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1 new coronavirus case, 7 recoveries in London-Middlesex; 6 new cases in Elgin-Oxford

A woman wearing a face mask arrives at the COVID-19 assessment centre of a hospital in Toronto, July 20, 2020.
A woman wearing a face mask arrives at the COVID-19 assessment centre of a hospital in Toronto, July 20, 2020. Zou Zheng/Xinhua via ZUMA Press)

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

It brings the region’s total case count to 681, of which now 599 have recovered. Fifty-seven people have also died, with the most recent death reported June 12.

There are at least 25 active cases in London and Middlesex.

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The new case involves a person in their 30s from London who acquired the virus through contact with a confirmed case, health unit data shows.

They are not listed as a health-care worker or are linked to a seniors’ home.

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Health officials reported one new case on Wednesday, linked to travel, and reported no new cases Tuesday and five over the long weekend. One of those cases was linked to travel, one to close contact, and three had no known link.

At least 629 cases have been reported in London, while 26 have been reported in Strathroy-Caradoc and 12 in Middlesex Centre.

Six cases each have been reported in North Middlesex and Thames Centre, and one in each of Lucan Biddulph and Southwest Middlesex.

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The region’s seven-day average for new cases stands at 1.71 as of Thursday. Looking back 14 days to July 23, the average is 2.28.

According to the health unit, the region’s test positivity rate for the week of July 19 stood at 0.3 per cent. The figures are the most recent available.

The region’s case rate stands at 134.2 per 100,000 people, compared to Ontario’s 267.2.

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An outbreak at Victoria Hospital’s child and adolescent mental health unit (B8-200) has been declared over, the health unit says.

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The outbreak was deemed resolved on Wednesday. It had been declared July 24 after a staff member tested positive.

A total of 27 outbreaks have been declared in the region during the pandemic. At least 21 have been at long-term care and retirement homes, which have seen 185 cases and 35 deaths.

While the facilities were linked to a large chunk of the cases reported in April and May, they have only accounted for about eight of the at least 51 cases reported since the start of July.

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Health unit figures show people in their 20s make up the largest age group of cases with 143, about 21 per cent, while people 80 and above make up 107 cases, or about 15.7 per cent.

Women make up nearly 60 per cent of all cases in London and Middlesex, despite accounting for just over 51 per cent of the region’s population.

The discrepancy is due in part to cases involving health-care workers. Of the 155 cases associated with health-care workers, 131, about 84.5 per cent, involve women.

At least 114 people have had to be hospitalized for the virus during the pandemic, health unit figures show. Of those, 32 have, at some point, had to be admitted to intensive care.

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Currently, hospitalizations remain low, with London Health Sciences Centre reporting inpatients with COVID-19 number five or less. LHSC isn’t putting a tally out unless the figure rises above five.

St. Joseph’s Health Care reported no COVID-19 patients in its care.

Ontario

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Provincially, Ontario reported 95 new cases of COVID-19 along with one new death.

It marks the fourth day in a row that the province’s new case load has come in under 100.

The number of resolved cases continues to outpace new ones, with provincial data showing 159 more classified as recovered in the past 24 hours.

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Ontario has recorded 39,809 total cases of the novel coronavirus, along with 2,783 deaths.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says 15 of the province’s 34 public health units have not recorded any new cases, with 14 more reporting five or fewer.

She says Ontario processed more than 26,000 tests on Wednesday.

Elgin and Oxford

Six people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus and three people have recovered, officials with Southwestern Public Health reported Thursday.

It brings the region’s total case count to 186, of which 99 have recovered. Five people have also died, most recently in early June.

Thursday’s update continues what’s been a steady surge in cases over the last several weeks, with 103 new cases reported since the beginning of July. Only six cases were reported in June.

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Health officials reported two new cases and two recoveries on Wednesday, and reported 12 cases on Tuesday and 23 over the long weekend along with five recoveries.

A chart from Southwestern Public Health showing cumulative confirmed cases in the region during the pandemic.
A chart from Southwestern Public Health showing cumulative confirmed cases in the region during the pandemic. Southwestern Public Health

Five of the new cases were reported in Aylmer, where a total of 47 cases are currently active. One case was reported in Tillsonburg, where 10 are currently active.

Elsewhere, 17 active cases are in Bayham, five are in Norwich, and two are in St. Thomas. All three municipalities saw cases decrease by one from Wednesday.

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Aylmer, which has seen a total of 52 cases, is the hardest-hit area within SWPH’s jurisdiction, with a case rate of 694.1 per 100,000, more than double that of Bayham, the second hardest-hit area, which has seen 22 cases that equal to a case rate of 297.5.

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St. Thomas and Woodstock have case rates of 69.4 and 41.6 per 100,000, respectively.

The city has implemented its own mandatory mask bylaw in a bid to crack down on the uptick in cases.

The bylaw, which comes exactly a week after SWPH issued a region-wide mask mandate, is in effect as of Thursday and mandates masks in enclosed public spaces.

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The health unit has said the spike in cases has been due to a variety of sources, such as large gatherings and workplaces.

It’s not clear whether the region has seen a similar rise in cases among the Low German speaking community as experienced in Chatham-Kent and Huron-Perth, as health officials have refrained from saying.

Two people were in critical care in the region as of Tuesday — one in Tillsonburg and one in Woodstock, health unit figures show.

SWPH has received 17,901 tests to date, with 492 pending results. At least 1.1 per cent of tests are coming back positive.

Huron and Perth

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

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The region’s total case count remains unchanged at 74, of which 65 people have recovered. Five people have also died, a tally that has not changed since late April.

Health officials reported one recovery Wednesday and reported two new cases on Tuesday and four on Monday.

There are at least four known active cases in the region, all located in Perth County.

The health unit reported over the weekend that at least five of the cases that have been reported recently are linked to Perth East and the area’s Low German-speaking communities.

Such communities have seen case increases in neighbouring jurisdictions.

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At least 27 cases have been reported in Perth County, while 26 cases, including four deaths, have been reported in Stratford. The deaths were linked to an outbreak at Greenwood Court.

Elsewhere, 16 cases have been reported in Huron County, while five cases, including one death, have been reported in St. Marys.

At least 11,922 people had been tested as of Thursday, according to the health unit.

Sarnia and Lambton

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

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The region’s total case count remains unchanged at 319, of which 271 have recovered. Twenty-five people have died. The death toll has not changed since early June.

There remain at least 23 known active cases in the region. The locations of those cases is not clear. Unlike several neighbouring health units, LPH has refused to release location information for current and past cases.

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Health officials reported no change late Tuesday and reported one case and two recoveries late Monday.

Sixteen cases were reported over the weekend, 15 on Saturday alone all linked to “a few of the same families, predominately in a rural community, but with connections to family members in urban communities,” the health unit said.

No COVID-19 patients were in hospital in Sarnia or Petrolia, Bluewater Health reported Thursday. At least 17 patients were in hospital awaiting test results.

At least 58 people have had to be hospitalized during the pandemic due to the virus, most recently in late May. The last COVID-19 patient to be discharged from Bluewater Health was on June 14.

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A total of nine outbreaks have been declared in the county during the pandemic, with all since resolved. Thirty-six per cent of the region’s cases are linked to outbreaks.

Meantime, 39 per cent are due to close contact with a confirmed case while 23 per cent have an unknown course.

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

At least 17,700 test results had been received as of late Monday. The region’s test positivity remains at 1.8 per cent.

– With files from The Canadian Press