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Coronavirus: First death since mid-June, 9 new cases reported in London and Middlesex

Quebec healthcare workers unions say province's plan to address a second wave is a positive step but fails to address the main issue: staff shortages.
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The coronavirus death toll for London and Middlesex rose for the first time in months on Thursday after officials with the Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) reported one new death.

Health officials also reported nine new cases, six recoveries and a new outbreak at a local seniors’ facility.

The region’s total case tally stands at 1,018, of which 866 people have recovered and 58 have died. There are at least 94 active cases in the region.

The death, which involved a 91-year-old male resident of Extendicare, a seniors’ facility in the city, is the first reported by the health unit since June 12 when officials announced a retirement home resident in her 90s had died of the virus.

Dr. Chris Mackie, the region’s medical officer of health, said the death was associated with an outbreak at the facility, declared Oct. 8, which has seen two cases confirmed.

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Subsequent testing of residents and staff at the home yielded the man’s positive diagnosis, which was confirmed the same day he died, Mackie said.

“Our hearts go out to all of the family and staff and residents affected there,” he said.

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Of Thursday’s nine new cases, eight are from London while one is from Middlesex Centre, health unit data shows. One individual is aged 19 or younger, two are in their 20s, one is in their 30s, one is in their 40s, one is in their 50s, two are in their 60s and one is aged 80 or older.

Two people contracted the virus through an outbreak, while one became infected through close contact. Four cases have their exposure source listed as pending or undetermined, while two have no known link.

The region’s non-ICU hospitalized tally rose by two, but it’s unclear if the increase is due to one of Thursday’s new cases. Overall, 119 people have needed to be hospitalized during the pandemic, including 33 with intensive care.

The number of people currently hospitalized due to the virus is unclear as such real-time information is not released by the health unit. London Health Sciences Centre will issue a tally, but only if it rises above five, which it has not.

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Coronavirus: Ontario training hundreds of lab workers to address COVID-19 test backlog – Oct 14, 2020

Health officials reported five new cases and five recoveries Wednesday, six new cases and 10 recoveries on Tuesday, 25 cases and seven recoveries on Monday, 20 cases and seven recoveries on Sunday, and three cases and 12 recoveries on Saturday.

At least 284 cases have been reported in London and Middlesex since Sept. 1, of which 136, just under half, have occurred so far this month — an increase due in large part to a spike in cases among young people.

People aged 19 and younger have accounted for at least 89 cases, while people in their 20s have made up at least 94. Those in their 30s account for at least 23 cases.

Read more: London’s Oakridge COVID-19 assessment centre introduces online appointment booking

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Londoners looking to get tested at the city’s appointment-only Oakridge Arena assessment centre can now book said appointments online.

The Thames Valley Family Health Team, which operates the city’s two assessment centres alongside London Health Sciences Centre, said Thursday that residents can now visit covidtestinglm.ca or call 519-667-6886 to book a time at Oakridge Arena.

Carling Heights is still operating on a time-card system, but TVFHT officials have said an appointment system for that assessment centre is in the works.

Both are continuing to prioritize certain individuals.

Testing of certain asymptomatic people is also still available at three Shoppers Drug Mart locations in London.

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A new outbreak has been declared at a local seniors’ facility in the region, the health unit said.

The outbreak, declared Wednesday on the fourth floor of Chelsey Park, is the eighth institutional outbreak to be reported in under two weeks and the 12th to be declared since mid-September.

At least 40 institutional outbreaks have been declared since the pandemic began, including 34 at seniors’ facilities. They’re linked to at least 212 cases and 35 deaths in the region.

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Elsewhere, outbreaks remain active at Craigwiel Gardens (facility-wide), McGarrell Place (Ivey Lane, Harris House, Windermere Way), Henley Place LTC (Harris), Extendicare (facility-wide), Peoplecare Oak Crossing (Juniper and Norway Spruce), Mount Hope Centre for Long-Term Care (MV3) and Earls Court Village (fourth floor).

