The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in London and Middlesex rose on Wednesday to 19 after local health officials reported five new cases, one involving a hospitalization.
Details are only known about two of the five cases.
One involves a woman in her 70s who had recently travelled to the Philippines and who is currently in self-isolation, said the Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU). The other involves a woman in her 80s, who is now in hospital after becoming infected through close contact. Her current status isn’t known.
At the same time, just outside of London, health officials in Sarnia-Lambton reported their first cases of COVID-19. In a statement, Lambton Public Health and Bluewater Health said five cases had been confirmed, all involving patients over the age of 60. All are currently in hospital.
On Thursday, the province said the patients included two women in their 60s and 70s, and three men, one in their 70s and two in their 80s.
“Each person presented at Bluewater Health’s Emergency Department, where they were safely screened and tested for the illness,” the statement said. “The patients are isolated in the hospital safely and all hospital infection control protocols were followed and well-managed by the healthcare team.”
“Lambton Public Health is in the process of following up with a small number of close contacts of the individuals. The investigation is ongoing.”
News of the new local cases comes the same day provincial health officials announced the number of deaths in Ontario from COVID-19 had risen to 13. Officials also announced 100 newly confirmed cases, bringing the provincial total to 688. The tally includes 667 active cases, the 13 deaths, and eight resolved cases.
Nationally, the number of confirmed cases stood at more than 3,200 as of 6 p.m. Wednesday, including 185 recoveries, and at least 30 deaths. Globally, the tally stood at more than 460,000 confirmed cases, with around 113,600 recoveries, and about 20,800 deaths.
Earlier this week, the MLHU reported two local cases involving a male in his 50s and a male in his 60s. How they became infected remains unclear.
One new case was reported over the weekend involving a male in his 50s who had travelled to the U.K., and nine were confirmed last week, six on Thursday alone involving four men in their 20s, 40s, 50s, and 70s, and two women in their 20s and 60s.
Transmission details are only known about two of the cases. The male in his 50s had come in close contact with someone who had COVID-19, while the male in his 70s had recently travelled to Portugal.
Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.
Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.
To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.