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Coronavirus: 1 new case, 4 recoveries reported in London-Middlesex

Colorized scanning electron micrograph of an apoptotic cell (greenish brown) heavily infected with SARS-COV-2 virus particles (pink), isolated from a patient sample. Image captured and color-enhanced at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF) in Fort Detrick, Maryland.
Colorized scanning electron micrograph of an apoptotic cell (greenish brown) heavily infected with SARS-COV-2 virus particles (pink), isolated from a patient sample. Image captured and color-enhanced at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF) in Fort Detrick, Maryland. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH

One person has tested positive for the novel coronavirus in London and Middlesex while four people have recovered, the Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) reported Friday.

The update brings the local cumulative case count to 633, of which 560 people have recovered. Fifty-seven people have also died, a tally that has not changed since June 12.

The new case was reported in Strathroy-Caradoc and does not involve a heath-care worker and is not linked to a seniors’ facility, according to the health unit.

The health unit reported one new case and 10 recoveries on Thursday, and two new cases and 29 recoveries on Wednesday — a jump attributed to a review of data by the health unit. No new cases were reported Tuesday, Monday or Sunday.

At least 16 cases remain active in the region.

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Across the region, at least 587 cases have been reported in London while 23 have been reported in Strathroy-Caradoc. Elsewhere, Middlesex Centre has seen 10 cases, 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 Friday. Looking back 14 days to June 26, the average is 1.4.

In comparison, the region’s seven-day average was 13 per day between April 1 and 7.

The city’s two COVID-19 assessment centres continue to see steady turnout, with some 3,500 visits from July 3 to July 9.

Overall, the two centres have seen about 34,700 people and have swabbed around 29,800.

According to the health unit, as of June 28, the most recent figure available, the region’s per cent positivity rate stood at 0.1 per cent, down from a peak of 8.1 per cent at the end of March, when tests weren’t as readily available to the public.

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According to the health unit, people in their 20s make up the largest number of cases with 134, just over 21 per cent.

People over 80 make up 106 cases, or 16 per cent, while people in their 50s make up 98 cases, or 15 per cent.

A vast majority of the cases in recent weeks have been community-sourced, and not linked to local seniors’ facilities.

Since June 1, 73 community-sourced cases have been reported compared to 13 that involve seniors’ homes.

Overall, long-term care and retirement homes have seen at least 180 cases and 37 deaths.

No outbreaks have been active at any local seniors’ home since last Thursday when an outbreak at Westmount Gardens was declared over.

As many as 26 outbreaks have been declared locally during the pandemic, with at least 21 that have been at local long-term care and retirement homes.

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Few people, if any, are currently in hospital in London and Middlesex for the coronavirus.

According to London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC), the number of COVID-19 patients in its care is between zero and five, while at St. Joseph’s Health Care, no patients were being treated at any of its facilities.

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At least 112 of the cases reported in the region have needed hospital care, with 31 needing admittance into intensive care. A bulk of hospitalized cases involve people over 60.

At the hospitals, at least 42 staff have tested positive during the pandemic at LHSC. An updated figure has not been released since early June, with LHSC saying it will only do so if staff cases rise by five or more.

St. Joseph’s has had at least 19 cases involving staff during the pandemic.

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Health-care workers in the region make up 146 of the region’s cases, or 23.1 per cent.

Ontario

Provincially, Ontario reported 116 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday and seven new deaths.

The total number of cases now stands at 36,464, which includes 32,155 marked as resolved and 2,710 deaths.

The province is also reporting 178 newly resolved cases Friday.

Read more: Premier Doug Ford to thank workers at businesses for working during COVID-19 pandemic

Ontario completed more than 27,484 tests for the novel coronavirus over the previous 24 hours.

The number of people in hospital because of the virus dropped slightly, while people in intensive care and on ventilators both slightly increased.

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Elgin and Oxford

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

The cumulative number of confirmed cases in the region remains at 86, of which 79 people have recovered and five have died, leaving two active cases.

Health officials reported one recovery on Thursday, one new case on Tuesday and one new case over the weekend.

The two active cases are located in Dutton/Dunwich in Elgin County and in Woodstock in Oxford County.

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One death was reported last Friday, the first since April 22, involving a 68-year-old woman from the Aylmer, Ont., area.

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The woman had been admitted to hospital on July 1 in Tillsonburg, Ont., and died the same day. Following her death, the health unit says, she tested positive for the virus.