It’s not clear how many cases are linked to the most recent outbreaks. Such information is not released by the health unit.

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No new cases have been reported involving schools in the city or surrounding county, according to the province.

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At least 10 have been reported since Sept. 21, seven since Monday, Oct. 5.

The most recent case was reported at Northdale Central Public School in Dorchester on Tuesday. The case involved a student at the school.

Cases were also reported Saturday at Mary Wright Public School in Strathroy and at Sir Arthur Currie Public School in London. Both cases involved students.

The weekend case at Sir Arthur Currie prompted an outbreak declaration by the health unit as it was the second case to be confirmed at the school in as many days. The outbreak remained active as of Thursday. The first case was reported on Friday, Oct. 6 and involved a staff member.

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Cases have also been reported at École élémentaire La Pommeraie on Oct. 5 and Oct. 8, both involving staff members, and at Saunders Secondary School on Oct. 7 involving a student.

Two cases were also reported in St. Thomas on Sept. 25 and 29, while the region’s first school-linked case was reported at H.B. Beal Secondary School on Sept. 21 and involved a student.

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An active outbreak remains at London Hall, a student residence building at Western University.

Declared Sunday, the outbreak came after four students tested positive for the virus. They’re now isolating out of the residence building. Some close contacts were also moved to a quarantine location as a precaution.

No new cases have been reported as a result of the London Hall outbreak.

At least 74 Western students have tested positive for the virus since the start of last month. The number is likely higher, however the health unit is refraining from issuing an ongoing updated figure.

“We continue to have a number of cases coming in that are linked with Western University,” Mackie said Thursday.

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It is smaller than those outbreaks that we saw in early-middle of September, but we still see cases. Most of the cases at this point are transmission within resident space or within shared housing of various sorts.”

Health officials have said the main activities driving the cases among students are after-hours parties.

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Overall, people in their 20s account for the largest group of cases in the region during the pandemic, with 247 confirmed infections, followed by people in their 50s and people in their 30s.

The region’s seven-day average for new cases stood at 12.42 on Thursday. Looking back to Oct. 1, the 14-day average is 9.92. The region’s incident rate stands at 198.8 per 100,000 people, while Ontario’s is 408.3.

At least 932 cases have been reported in London, while 31 have been in Strathroy-Caradoc.

Elsewhere, Thames Centre’s case count stands at 20, while Middlesex Centre’s is 19, North Middlesex is at eight, Lucan Biddulph seven and Southwest Middlesex one.

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Ontario

Provincially, Ontario reported 783 new cases of COVID-19 and five new deaths related to the virus Thursday.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says 239 of the new cases are in Toronto, 136 are in Peel Region, 127 are in York Region and 89 are in Ottawa.

She says there are 779 newly resolved cases.

Read more: Ontario reports 783 new coronavirus cases, 5 more deaths

Ontario has a total of 62,196 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 53,291 resolved cases and 3,022 deaths.

The province says it is has hired 100 new contact tracers to help track and isolate new cases of COVID-19, and it plans to hire up to 500 more by mid-November.

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Elgin and Oxford

Six people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, officials with Southwestern Public Health (SWPH) reported Thursday.

The increase brings the region’s total case count to 285, of which 268 people have recovered and five have died. The death toll has not changed since early July.

There are now at least 12 active cases in the region, according to the health unit. None are currently in hospital.

Four are in Tillsonburg, two each are in Ingersoll and St. Thomas, and Aylmer, East Zorra-Tavistock, Norwich and Woodstock have one each.

The active cases involve five people in their 50s, four people aged 19 or younger, and one person each in their 20s, 30s and 70s. Seven are female and five are male.

Two new cases and one recovery were reported in the region on Wednesday, while no change was reported Tuesday. Three cases were reported Monday.

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No new cases are linked to schools in the region. Two cases have been reported in the region, both in St. Thomas. Both are considered resolved.

