Coronavirus: 1 new case reported in London and Middlesex

A woman wears a face mask and another does not as they wait in line outside a store on Sainte-Catherine street in Montreal, Sunday, May 31, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world.
A woman wears a face mask and another does not as they wait in line outside a store on Sainte-Catherine street in Montreal, Sunday, May 31, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

One person has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, officials with the Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) reported Thursday.

It brings the total number of cases in the region to 627. No recoveries or deaths were reported, keeping those tallies at 508 and 57, respectively. No deaths have been reported since June 10.

The new case was reported in London. It does not involve a health-care worker and is not associated with a seniors’ facility. Further details weren’t available.

Health officials reported no new cases and one recovery on Wednesday, one new case and two recoveries on Tuesday and three new cases and three recoveries on Monday.

Read more: Middlesex-London Health Unit mandates masks for transit riders, some businesses

On Thursday, the health unit announced that it would be implementing a mandatory mask policy in certain, “specific circumstances.”

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The region’s medical officer of health, Dr. Chris Mackie, said the order, which will be officially issued next week and come into effect July 20, will see masks required on public transit and in higher-risk businesses where physical distancing is not practical.

The order, under the Health Protection and Promotion Act, will mandate that businesses who provide direct face-to-face service less than two metres away from a customer for more than 15 minutes require that everyone involved wear masks.

The health unit says “a separate order will require riders of public transit to wear a mask while onboard.”

Masks will not be mandatory for children under 12, Mackie said, adding the order could be potentially expanded at a later date to include all indoor public settings.

Read more: Toronto council votes to make wearing face masks mandatory in closed public settings

One outbreak remains active in the region as of Wednesday afternoon, according to the MLHU.

The outbreak, declared June 18 at Westmount Gardens, has seen at least three of the facility’s staff test positive for the virus.

It’s among at least 26 outbreaks that have been declared during the pandemic in London and Middlesex.

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At least 21 of them have been at long-term care and retirement homes, which have seen 178 of the region’s cases and 37 of its deaths.

Though the facilities made up a large chunk of cases in April and May, the majority of new local cases in recent weeks have involved community transmission, according to the health unit.

Provincewide, 519 outbreaks have been declared at long-term care and retirement homes, of which 76 remained active as of Wednesday.

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Hospitalizations remain low, according to London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC), which hasn’t issued an updated patient tally since June 10.

The organization said last month it would only do so if the number of COVID-19 patients rose above five.

No COVID-19 patients were being treated at St. Joseph’s Hospital or at any of the other facilities operated by St. Joseph’s Health Care London.

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The region has seen a total of 112 hospitalized cases, including 31 that have needed intensive care treatment.

A vast majority of hospitalized cases have involved people over the age of 50, according to the health unit.

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There have only been two hospitalized cases involving people in their 20s, three involving people in their 30s and seven involving people in their 40s.

Staff cases remain largely the same as well, according to LHSC, which isn’t issuing a tally unless staff cases rise by five or more. The last update the organization issued was in early June. At least 42 staff had tested positive.

At St. Joseph’s Health Care, at least 19 staff have tested positive.

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Provincially, Ontario reported 153 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday and four new deaths.

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The total number of cases now stands at 35,370, which includes 30,730 marked as resolved and 2,680 deaths.

Read more: Ontario reports 302 new coronavirus cases over past 2 days

The province reported 204 resolved cases over the previous day, and the numbers of people in intensive care and using ventilators both dropped.

The province completed more than 24,300 tests for the novel coronavirus over the previous 24 hours.

Meanwhile, a new mobile app meant to help with contact tracing of COVID-19 cases won’t roll out across Ontario on Thursday as planned.

A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Health says the province is still working with the federal government and the app is expected to launch soon.

Read more: Coronavirus — Launch of COVID-19 contact-tracing app in Ontario delayed

The province will be the first to use the COVID Alert app, but Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said it should be ready for downloading in the rest of the country later this summer.

Using it will be voluntary, and the app will notify users based on a number of criteria, including if they were within two metres of a person who tests positive for the virus and if that contact took place over an extended period of time.

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It’s not yet clear when it will launch.

Elgin and Oxford

No new cases, deaths or recoveries were reported on Thursday by officials with Southwestern Public Health (SWPH).

The total number of confirmed cases remains unchanged at 83, of which 44 have been resolved and four people have died. The region hasn’t seen a reported death since April.

That leaves two active cases in SWPH’s jurisdiction. Both are in Elgin County, with one in Dutton/Dunwich and the other in Malahide.

Health officials did not issue an update on Wednesday and reported no new cases, deaths or recoveries on Tuesday and Monday.

Read more: Trump changes tune amid U.S. coronavirus outbreaks — ‘I think masks are good’

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The number of declared outbreaks stands at three, with all outbreaks resolved.

As of Thursday, 8,792 tests had been conducted in Elgin and Oxford counties, with 107 people still awaiting test results.

The percentage of tests that come back positive is one per cent.

Huron and Perth

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

A total of 57 cases have been reported in the region, of which 52 have been resolved and five people have died.

Health officials did not issue an update on Wednesday and reported one recovery on Tuesday, leaving no active cases in the region for the first time since early March.

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Overall, the region has seen 26 cases and four deaths in Stratford, 14 cases in Huron County, 13 in Huron County and four cases and one death in St. Marys.

The four Stratford deaths were linked to an outbreak at Greenwood Court that ended May 11.

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As of Tuesday, the most recent figures available, a total of 8,563 people had been tested in the region.

Sarnia and Lambton

No new cases, deaths or recoveries were reported late Wednesday by officials with Lambton Public Health (LPH).

The total number of cases remains unchanged at 285, of which 257 have been resolved and 25 people have died, leaving three active cases in the county.

Health officials reported two recoveries late Tuesday and one recovery late Monday.

The number of active outbreaks in Lambton also remains unchanged at one.

The outbreak, at Afton Park Place, a long-term care home in Sarnia, has been active since June 18. One staff member has tested positive.

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A total of nine outbreaks have been declared, with the most severe at Landmark Village and Vision Nursing Home. Ninety-four of the county’s 105 outbreak-related cases and 16 of its deaths have come from the two facilities.

No COVID-19 patients are in hospital at Bluewater Health. The facility has 11 patients who are either suspected positive or are awaiting tests.

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The last time the hospital had an admitted COVID-19 patient was June 14.

At least 12,474 test results had been received by the health unit as of late Wednesday. The percentage of tests that come back positive stands at 2.3 per cent.

— With files from Global News’ Jacquelyn LeBel and the Canadian Press