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Coronavirus: 5 new cases in London-Middlesex, 7 in Elgin-Oxford, 3 in Lambton

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Five people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, officials with the Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) reported Friday.

It brings the Ontario region’s total case count to 674, of which 586 have recovered, a tally unchanged from the day before. Fifty-seven people have died, most recently on June 12.

Four of the cases are located in London while one is in Strathroy-Caradoc, according to health unit figures. They include two people who are both 0-19. In addition, one case involves a person in their 30s, one a person in their 40s, and one a person in their 50s.

None are listed as being health-care workers or having an association with seniors’ facilities.

Two cases are listed as contracting the virus through contact with a confirmed case, two are pending or undetermined, and one has no known link.

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There are now at least 31 active cases in the region, according to health unit numbers.

Health officials reported one recovery on Thursday, two cases on Wednesday, three recoveries on Tuesday, three cases on Monday, and five cases over the weekend.

At least 623 cases have been reported overall in London, while 25 have been in Strathroy-Caradoc. Elsewhere, 12 have been in Middlesex Centre, six each in North Middlesex and Thames Centre, and one each in Lucan Biddulph and Southwest Middlesex.

The region’s seven-day average for new cases stands at 2.28 per day as of Friday, down from 2.57 per day on Thursday. Looking back 14 days to July 16, the average is 2.42.

The region’s test positivity rate stood at 0.1 per cent as of the week of July 12, the most recent data available. That figure is the same as it was during the two weeks prior.

London and Middlesex has seen 132.8 cases per 100,000 people as of Friday, while Ontario’s is 262.9 cases per 100,000.

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An outbreak at Victoria Hospital’s child and adolescent mental health unit (B8-200) remained active as of Friday, according to the health unit.

The outbreak was declared on July 24 after a staff member tested positive.

It’s among at least 27 outbreaks that have been declared in the region. At least 21 of those have been at local long-term care and retirement homes, resulting in at least 184 cases and 35 deaths — 27 per cent of cases and 61 per cent of deaths.

The seniors’ homes outbreaks are to blame for a vast majority of cases — nearly 85 per cent — that involve people 80 years old and above, health unit figures show.

People 80 and above are the second-largest age group of cases in the region, making up 16 per cent of all cases. The largest involves people in their 20s, who account for 21 per cent of cases.

Contact with a confirmed case accounts for 39 per cent of cases involving people in their 20s, followed by no known link with 32 per cent and outbreaks with 20.5 per cent.

People in their 50s make up the third-largest age group, accounting for 15 per cent of the region’s cases. Of those, 39 per cent have no known link, while 32 per cent are linked to outbreaks.

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Women make up nearly 60 per cent of all cases in London and Middlesex, despite accounting for only 51.4 per cent of the region’s population as of 2016 (the most recent information available).

According to health unit figures, 33 per cent of cases involving women are listed as being health-care workers. In comparison, just under nine per cent of cases involving men are health-care workers.

Health-care workers make up 155 of the region’s total case tally. Of those, health unit figures show 131 are women. Nearly 50 per cent of health-care worker cases are linked to outbreaks.

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The number of COVID-19 inpatients at London Health Sciences Centre remains stable at five or fewer — the hospital isn’t issuing a tally unless it rises above that number.

No COVID-19 patients were in the care of St. Joseph’s Health Care London as of Friday. That tally has been unchanged for over a month.

At least 113 people have had to be hospitalized for COVID-19, including 31 who needed to be admitted to intensive care.

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Ontario

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Provincially, Ontario reported 134 new cases on Friday and three deaths.

The total number of cases now stands at 39,209, which includes 35,074 resolved cases and 2,775 deaths.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says while there is a slight uptick in new COVID-19 cases compared with the last two days, 28 of the province’s 34 public health units are reporting five or fewer new cases.

She says 26 of the new cases reported Friday are in Ottawa and 24 are in Windsor-Essex.

The province says it was able to complete more than 30,000 tests the previous day.

Read more: Ontario reports 134 new coronavirus cases, 3 deaths; total cases at 39,209

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The numbers come as Toronto and Peel Region join most of Ontario in Stage 3 of its economic recovery, which allows most businesses and public spaces to reopen.

Toronto city council has enacted a series of additional health measures beyond those set by the province in preparation for the change, including capacity and table size limits for indoor dining in restaurants.

Coronavirus: Toronto, Peel Region move to Stage 3 of Ontario’s reopening plan as of Friday
Coronavirus: Toronto, Peel Region move to Stage 3 of Ontario’s reopening plan as of Friday

The rest of the province is also implementing additional rules, with bars and restaurants in Ontario now required to keep client logs for a period of 30 days.

In a statement this morning, the province says food and drink establishments will have to disclose those logs to the medical officer of health or an inspector on request.

Read more: Coronavirus: Ontario restaurants, bars now required to keep 30-day log of patrons

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Health Minister Christine Elliott says the measures will support contact tracing.

Windsor-Essex is now the only area still in Stage 2 of the government’s reopening plan, with health officials saying they want more data before further loosening restrictions.

The region has been grappling with ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks on farms and said earlier this week that numbers have also been on the rise in the city of Windsor.

Elgin and Oxford

Seven more people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus while one has recovered, officials with Southwestern Public Health (SWPH) reported on Friday.

It brings the region’s total case count to 143, of which 86 have recovered. Five have died, most recently at the start of the month.

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It leaves at least 52 known active cases in the region. Nearly half of them are located in Aylmer.

