1 death, 4 new coronavirus cases in London, Middlesex as local case tally hits 505

One person has died and four have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in London and Middlesex while one person has recovered, local health unit officials reported Tuesday.

The new data brings the total number of confirmed cases in the region to 505, including 367 recoveries and 51 deaths.

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The Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) says the deceased was a woman in her 70s who was associated with a retirement home.

One of the new cases involves a retirement home staff member, while the other three are considered community-spread cases.

All four were reported in London, bringing the city’s share of cases to 468.

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Elsewhere, 20 cases have been reported in Strathroy-Caradoc, along with seven in Middlesex Centre, four each in North Middlesex and Thames Centre and one each in Lucan Biddulph and Southwest Middlesex.

It’s unclear how many cases have been flagged as resolved in each location, as the health unit does not release that information publicly.

A chart from the MLHU showing the number of cases in London and Middlesex by reported date from Jan. 24 to May 26, 2020. Middlesex-London Health Unit

Of the region’s cases, 100, or about 20 per cent, have involved hospitalizations, including the 5.8 per cent that have involved patients being admitted to intensive care.

A majority of hospitalized cases, 73, involve patients over the age of 60, health unit data shows. Fifty-eight cases involve patients over 70.

A total of 16 COVID-19 patients were being treated in London’s University and Victoria hospitals as of midnight on Monday, the most recent update available. It was not clear, however, whether any were in intensive care.

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London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) announced Monday that it would no longer provide a hospital-by-hospital breakdown, including how many cases were in intensive care units, over concerns about patient privacy as case numbers decrease.

At least 25 per cent of the region’s cases, 126, have involved health-care workers, health unit data shows, with women making up 85 per cent of the cases. All but seven cases are in London, and eight cases are still listed as active.

LHSC says at least 41 of its staff members have tested positive over the course of the pandemic. It’s not clear how many cases remain active or where the staff members worked.

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On Monday, the health unit reported one death, two new cases and three recoveries.

That death involved a man in his 80s from a local retirement home. Neither of the new cases were linked to outbreaks at seniors facilities.

Long-term care and retirement homes account for 165 of the region’s 505 cases and 31 of its 51 deaths.

Long-term care homes have seen a total of 99 cases involving 58 residents and 41 staff, while retirement homes have seen 66 cases involving 43 residents and 23 staff.

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Twenty-one deaths have been recorded at long-term care homes and 10 at retirement homes.

READ MORE: Military teams raise concerns about conditions at Ontario care homes

The facilities also account for a majority of outbreaks in the region — at least 18 of the 23 that have been declared.

As of Tuesday, eight outbreaks remained active in London and Middlesex, all of them at long-term care and retirement homes.

Outbreaks remain active at Chesley Park, Henley Place, Country Terrace, Mount Hope Centre for Long-Term Care (St. Mary’s fifth floor), Waverly Mansion, Meadow Park Care Centre and Kensington Village (LTCH) and Sisters of St. Joseph.

The most recent outbreak, declared May 23, is the outbreak at Chelsey Park. It’s actually the second outbreak to be declared at the facility, following an outbreak that was active from April 2 to 14.

The outbreaks are among at least 420 that have been declared at long-term care and retirement homes across the province since mid-January, according to Public Health Ontario. Of those, 281 remain active.

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The majority of Canada’s deaths have been at long-term care facilities, which prompted the federal government to send in Canadian Armed Forces members to help.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford called in military assistance last month to five long-term care homes dealing with COVID-19 outbreaks.

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Speaking on Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he felt a wide range of emotions when he read a grim report prepared by the military on conditions in Ontario nursing homes.

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus outbreak: Trudeau admits ‘extremely troubling observations’ made by CAF members about Ontario long-term care homes' Coronavirus outbreak: Trudeau admits ‘extremely troubling observations’ made by CAF members about Ontario long-term care homes
Coronavirus outbreak: Trudeau admits ‘extremely troubling observations’ made by CAF members about Ontario long-term care homes – May 26, 2020

He says as he reviewed the report, he felt anger, sadness, frustration and grief.

Trudeau told reporters this morning that he had passed along the report to Ford.

On Tuesday, Ford called the report “the most heart-wrenching report I have ever read in my entire life.”

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“The reports they provided us were heartbreaking, they were horrific,” he said. “It’s shocking that this can happen here in Canada. It’s gut-wrenching.”

After reading the report, Ford said it’s clear the system is broken. He said he is now not ruling out a public inquiry, which he previously declined.

READ MORE: What message do leaders send when they break coronavirus rules?


Provincially, Ontario reported 287 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, and 21 more deaths — marking the first time in more than two weeks that the number of new cases has been below 300.

The previous five days had seen more than 400 new cases each in a rising trend.

