OTTAWA -- The Eastern Ontario Health Unit is encouraging everyone to continue to practice physical distancing to help limit the spread of COVID-19 in the community.

Five new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in the Prescott-Russell area on Saturday. One of the new cases is currently in the intensive care unit at the Cornwall Community Hospital.

There are now nine confirmed cases of novel coronavirus in Prescott-Russell.  Of the nine cases of COVID-19 in the Eastern Ontario Health Unit region, four people have no travel history.

In a statement, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis said “we know that there is community spread of COVID-19 elsewhere in Ontario and Canada, and we believe that our area is no exception.”

Dr. Roumeliotis says further cases are expected, and the health unit is waiting for hundreds of tests results.

“I want to make it clear that while the new cases are in the Prescott-Russell area, residents in the rest of the region should not feel that their risk is lower,” said Dr. Roumeliotis.

“We strongly encourage everyone to continue staying home as much as possible, and practice physical distancing to reduce the threat of spread.”

The Eastern Ontario Health Unit reminds travellers that a 14-day quarantine is now mandatory for all Canadians returning from travel outside of Canada.  The health unit says returning travellers must go straight home upon their return to the country, and rely on help from family, friends, their municipality and local agencies for anything they need.