CORNWALL, Ontario – As of 4 p.m. on Thursday, March 26, Dr. Paul Roumeliotis of the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) announced, alongside Mayor Bernadette of Cornwall, Frank Prevost, Warden of SD&G and Pierre Leroux, Warden of Prescott-Russell declared a state of emergency across all municipalities covered by the EOHU as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“I think at this point we do have community spread of COVID-19 across the country and I believe it is in our area,” Dr. Paul said in a teleconference. “In light that our population is a vulnerable population . . . I think it is important that we act collectively. We are at the bottom of the curve.”
The Declaration of Emergency will allow the heads of local municipalities to take decisions quickly to protect the health and property of the residents within their jurisdiction.
““I want residents to understand that we have taken this measure to enable us to access additional resources to respond to COVID-19,” said Frank Prevost, Warden of the United Counties of SD&G.
This unprecedented joint move was made in concert across all of the municipalities of the EOHU.
Mayor Bernadette Clement emphasized that the message of the declaration, was that the municipalities are all fighting the pandemic together.
“In the last few days, I’ve been in regular contact with Dr. Paul and all of the politicians in our area,” she said. “The time is now to flatten this curve and stem the spread of this virus. We decided together to declare together.”
In her closing remarks, Clement reminded all listening that not only are the municipalities fighting the COVID-19 virus together, but so are the residents.
“The health of our community is dependent on each and everyone of us,” she said. “Stay at home, stay safe.”
Anyone returning from travel is being told to isolate at home for 14 days. This means no trips to the store, no visits to friends. Those who fail to comply with the mandatory quarantine can be reported to the CPS at 613-932-2110 and could face fines or arrest.
All other residents are being asked to remain home whenever possible, to go get groceries and medicine only when needed, and to keep a distance of two meters between each other.
As of time of writing this story on Thursday afternoon, there are four confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the EOHU area, all in Prescott-Russell, with approximately 200 other tests waiting for results.
There 837 confirmed cases across Ontario.