First two COVID-19 deaths in region

(Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

PLANTAGENET, Ont. – The Eastern Ontario Health Unit is reporting its first two deaths from novel coronavirus since the pandemic began in mid-March.

Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis says a woman in her 70s and a man in his 80s died from complications associated with the virus on Sunday (May 3).

Both were residents of Pinecrest Nursing Home in Plantagenet, which is currently dealing with an outbreak.

During his news briefing Monday afternoon with reporters, Roumeliotis said there were initially three staff and eight residents (11 positive cases) during the initial outbreak about a week-and-a-half ago. Since that time four more residents, who were initially negative, tested positive. A fourth employee has also tested positive.

“The one was initially tested, was positive, was asymptomatic and then developed symptoms. The other one was negative initially and then developed symptoms and then was tested. I was speaking to the coroner about it yesterday. She told me they’re seeing this all over with individuals of this age group…get sick very quickly and just collapse, die. They think it may have something to do with sudden heart attack or sudden cardiac arrest that his virus is suspected of doing,” Roumeliotis explained.

“I am saddened by this news. On behalf of the board of health and all EOHU staff, I am offering our condolences to the family and friends of the deceased residents,” Roumeliotis said in a statement.

The number of coronavirus cases jumped by three more on Monday to 101 confirmed cases in the region – 67 in Prescott-Russell (29 resolved), 20 in SD&G (14 resolved) and 14 in Cornwall (11 resolved).