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One was reported at Mitchell Hepburn Public School involving a student, while another was reported days earlier at a local private school.

None of the new cases are linked to an ongoing outbreak at Caressant Care on Mary Bucke. The seniors’ facility in St. Thomas has seen one staff case and an outbreak was subsequently declared Oct. 5.

Five institutional outbreaks have been reported during the pandemic, linked to at least 11 staff cases, one resident case and no deaths.

By location, Aylmer has still seen the largest number of cases during the pandemic, recording 83. A large number were reported in July and August.

Elsewhere, St. Thomas has seen 47 cases, while Bayham has seen 38, Woodstock 31 and Tillsonburg 29.

People in their 50s make up the largest group of infections by age, accounting for 56 cases, followed by people in their 20s with 51 cases.

Of the region’s overall case count, 23 people have needed hospitalization, including 11 who have been admitted to intensive care.

The region’s per cent positivity rate was 0.2 per cent for the week of Oct. 4, the most recent data available. At least 4,100 tests were conducted that week.

Huron and Perth

One person has recovered from the coronavirus, officials with Huron Perth Public Health (HPPH) reported Thursday.

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The region’s total case tally stands at 140, of which now 131 people have recovered. Five people have died, a tally that has not changed since April 29.

The health unit says there are at least four known active cases in the region as of Thursday.

No change was reported Wednesday, while four cases and four recoveries were reported Tuesday.

There are no active institutional outbreaks in the region. A total of eight have been reported, linked to 24 cases and four deaths.

There have also been no cases yet linked to schools.

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Overall, 49 cases have been reported in Perth County, with North Perth and Perth East reporting 19 and 16 cases, respectively.

Elsewhere, Huron County has seen 48 cases, with Central Huron, Bluewater and South Huron reporting 14, 13, and 10 cases, respectively.

Stratford has reported 37 cases as well as four outbreak-related deaths, while St. Marys has seen six cases and one death.

At least 32 cases in the region have involved people in their 20s, while 25 have been people in their 50s and 22 in their 60s.

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Eighteen cases have involved people in their 30s, while 16 have involved people aged 19 or younger.

The total number of hospitalizations has not changed since late April. A total of five people have needed to be hospitalized.

Some 42,983 tests had been conducted by the health unit as of Oct. 10, the most recent figures available. The week of Oct. 4 to 10 saw 2,614 people tested.

Sarnia and Lambton

One person has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, officials with Lambton Public Health reported late Wednesday night.

The region’s total case count stands at 351, of which 323 people have recovered. Twenty-five have died, a tally unchanged since early June.

There are at least three known active cases in the region. One case was reported late Tuesday and one late Monday.

It’s not clear where the active cases are in the county as the health unit has refused to release location data.

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The region has reported its first school-linked coronavirus case of the pandemic.

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One case was reported on Tuesday at Colonel Cameron Public School in Corunna involving a student, according to the province.

Officials with the Lambton Kent District School Board say the school is open and buses are continuing to operate, adding the health unit is “working closely with the school community and is contacting any individuals… who may have been in potential contact with the virus.”

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Bluewater Health says one COVID-19 patient is in its care as of this week. It’s the first patient with the virus to be admitted to Bluewater Health since late May.

The hospital says it’s tested a total of 63 people since the pandemic began who have been confirmed positive.

There has been no change in the total number of outbreaks in the region. A total of 10 have been declared. The last outbreak to be declared was on Aug. 10 at an unspecified workplace.

The outbreaks have been linked to 109 cases and 16 deaths, with nearly all cases and all 16 deaths coming from just two Sarnia seniors’ facilities.

According to the health unit, 76 cases have involved people aged 80 or older, while 53 cases have involved people in their 50s and 50 have involved people in their 20s.

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At least 39,985 tests had been received as of Oct. 3, the latest figures available, according to the county health unit.

— With files from The Canadian Press