The eastern Ontario region of Leeds, Grenville and Lanark is reporting three new cases of COVID-19 and one additional death.
On Friday, the region’s health unit said the case total now stands at 327 cases and 48 deaths. Sixty-four per cent of the positive cases have recovered, according to the health unit.
“The vast majority of the people who’ve been infected are associated with outbreaks in long-term care retirement homes, either residents or as cases as health workers,” said Dr. Paula Stewart, the region medical officer.
The region stretches from Gananoque, Ont., to the outskirts of Ottawa, where multiple long-term care homes have experienced virus outbreaks.
The most severe was in Almonte, Ont., where its long-term care facility has had 25 deaths, including two this week as a result of the coronavirus.
This week, the health unit declared another outbreak in Brockville, Ont., at Royal Brock Retirement home. This came after a staff member tested positive, who did not experience symptoms.
As a precaution, an outbreak was declared, according to Dr. Stewart.
“Every single person who works at that home is supposed to do a screen and if they test positive then they do not come to work. That’s exactly what happened,” said Dr. Stewart.
According to the region’s recent data, more than half of the cases are from retirement/long-term care homes, and 96 per cent of the deaths involved patients over the age of 65.
On Friday, Global News spoke to the area’s MPP, Steve Clark, who said he’s been in constant communication with the health minister and local officials to help prevent future outbreaks.
“We’re going to get through this. We’re all in this together, but we are going to beat COVID-19 by doing public health measures collectively,” said Clark.
The provincial government has said recently that it is confident with the progress made by Ontarians to combat COVID-19, and will allow more businesses to reopen on Tuesday.
Patrons, however, are not allowed to dine in restaurants and bars, which has given a Brockville pub owner an idea.
“We want to generate revenue but we are selling $20 gift cards and donating a $10 gift card to a front-line worker,” said Dan Thompson, owner of Keystorm Pub.
The pub opened last week after a seven-week hiatus, serving curbside pickup on Tuesdays and Fridays — a decision that was made after Thompson says he was forced to lay off 22 employees.
“It was like laying off my brother, sister or my wife; it was terrible,” said Thompson.
“The community support has been great, and we had to close a little bit early on the first Tuesday. We ran out to chicken wings, which is the first time in 17 years.”
Now serving curbside pickup only, Thompson says to create some sense of normalcy, he has asked solo musical acts to play outside of the pub as customers pick up their meals.View link »