Newswatch COVID-19 Digest: Saturday October 24, 2020

Here are the latest local, regional and national headlines on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for Saturday, October 24, 2020:

  • There have been 68,353 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Ontario, an increase of 826 (or 1.2 per cent) from the previous day. There are 58,799 people recovered from the virus while 3,080 people have died. The number of Ontario people tested is 4,825,851 of which 35,436 have pending results.
  • Canada’s coronavirus case total is 211,732. The country has 9,888 deaths from the virus – 256 in British Columbia, 300 in Alberta, 25 in Saskatchewan, 48 in Manitoba, 3,080 in Ontario, 6,106 in Quebec, four in New Brunswick, four in Newfoundland & Labrador and 65 in Nova Scotia.
  • There were 46 cases added in the Eastern Ontario Health Unit region Friday to bring the regional total to 522 confirmed cases, 200 active and 308 resolved. There are seven people in hospital (two more than Thursday) and two in ICU (one more than Thursday). There are four institutional outbreaks. Testing increased by 408 to 72,065. The breakdown of cases is: Prescott-Russell 380 cases (165 active), SD&G 100 cases (28 active) and Cornwall 42 cases (seven active).
  • Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis said Friday that the 522 confirmed cases will jump to 533 over the weekend due to pending cases that need to be added into the system.
  • The significant uptick in cases Friday is due to an outbreak at Residence Prescott-Russell – a nursing home in Hawkesbury – where there have been 68 positive cases among the residents and 41 positive staff. Two dozen cases among residents are resolved while nine staff have recovered. The Canadian Red Cross, Prescott-Russell EMS and the United Counties of Prescott-Russell have been working at the home to try and get things under control. County CAO Stephane Parisien says protocols were followed at the home “to the T” since the start of the pandemic in March but he believes residents allowed casual visits after restrictions were eased “actually triggered the outbreak. We can’t pinpoint it but we know pretty darn close that that’s likely the case.”
  • As expected, a Section 22 order will go into effect Monday for the Eastern Ontario Health Unit area. But Roumeliotis emphasized that it will not result in closure of local businesses. The rules include maximum seating of six people per table in restaurants, “reservations preferred, line management is what we want” and screening patrons for symptoms at the door. Fitness classes at gyms will be limited to fewer than 10 people. Personal service settings, like nail salons and hairdressers, will be required to screen their customers for symptoms, Roumeliotis said.
  • The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit remained at 426 confirmed cases regionally on Friday, of which 17 are active and 357 are recovered. The breakdown is: Leeds-Grenville East (three active), Leeds-Grenville Central (two active), Leeds-Grenville West (two active), Lanark County West (two active) and Lanark County East (eight active). One case is hospitalized in the ICU. There have been 52 deaths to date.
  • Canada hit an all-time high of new cases on Friday at 2,788. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is trying to offer Canadians hope as the government announced it’s spending $214 million on vaccine development.
  • Canada’s chief public health officer says the longer the pandemic goes on the more its impact will be felt. Dr. Theresa Tam says it’s not just affecting those who get sick but the society as a whole – socially, physically and financially.
  • The deputy premier of Quebec says the health care system could be overwhelmed in the capital region if cases aren’t brought under control in Quebec City and the surrounding area.
  • COVID-19 has claimed another big name retailer. Le Chateau is seeking court protection from creditors to liquidate assets and close its stores. The impending closures of over 100 stores will result in roughly 1,400 lost jobs.

Have a story or news release related to COVID-19? Send it along for possible inclusion in a future digest on Cornwall Newswatch. Email editor@cornwallnewswatch.com. Please put “COVID-19 Digest” in the subject line.

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