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READ MORE: Ontario reports 287 new coronavirus cases, lowest since end of March

There have now been 26,191 total cases in Ontario, a 1.1 per cent increase over the previous day, which is the lowest growth rate since early March.

Testing levels remain relatively low, with 9,875 tests completed during the previous day, despite a provincial capacity of nearly 25,000 per day.

The numbers of people in hospital with COVID-19, in intensive care and on ventilators have all decreased.

READ MORE: Should you be tested for coronavirus if you don’t have symptoms?

Elgin and Oxford

One person has tested positive for the novel coronavirus while one person has recovered, officials with Southwestern Public Health (SWPH) reported Tuesday.

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It brings the total number of confirmed cases in the region to 73, of which 58 have recovered, or about 79 per cent of cases. Four deaths have also been reported in the region, a tally that has not changed since April 22.

Health officials reported no new cases, deaths or recoveries on Monday.

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Health unit figures show the new case is located in St. Thomas and involves a staff member at Secord Trails, a long-term care facility in Ingersoll, where an outbreak has sickened eight staff.

The outbreak, declared May 18, is the region’s third. The others, at Beattie Manor and Caressant Care Bonnie Place, have since been resolved.

Eleven cases remain active in Elgin and Oxford counties combined, with nine cases in Oxford County, including four in Ingersoll, two each in Tillsonburg and Woodstock and one in East Zorra-Tavistock.

Two cases are located in Elgin County, including one each in Malahide and St. Thomas.

A chart from SWPH showing the per cent positivity rate of coronavirus tests in the region, April 3 to May 26, 2020. Southwestern Public Health

As of Tuesday, 4,170 tests had been administered in Elgin and Oxford counties. Of those, 240 were awaiting results.

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The region’s test per cent positivity stands at 1.9 per cent.

Huron and Perth

No new cases, deaths or recoveries were reported by officials with Huron Perth Public Health (HPPH) on Tuesday.

The total number of cases remained unchanged at 51, of which 44 have been resolved and five have died.

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The region has two active cases, reported in North Perth on Sunday and in Goderich on Thursday.

The case in Goderich involves a resident at Maitland Manor, a seniors home, which has since declared an outbreak — the region’s seventh and only active outbreak.

Nearly half of all cases, 23, are linked to the outbreaks, which have seen a total of 14 staff and eight resident cases.

Four of the region’s five deaths have been linked to a since-resolved outbreak at Greenwood Court in Stratford, which saw six resident and 10 staff infected.

Twenty-five cases have been reported in Stratford, 13 have been reported in Huron County and 10 have been reported in Perth County. St. Marys has seen two cases. One person has died and one has recovered.

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The health unit said 2,643 tests had been administered in Huron and Perth as of Monday. Of those, 128 were awaiting test results.

Sarnia and Lambton

Three people have tested positive, three people have recovered from the novel coronavirus and one new outbreak has been declared, officials with Lambton Public Health reported late Monday in its latest pandemic update.

It brings the total number of confirmed cases to 251, of which 180 have recovered, or about 71 per cent. Twenty-one people have also died, a figure that remained unchanged.

Health officials reported one death, one new case and two recoveries late Sunday.

READ MORE: Should you be tested for coronavirus if you don’t have symptoms?

Health unit figures show two of the cases reported Monday night are linked to outbreaks at long-term care homes, including one declared just yesterday.

The newest outbreak was declared at Lambton Meadowview Villa in Petrolia after one staff member tested positive.

It’s the second outbreak to be declared at the home during the pandemic. The first outbreak, declared April 15 and resolved April 23, came after a staff member tested positive.

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Monday’s other case linked to a seniors home was reported at Vision Nursing Home involving a staff member.

The outbreak at the Sarnia facility, declared on April 23, is the worst outbreak to be seen in the county in terms of total cases, with 22 resident cases, 20 staff cases and six resident deaths.

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Two other outbreaks remain active in the region, both in Sarnia. Two residents have tested positive at Village on the St. Clair, while one resident has tested positive at Marshall Gowland Manor.

It’s not clear how many cases involved in the three active outbreaks have been resolved.

Six of the county’s deaths are also linked to a since-resolved outbreak at Landmark Village in Sarnia.

A chart from Lambton Public Health showing the number of confirmed cases in the county by reported date, March 24 to May 25, 2020. Lambton Public Health

Health unit figures show the percentage of cases among long-term care and retirement home residents stands at 22 per cent, while health-care workers making up 18 per cent of cases.

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At least eight of the 15 staff cases at Sarnia’s Bluewater Health hospital have recovered as of last week, according to a spokesperson.

The hospital was treating four COVID-19 patients as of Tuesday morning, in addition to 21 patients who were suspected positive or had tests pending.

As of late Sunday, 5,818 test results had been received by the county. The number of pending tests is not released.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

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.

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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. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

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