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London-Middlesex marks 3rd day of no new coronavirus cases

A medical worker performs a mouth swab on a patient to test for Covid-19 coronavirus, in tent extension of the Rigshospitalet Hospital, in Copenhagen, Denmark, Thursday, April 2, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Niels Christian Vilmann/Ritzau Scanpix via AP

For the third day in a row, health officials in London and Middlesex are reporting no new coronavirus cases in the region.

Two people have recovered, according to the health unit, bringing the number of recoveries to 517.

A total of 630 people have contracted the virus in London and Middlesex during the pandemic, a vast majority — 585 — in London, Ont. Fifty-seven people have also died, a tally that has remained unchanged since June 12.

Three recoveries were reported on Monday, while one recovery was reported on Sunday. Saturday saw one new case and one recovery, while Friday saw two cases and two recoveries.

A graph from MLHU showing the number of new cases of COVID-19 in London and Middlesex by reported date, Jan 24 to July 6, 2020. Middlesex-London Health Unit

According to health unit figures, this recent stretch of no new cases is the longest since mid-March when three days passed between the region’s second and third COVID-19 cases being reported on March 12 and March 16, respectively.

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Outside of London, Strathroy-Caradoc has seen 22 cases, while Middlesex Centre has seen 10, Thames Centre six, North Middlesex five, and Lucan Biddulph and Southwest Middlesex one each.

The region’s seven-day average for new cases stands at 0.57 per day as of Tuesday. Looking back 14 days to June 23, the average is 1.4. In comparison, the region’s seven-day average was 13 per day between April 1 and 7.

On Monday, the region’s medical officer of health, Dr. Chris Mackie, remarked during the health unit’s media briefing that London and Middlesex could be in Stage 3 of the province’s reopening framework by the end of the month.

“I think (we) could see a move to Stage 3 over the next two-to-three weeks. I would not be surprised at all to see that,” Mackie said.

“I also think that it’s likely the province will choose to do a regional approach as they did with the Stage 2 reopening.”

According to the province, Stage 3 will allow restaurants and bars to resume dine-in services, will permit performing arts shows and cinemas to operate with limited seating capacity, and will see casinos, gyms, and amusement parks reopen, all with public health measures in place.

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According to the health unit, no outbreaks are currently active at long-term care and retirement homes in the region.

The last active outbreak was deemed resolved on Thursday at Westmount Gardens. At least three staff members had tested positive.

No less than 26 outbreaks have been reported locally, including 21 that have been at long-term care and retirement homes.

The facilities account for 180 of the region’s cases and 37 of its deaths.

Hospitalizations remain low in the region, according to London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC).

While an exact tally isn’t known, the number of hospitalized cases is between zero and five, based on LHSC’s guidelines for releasing a tally.

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St. Joseph’s Health Care London had no COVID-19 patients in its care at any of its facilities as of Tuesday.

Of the region’s cases, 112 have had to be hospitalized, including 31 who have needed intensive care.

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The most recent case to be reported that required intensive care at some point was on May 27, according to health unit data.

Ontario

Provincially, Ontario reported 112 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday and two new deaths.

The total number of cases now stands at 36,060, which includes 31,603 marked as resolved and 2,691 deaths.

The province is also reporting 177 newly resolved cases.

Ontario completed more than 15,100 tests for the novel coronavirus over the previous 24 hours.

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The number of people in hospital because of the virus increased slightly, while patients in ICUs and on ventilators decreased.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says 28 of the province’s 34 public health units are reporting five or fewer cases, with 23 reporting no new cases at all.

The Ford government is set to introduce new legislation that will extend some pandemic emergency orders over the next year.

The bill will be introduced at Queen’s Park Tuesday afternoon, said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones.

The proposed law would allow the government to extend or amend some emergency orders a month at a time, with the law expiring a year after it’s passed.

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Elgin and Oxford

One person has recovered from the novel coronavirus, officials with Southwestern Public Health (SWPH) reported Tuesday.

The cumulative number of cases remains unchanged at 85, of which 78 have recovered and five have died.

The health unit reported no new cases, deaths, or recoveries on Monday, reported one new case over the weekend and announced one death and one new case on Friday. It was the first death in the region since April 22.

Two active cases remain in the region, both in Elgin County — one in Dutton/Dunwich, the other in Malahide.

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Overall, Elgin County has seen 41 confirmed cases of the virus, including 18 in St. Thomas, while Oxford County has seen 44, including 15 in Woodstock.

A total of three outbreaks have been reported, all since-resolved with no deaths.

At least 8,839 tests have been conducted in Elgin and Oxford counties, with 132 people still awaiting test results.

The test per cent positivity rate remains at one per cent.

Huron and Perth

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

The cumulative number of cases in the region remains unchanged at 58, with 52 recoveries and five deaths.

The health unit reported no new cases, deaths, or recoveries on Monday, and reported a new case on Friday. No update was issued over the weekend.

The lone active case in the region is in Perth County.

Fourteen cases have been reported overall in Perth, according to the health unit.

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Elsewhere, 26 cases and four deaths have been reported in Stratford, 14 cases have been reported in Huron County, and four cases and one death have been reported in St. Marys.

The four Stratford deaths were linked to a since-resolved outbreak at Greenwood Court.

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The outbreak, which ended May 11, is among at least nine outbreaks that have been reported in the region during the outbreak. All have since resolved, with a total of 23 cases and four deaths reported.

As of Tuesday, 9,279 people had been tested in the region.

Sarnia and Lambton

One person has recovered from the novel coronavirus, officials with Lambton Public Health (LPH) reported late Monday.

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The cumulative number of cases in the region remains unchanged at 286, of which now 259 have recovered.

Twenty-five people have also died, leaving two active cases in the region, according to the health unit.

Health officials reported no new cases, deaths, or recoveries late Sunday, and reported one recovery late Saturday and one case late Friday.

No people were being treated for COVID-19 at Bluewater Health hospital in Sarnia as of Tuesday morning.

The hospital hasn’t seen a COVID-19 patient in its care since June 14. A total of 57 people have been hospitalized in the county for the virus, with the most recent admission on May 31.

According to the health unit, 40 per cent of cases in the region are linked to outbreaks, while 36 per cent are from close contact of a positive case.

The region has seen eight outbreaks declared at seniors’ homes, largely in Sarnia, while one outbreak was declared at Bluewater Health after three staff members who worked in the hospital’s since-closed COVID-19 unit tested positive.

At least 19 staff have contracted the virus during the pandemic.

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According to health unit figures, 22 per cent of cases involve health-care workers in the province.

People over the age of 80 make up a quarter of all cases, followed by people in their 50s at 16 per cent, people in their 20s at 14 per cent, and people in their 70s at 11 per cent.

At least 13,086 test results have been received by local health officials.

According to the health unit, 2.2 per cent of tests have come back positive as of late Monday.

— With files from the Canadian Press

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