SWPH has reported at least one new case every day for the last 14 days in a row.

Health officials reported 14 new cases and one recovery on Thursday — the highest single-day increase so far. Eight cases were reported on Wednesday, two on Tuesday, and seven on Monday. Five cases were also reported over the weekend.

July ranks as the worst month for new and active cases in the region so far, with at least 60 cases reported. In comparison, June saw nine cases, while April and May saw 43 and 15, respectively.

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At least 25 of the region’s active cases are in Aylmer, two more than Thursday. Ten cases are in Bayham, four more than Thursday.

Elsewhere, six active cases are in Tillsonburg, four each are in St. Thomas and Norwich, and one is in Central Elgin.

The case rate for Aylmer was 360.4 per 100,000 people as of Friday, making it the hardest-hit area within SWPH’s jurisdiction. Dutton/Dunwich has seen 232.8 per 100,000, while Bayham has seen 175.8.

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St. Thomas and Woodstock, the region’s two major population centres, have seen 61.7 and 41.6, respectively.

The reason for the surge in cases isn’t entirely clear. Local health officials have only spoken in broad terms, stating that the cases are coming from a variety of sources.

They’ve also refrained from commenting whether any of the cases are linked to the region’s Old Colony Mennonite community, which has seen case increases elsewhere in southwestern Ontario.

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As of Friday, a region-wide mask mandate is in effect by way of a letter of instruction to businesses in the region.

The health unit is giving businesses and establishments a one-week grace period to be prepared, meaning mask policies must be in place no later than midnight Aug. 6.

Municipalities in Elgin and Oxford are also being called on by the health unit to put their own bylaws in place.

Exceptions to the mandate include children under two, those unable to wear a face-covering due to a medical condition, and those involved in an athletic, fitness, physical activity or any activity that would preclude its use.

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Children under 5 are also exempt if they refuse to wear a face covering and “cannot be persuaded to do so by their caregiver,” according to the instruction.

Dr. Kris Boksman has tips to alleviate mask anxiety
Dr. Kris Boksman has tips to alleviate mask anxiety

Fifty-four per cent of the region’s cases are women, according to the health unit. People in their 50s make up the largest age group of cases with 35 cases, or 24.5 per cent. People in their 20s come second, with 22 cases, or 15.4 per cent.

Two people are currently in hospital in the region as of Wednesday, the most recent figures available. Both are admitted to Woodstock General Hospital.

SWPH has received 16,654 tests to date, with 402 pending results. At least 0.9 per cent of tests are coming back positive.

Huron and Perth

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

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The region has seen a total of 68 cases, including 59 recoveries and five deaths. The death toll has not changed since late April.

Of the four active cases in the region, three are in Perth County and one is in Huron County.

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

The health unit also announced an outbreak had been declared at Knollcrest Lodge in Perth East after a staff member tested positive. The outbreak is the first active one in the region in about two months.

Just over 32 per cent of cases are linked to outbreaks in the region.

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Perth County has reported a total of 21 cases, while Huron has seen 16. Elsewhere, Stratford has reported 26 cases and four deaths, while St. Marys has reported five cases and one death.

The Stratford death was linked to a since-resolved outbreak at Greenwood Court, a long-term care facility.

Women account for nearly 62 per cent of all cases in the region, the health unit says.

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People in their 60s make up the largest age group of cases with 18, or 26.4 per cent, followed by people in their 50s with 13, or 19 per cent, and people in their 30s with 11, or 16 per cent.

Of the region’s 68 confirmed cases, 28 have involved health-care workers, according to the health unit.

At least 11,538 people had been tested as of Friday, according to the health unit.

Sarnia and Lambton

Three people have tested positive and one person has recovered, officials with Lambton Public Health (LPH) reported late Thursday.

It brings the region’s total case count to 302, of which 265 have recovered. Twenty-five people have also died during the pandemic, most recently in early June.

There are at least 12 known active cases of the virus in Lambton. At least seven cases are located in Sarnia, while the rest are in more rural areas.

Health officials reported no change late Wednesday or Tuesday, and reported four new cases late Monday and two late Sunday.

In a statement earlier this week, health officials stated that there was no evidence of significant community spread in the county.

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“Some of the new cases are related to close contacts of known cases, while other tests were performed to visit loved ones in long-term care (LTC) or through screening of LTC staff.”

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There are currently no active outbreaks in the region. Nine have been declared overall, linked to 105 cases and 16 deaths. Of those, 94 cases and all 16 deaths were linked to outbreaks at Landmark Village and Vision Nursing Home.

Thirty-eight per cent of cases are linked to outbreaks, while 36 per cent are due to close contact with a confirmed case. Twenty-four per cent have an unknown source of exposure.

By age, people 80 and above make up a quarter of all cases, with nearly 50 per cent linked to outbreaks. People in their 50s account for 16 per cent of cases, while people in their 20s make up 13 per cent of cases.

Women account for 57 per cent of all cases in the region, according to the health unit.

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There were no COVID-19 patients in hospital in Sarnia as of Friday, Bluewater Health reported. Twenty-four patients were awaiting test results. The last time the hospital saw a COVID-19 patient was on June 14.

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At least 58 people have had to be hospitalized for the virus during the pandemic, most recently in late May, health unit figures show.

According to the health unit, at least 16,928 test results had been received as of late Thursday. The region’s test positivity remains at 1.8 per cent.

— With files from The Canadian Press