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6 new coronavirus cases, 11 new recoveries in London-Middlesex

A nurse prepares to do a COVID-19 test at the drive through centre at Etobicoke General Hospital on Monday, June 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn.
A nurse prepares to do a COVID-19 test at the drive through centre at Etobicoke General Hospital on Monday, June 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn. Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press

Six new novel coronavirus cases along with 11 new recoveries were reported in London and Middlesex on Saturday.

There are now a total of 845 COVID-19 cases in the region with 700 recoveries and 57 deaths. The death toll has remained unchanged since June 12.

There are now at least 88 active cases in the region.

According to the Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU), five of Saturday’s new cases are from the city of London, Ont., and one is from Middlesex Centre.

In terms of age, four of the individuals who have tested positive are 19 or under, one is in their 50s and one is in their 80s.

All of Saturday’s new cases are female, according to MLHU data. Four cases are health-care workers. One case involves a staff member at a long-term care home.

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Read more: Coronavirus testing to begin at select London, Ont., pharmacies as early as Sept. 29

The MLHU has confirmed that four of the six cases on Saturday are Western University students. Ten of Friday’s 14 new cases were Western students.

“We’re in the range of 60 cases from Western University,” said Dr. Chris Mackie with the MLHU Friday of the overall total number of cases linked to students.

An outbreak involving a large house party on the weekend of Sept. 12 has been tied to at least 23 cases.

Click to play video '28 students at Western University test positive for COVID-19' 28 students at Western University test positive for COVID-19
28 students at Western University test positive for COVID-19

Meanwhile, “Western Student Outbreak Alpha,” the first student-associated outbreak to be declared by the health unit, has been linked to at least 17 cases.

The outbreak, declared Sept. 13, has been largely traced back to three households, with a night out at a downtown nightclub and subsequent hangouts at off-campus residences serving as main infection points.

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“We know that a lot of Western students are choosing not to party. We’ll see what happens this weekend,” said Mackie.

“Let’s hope that it’s not a heavy weekend from the perspective of FOCO and the other student parties that might be planned.”

Western University announced Friday that its on-campus testing would be moved from the testing trailer it had been using into the Western Student Recreation Centre.

Starting Monday, the university says students, staff, and faculty will be able to get a COVID-19 test there without an appointment.

The city’s assessment centres have continued to see significant capacity issues over the last two weeks since the local case tally began to grow.

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The Carling Heights assessment centre had reached capacity even before they opened on Saturday.

On Thursday, both Carling Heights and Oakridge Arena reached capacity before noon for the first time during the pandemic.

Both Carling Heights and Oakridge Arena now have a ticketing system in place that allows people to return at a later time to get tested. An appointment booking system is expected to be in place early next month.

On Friday, Premier Doug Ford announced that the province was expanding pharmacy coronavirus testing to additional cities, including London.

It’s not clear yet which pharmacies in the city will begin offering the testing, which is expected to start as early as Tuesday.

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A graph showing the number of people seen at London’s COVID-19 assessment centres.
A graph showing the number of people seen at London’s COVID-19 assessment centres. via Middlesex-London Health Unit

Four outbreaks remain active in the region as of Saturday.

Two outbreaks were declared on Thursday. They’re located at Meadow Park Care Centre in its blue and yellow units, and at Peoplecare Oak Crossing in its Red Oak area.

Two active outbreaks also remain at Country Terrace, declared Sept. 23, and at Ashwood Manor Retirement Home, declared Sept. 21. Both outbreaks are facility-wide.

At least 32 institutional outbreaks have been declared in the region, including 26 at seniors’ facilities. They have been tied to 198 cases involving residents and staff, as well as 37 deaths.

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The region’s incident rate stood at 166.6 per 100,000 people on Saturday, while Ontario’s was 329.0.

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By age, health unit figures show people in their 20s account for the most number of cases, with 196, or about 23.2 per cent.

People in their 50s make up 117 of the region’s cases, or about 14 per cent, while those in their 30s and those 80 and above make up 13 per cent of cases each with 111.

