilators.

There had been 3,031 deaths due to COVID-19 across Ontario as of October 15.

EOHU active COVID-19 case map, October 16, 2020

EOHU-COVID-19 media briefing, Friday October 16, 2020

Montfort receives record $1M donation

… but the Montfort Hospital recently found one large cause for celebration, after philanthropist couple Yves Tremblay and Sylvie Villeneuve announced …

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Located at Mer-Bleue Road and Brian-Coburn Boulevard in Orléans, the Hub is scheduled to open next summer. The project, led by the Montfort Hospital, includes as partners the Youth Services Bureau, the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, the Eastern Ottawa Resource Centre, Ottawa Public Health, Ottawa Community Geriatric Psychiatry Services, Bruyère and the Champlain LHIN.

According to Montfort CEO Dr. Bernard Leduc, the new facility “will be built with the patient in mind, both physically and logistically.”

The province, which is picking up $75 million of the Hub’s $87-million cost, sees it as a prototype for the future of the healthcare system in Ontario.

The remaining $12 million, meanwhile, is expected to come from community donors. Tremblay says that his and Villeneuve’s donation brings that total to a little more than $3 million.

The pair are hardly strangers to philanthropy, regularly (and quietly) giving to numerous causes. In 2003, Tremblay, who was a senior vice-president at JDS Uniphase until his retirement two years earlier, was, along with JDS founder Jozef Straus, the reluctant public face of an otherwise anonymous $15-million donation by some of the company’s employees to The Ottawa Hospital.

In the late 2000s, meanwhile, Tremblay and Minto Group chairman Roger Greenberg co-chaired a $20-million fundraising campaign to expand The Ottawa Hospital’s cancer centre.

Tremblay has also served on the boards of governors of The Ottawa Hospital, the Ottawa Health Research Institute, La Cité Collégiale and the University of Ottawa.

Like many philanthropists, he prefers to remain out of the limelight, but says it was important to get in front of this project, in part to help dispel the misconception many people, including potential donors, have of the Montfort as a hospital that only serves Ottawa’s French-speaking residents.

“Montfort is a bit cornered because it’s perceived as a French hospital catering to the French population, and this is wrong.”

The hospital provides between 15 and 20 per cent of all acute care services in hospitals in Ottawa, while about 25 per cent of births in Ottawa hospitals occur at the Montfort.

“And the majority of families who go there are English-speaking,” Tremblay adds. “But if you’re French, it’s the only place where you can be guaranteed to be served in French.

“So people need to understand that the Montfort Hospital is as much their hospital as the Queensway Carleton and The Ottawa Hospital are.”

bdeachman@postmedia.com

Newcrest starts share trading in Canada

PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Gold miner Newcrest Mining has started trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol NCM. “A North …

PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Gold miner Newcrest Mining has started trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol NCM.

“A North American listing is part of our strategy of pursuing growth in the Americas following our 70% acquisition of the Red Chris mine in Canada in 2019, and our investments in Ecuador,” said MD and CEO Sandeeb Biswas on Wednesday.

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“We have observed an increase in interest from North American investors in the gold sector over the last six months. When combined with our large existing North American shareholder base, it makes sense for Newcrest stock to be able to be traded in the time zone.

“We believe the TSX listing will improve the global visibility of the company and broaden our access to the large North American capital pool,” he added.

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The company will retain its primary listing on the ASX, and its secondary listing on the Papua New Guinea Exchange market, also trading under the symbol NCM.

Unifor Holding Long-Term Care Rally In Dryden

Unifor is hosting the event calling on the Ford government to immediately address the lack of full-time work in longterm care, and poor conditions for …
Unifor Holding Long-Term Care Rally In Dryden

Dryden and Thunder Bay are among 24 communities across Ontario involved in a Day of Action Thursday.

Unifor is hosting the event calling on the Ford government to immediately address the lack of full-time work in long-term care, and poor conditions for both residents and staff.

The union says the funding and staffing announcements made by the province over the past week increases the money but is far less than what is needed and the government needs a clear plan to recruit and train staff, improve pay and working conditions, and provide full-time work.

Officials stress the situation has become very urgent with a second wave of COVID-19.

The Dryden protest is planned for 11:00am in front of the Government building on Highway 17.

Families, health coalition demand action on long-term care

In the past month, 20 longterm care residents in Ottawa have died, 19 at West End Villa. Betty Yakimenko leads Madonna Care Community’s family …

Betty Yakimenko says her mom, Elsie Stadler, must be made of Teflon, because the Madonna Care Community resident has been tested eight times for COVID-19, and each time the result has come back negative.

Now, Stadler is preparing for test number nine, and Yakimenko hopes her mother can cheat the virus, which has been ravaging the Orléans nursing home, once again.

For the fourth time since the pandemic first struck, an outbreak was declared at Madonna Care Community this week after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19. Since April 6, more than 150 residents and workers there have tested positive, and 47 residents and two staff members have died.

“I’d like to know that proper protocols are being followed, in particular, PPE gear is being worn properly,” said Yakimenko who’s head of Madonna Care Community’s family council. “They have improved some stuff from previously, but I can’t get in there to see, so I don’t know.”

It’s now among a dozen long-term care homes in Ottawa where outbreaks have been declared. In the past month, 20 long-term care residents in Ottawa have died, 19 at West End Villa.

Betty Yakimenko leads Madonna Care Community’s family council. Her mother, who has so far tested negative for COVID-19, is a resident of the Orléans long-term care home.(Judy Trinh/CBC)

Day of action

On Thursday, Yakimenko plans to stand up with other families, staff, unions and the Ontario Health Coalition in a provincewide “day of action” aimed at sending a message to Queen’s Park.

The group is calling for immediate action by the Ford government to recruit and train staff, and to improve working conditions. They’re also calling for a minimum daily standard of four hours of hands-on care for every resident.

Last week, the province announced it’s spending more than half a billion dollars to help the homes hire workers, purchase equipment and prevent infections.

On Wednesday, Health Minister Christine Elliott told reporters her ministry is trying to first limit community transmission. She also noted that hospitals in Ottawa continue to support affected long-term care homes, but she downplayed the current spread.

‘So far it’s only a very small number of long-term care homes that have been affected,’ Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott said Wednesday.(CBC)

Minister’s response

“The spread in long-term care homes is very small. In situations where there is an outbreak, which is just one person that has COVID, that could be a staff member, it can be a resident. In some cases it’s purely staff members, which is unfortunate,” said Elliott. “So far it’s only a very small number of long-term care homes that have been affected.”

Both virtual and in-person protests are planned in more than 20 locations across Ontario on Thursday.

Kevin Skerrett, with the Ottawa branch of the Ontario Health Coalition, said the protest underlines the anger at a situation that hasn’t improved since the spring.

“The crisis has only gotten worse in the course of the pandemic. Now we’re in the second wave, [but] the serious uptick in infection rates and the long-term care facilities in Ontario are not being looked after and coordinated in the same way as other provinces,” said Skerrett.