2 new COVID-19 outbreaks in London, Ont.; 3 new cases Elgin Oxford

FILE - Pedestrians wear masks as they walk in front of a sign reminding the public to take steps to stop the spread of coronavirus, Thursday, July 23, 2020, in Glendale, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, File).

Nine new cases of the coronavirus and 24 new recoveries were reported by officials with the Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) on Saturday.

The region’s total case tally stands at 1,031, of which 901 people have recovered. There are at least 72 active COVID-19 cases in the region.

On Thursday the health unit reported the first coronavirus death in several months, bringing the region’s total to 58.

The death involved a 91-year-old male resident of Extendicare, a seniors’ facility in the city. The last fatality was reported 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 latest 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.

The region’s non-ICU hospitalized tally rose by two, but it’s unclear if the increase is due to one of Friday’s new cases. Overall, 121 people have needed to be hospitalized during the pandemic, including 33 needing 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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Health officials reported five new cases and 11 new recoveries on Friday, nine new cases and six recoveries on Thursday, five new cases and five recoveries Wednesday, six new cases and 10 recoveries on Tuesday, while 25 cases and seven recoveries were reported on Monday.

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

An outbreak was declared at Westmount Gardens Long Term Care, making this the tenth institutional outbreak to be reported in under two weeks and the twelfth to be declared since mid-September.

On Thursday an outbreak was declared at Chartwell London Long Term Care Residence and a new outbreak was also declared Wednesday on the fourth floor of Chelsey Park.

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Outbreaks at long-term care homes and retirement homes are linked to at least 217 cases and 38 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 as such information is not released by the health unit.

The Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) has identified a positive case of COVID-19 at Sir Frederick Banting Secondary School in London, Ont., on Saturday.

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At least 11 cases have been reported in schools in London and Middlesex since Sept. 21, eight since Monday, Oct. 5.

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

Cases were also reported last 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.

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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.

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

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Declared Oct. 11, 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.

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.”

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

Overall, people in their 20s account for the largest group of cases in the region during the pandemic, with 253 confirmed infections, followed by people in their 50s with 133 cases and people in their 30s with 132.

The region’s incident rate has risen to 201.6 per 100,000 people, while Ontario’s is 418.4.

At least 943 cases have been reported in London, while 31 have been in Strathroy-Caradoc.

Elsewhere, Thames Centre’s case count stands at 21, while Middlesex Centre’s is 20, North Middlesex is at eight, Lucan Biddulph seven and Southwest Middlesex one.

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Provincially, Ontario reported 805 new cases of COVID-19 and 10 new deaths on Saturday.

According to Saturday’s provincial report, 374 of the new cases were in Toronto, 70 were in Ottawa, 107 were in Peel Region, and 93 were in York Region.

The government reported 44,722 coronavirus tests were completed on Friday and 4,617,563 tests have been completed to date.

Ontario has a total of 63,713 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 54,686 resolved cases.

The 10 new deaths reported on Saturday bring the death toll to 3,041.

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Elgin and Oxford

Officials with Southwestern Public Health (SWPH) reported three new cases of the novel coronavirus and one recovery on Friday.

The new cases bring the region’s total case count to 290, of which 270 people have recovered and five have died. The death toll has not changed since early July.

According to SWPH the three new cases are men in their 20s, 50s and 70s. Two are from St. Thomas and one from Norwich.

There are now at least 15 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 Norwich and three are in St. Thomas while Aylmer, Woodstock, West Elgin, and East Zorra-Tavistock each have one.

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

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

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.

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.

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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.

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Elsewhere, St. Thomas has seen 49 cases, while Bayham has seen 38, Woodstock 32 and Tillsonburg 29.

People in their 50s make up the largest group of infections by age, accounting for 57 cases, followed by people in their 20s with 52 cases.

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

Huron and Perth

Huron Perth Public Health (HPPH) does not report cases over the weekend.

On Friday they reported no new cases or recoveries of the novel coronavirus.

The region’s total case tally stands at 140, of which 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 Friday.

One recovery was reported Thursday, no change was reported Wednesday, and 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.

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.

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Sarnia and Lambton

Four people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus and one person has recovered, officials with Lambton Public Health reported late Friday night.

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The region’s total case count is at 362, of which 324 people have recovered. Twenty-five people have died, a tally unchanged since early June.

There are at least 13 known active cases in the region. Seven cases were reported Thursday and one case was reported late Wednesday, Tuesday and Monday.

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

On Friday Dr. Sudit Ranade, Lambton’s medical officer of health spoke about the region’s rising case numbers.

“Because more and more things are open, you see more and more potential contacts for any given case because people are doing more things, so that has led to the need to contact a lot of people and isolate a lot of people for any one given case,” Ranade said.

Two outbreaks have been declared in the region on Thursday, one at Twin Lakes Terrace Long-Term Care Home with one active case and the second in an unidentified workplace with three cases.

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A total of 12 outbreaks have been declared, with 10 in health facilities and two in unspecified workplaces.

“One outbreak has been declared at a workplace and there are several exposures, potential exposures within schools that have not resulted in the declaration of an outbreak but have resulted in a substantial number of people affiliated with the school required to isolate,” Ranade said on Friday.

The outbreaks have been linked to 113 cases and 16 deaths, with nearly all cases and all 16 deaths coming from two Sarnia seniors’ facilities.

According to the health unit, 77 cases have involved people aged 80 or older, while 53 cases have involved people in their 50s and 54 have involved people in their 20s.

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

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 that 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 who have been confirmed positive since the pandemic began.

— With files from Matthew Trevithick and Nick Westoll Global News

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