COVID-19 State of Emergency declared in Eastern Ontario

OTTAWA — A State of Emergency has been declared in the United Countries of Stormont, Dundas and Glenarry, the United Countries of Prescott and Russell and the City of Cornwall due to COVID-19. 

The Eastern Ontario Health Unit has reported four confirmed cases of novel coronavirus in the community, but there are 300 people waiting for their test results.

Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis told reporters now is the time to declare a State of Emergency because there is community spread of the virus across the country.

“Over 50 per cent of cases in Canada are not linked to individuals who have travelled abroad or been in contact with people who did,” said Roumeliotis.

“This means there is now community spread of COVID-19 across the country, and our area will be no exception.”

Dr. Roumeliotis told reporters and residents in Eastern Ontario that “our collective approaches” can flatten the curve and reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Cornwall Mayor Bernadette Clement says now is the time for the residents to come “together.”

“The time is now to flatten the curve, to slow the spread of the virus.”

Clement told reporters in a conference call that the Mayors decided to declare a State of Emergency together, because it will take everyone to “beat this thing.”

“The health of our community will be determined by the actions of each and every one of us. We’re calling upon all residents to do the right thing – Stay home, stay connected, stay healthy.”

Residents are asked to stay home as much as possible and to avoid all non-essential outings. If you do go out for essential items, you’re asked to maintain a minimum distance of two metres from one another.

The Eastern Ontario Health Unit is reminding all residents that a 14-day quarantine is now mandatory for all Canadians returning from travel outside of Canada.  Returning travellers must go straight home upon their return to the country, and don’t stop to pick up supplies.