Those aged 19 and under make up 81 cases.

A total of 115 people have been hospitalized, including 32 who have needed intensive care.

Ontario

Ontario reported 435 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Saturday, bringing the total number of cases in the province to 49,340.

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No new deaths were reported, keeping the death toll at 2,837.

Meanwhile, 42,507 cases are considered resolved, which is just over 86 per cent of all confirmed cases.

Health Minister Christine Elliott said more than 43,200 additional tests were completed — a single-day record for the province.

Starting Saturday, the government says bars and restaurants will be required to close at midnight, except for takeout and delivery, and will have to stop serving alcohol by 11 p.m.

The province is also ordering all strip clubs to close.

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Coronavirus: Ontario banning alcohol sales after 11 p.m. to slow spread of virus, says Ford

Health Minister Christine Elliott says the tighter regulations will help limit the potential for exposure in places where the risk of transmission is higher.

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Elgin and Oxford

Southwestern Public Health (SPH) reported one new case and one new recovery in Elgin and Oxford on Saturday.

The new case is a person in their 20s from St. Thomas and the new recovery is a person in Woodstock.

At least 264 cases have been reported in the region, of which now 255 have recovered.

Five people have also died, a tally unchanged since early July.

At least six cases remain active in the region; four in Woodstock, one in Central Elgin and one in St. Thomas.

Read more: Queuing nightmare continues as London COVID-19 assessment centre reaches capacity before opening

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Of the region’s six active cases, the health unit says none are in hospital.

At least 23 people have been hospitalized since March, including 11 who’ve needed intensive care.

Three of the region’s active cases involve people in their 20s. One is in their 50s, one in their 60s, and one in their 80s. Three are male and three are female.

People in their 50s account for the largest age group of cases with 51, followed by people in their 20s with 49 and people in their 40s with 38.

A total of four institutional outbreaks have been declared, with all since resolved. No deaths are linked to them.

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Huron and Perth

Huron Perth Public Health (HPPH) does not provide COVID-19 updates on the weekends.

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The region’s total case count remained at 127 as of Friday, of which 122 have recovered. Five people have also died.

In terms of location, Perth County and Huron County have each reported 45 cases, while Stratford has seen 31, and St. Marys six. Four deaths have also been reported in Stratford, and one in St. Marys.

Within Perth County itself, North Perth has seen 16 cases and Perth East 15, while in Huron County, Central Huron has seen 14 cases, Bluewater 12, and South Huron 10.

At least 27 cases have been linked to people in their 20s, followed by people in their 50s with 23 and people in their 60s with 22. At least 56 per cent of cases involve women and girls.

At least 35,083 tests had been conducted by the health unit as of Sept. 13, the most recent figures available. That week saw 1,925 tests completed and a per cent positivity rate of 0.2 per cent.

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Sarnia and Lambton

Lambton Public Health (LPH) reported no new cases, deaths, or recoveries late Friday.

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The region’s total case count is still at 345, of which 318 have recovered. Twenty-five people have also died, most recently in early June.

It leaves at least two known active cases in the county.

The number of outbreaks and hospitalizations in the region remain unchanged at 10, all of which are listed as resolved.

Of the outbreaks, eight have involved seniors’ homes, one has been at Bluewater Health hospital, and one has been at an unspecified workplace.

Read more: Ontario prohibits alcohol sales at bars, restaurants after 11 p.m., orders strip clubs to close

Close contact is tied to at least 135 cases, followed by outbreaks with 113 and travel with seven. Seventy-five cases have their exposure source listed as unknown. The exposure source for several cases was not known.

People 80 and up account for 76 cases, while people in their 50s make up 52. At least 196 cases, or 57 per cent, involve women and girls.

The health unit says at least 27,052 tests have been received as of late Friday. At least 1.3 per cent of tests are coming back positive.

— With files from Global News’ Matthew Trevithick and Ryan Rocca

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