Health officials have since reported that a funeral service held for the woman on July 3 may have exposed as many as 70 people to the virus after an attendee later tested positive.

In a message sent to health-care providers in the region this week, the health unit urged them to be on high alert for symptoms consistent with the virus in members of the Old Colony Church.

Health officials say there is no outbreak involving the local Old Colony Mennonite community, and that attendees are self-isolating, but health-care providers should facilitate timely access for assessment and testing should they see a patient who is impacted by the situation.

Read more: Nunavut remains free of COVID-19 diagnoses after presumptive case turns out negative

Health unit figures show Dutton/Dunwich, where one of the region’s two active cases is located, has been the hardest-hit municipality in its jurisdiction, with nine cases for an area with just under 4,000 people.

Adjusted for population, the municipality’s rate would be 232 cases per 100,000 residents.

In comparison, Woodstock, which has seen 16 cases and whose population is just over 32,000, has an adjusted rate of 39 per 100,000 residents.

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A total of three outbreaks have been declared in the region, all since resolved.

An updated test tally was not available on Friday due to a reporting error, according to the health unit.

The region’s test per cent positivity rate stands at one per cent.

Huron and Perth

No new cases, deaths, or recoveries have been reported by officials with Huron Perth Public Health (HPPH).

The cumulative number of cases remains unchanged at 58, of which 52 people have recovered and five have died.

It’s the seventh day in a row that the region hasn’t seen a new confirmed case.

Health officials have reported no changes through the week, and one case was reported last Friday — the region’s lone active one.

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Effective next week, face masks will be required inside commercial establishments in Huron and Perth, the region’s medical officer of health announced Thursday.

Dr. Miriam Klassen says local business owners are being instructed under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to require the use of face coverings in their establishments starting July 17.

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The list of such establishments “includes but is not limited to retail and convenience stores; malls; enclosed farmers’ markets; and business offices with space open to the public,” a health unit statement said Thursday.

It comes as the region works towards a successful move into Stage 3 of reopening, which brings concerns about possible spread of the virus, Klassen said.

Read more: Canada pushes back on U.S. Congress members’ call to reopen border amid coronavirus

At least 26 cases and four deaths have been reported in Stratford, 14 cases have been reported each in Huron and Perth counties and four cases and one death have been reported in St. Marys.

The four Stratford deaths were linked to an outbreak at Greenwood Court. At least nine outbreaks have been declared in the region. All have since resolved

As of Wednesday, 9,286 people had been tested in the region.

Sarnia and Lambton

No new cases, deaths or recoveries were reported late Thursday by officials with Lambton Public Health.

It’s the seventh day in a row that the county has not seen a new confirmed coronavirus case.

At least 286 cases have been confirmed in the county over the course of the pandemic, of which two remain active. The most recent was reported Friday.

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Health officials say 259 people have recovered and 25 have died — a tally that hasn’t changed since early June.

No changes were reported late Wednesday and Tuesday, and one recovery was reported on Monday and one over the weekend.

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As the province inches towards Stage 3 of the province’s reopening plans, the health unit officially announced Wednesday that it would not be issuing a county-wide mask order.

“At this time in Lambton County, evidence and local context does not support the mandatory public use of masks in a community setting.”

The region’s medical officer of health outlined why in a letter and technical brief to community leaders on Tuesday.

Dr. Sudit Ranade said there was a “low quality of evidence of benefit” and “low certainty of benefit” when it came to masks, adding that there were also enforcement limitations and a lack of talk about potential harms.

He also noted the county’s low population density, and the presence of “other mechanisms” to curb the spread of the virus, including physical distancing, contact tracing and self-isolation.

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With only two active cases in the county, Bluewater Health says it continues to see no COVID-19 patients in its care. The last COVID-19 patient to be discharged from the hospital was on June 14.

The hospital reported Friday that it had 20 people in its care who were awaiting test results.

At least 57 people have had to be hospitalized for the virus during the pandemic, a vast majority in March and April. At least 19 hospital staff have tested positive since March.

At least nine outbreaks have been declared in the county, linked to 105 cases and 16 deaths. All have since resolved. All 16 deaths, and most cases, are tied to outbreaks at Bluewater Health and Vision Nursing Home.

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Of the county’s cases, 25 per cent, or 71 cases, are made up of people over the age of 80. The second-largest age group is people in their 50s, who make up 16 per cent of cases.

At least 13,848 test results have been received by local health officials.

The region’s test per cent positivity rate remains 2.1 per cent.

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— With files from The Canadian Press