Coronavirus: 1 new death and 1 new outbreak in Middlesex London

A digital image of the novel coronavirus.
A digital image of the novel coronavirus. Getty Images / File Photo

The Middlesex London health unit is reporting one new death linked to the novel coronavirus on Saturday.

The death, a 51-year-old woman, is not associated with any long-term care or retirement home.

This new fatality brings the local death toll to 60 people and is the second one recorded this week. A death reported on Wednesday involving a 71-year-old man was also not linked to a seniors’ facility.

Four more people have tested positive for the virus, and 10 more people have recovered, according to the health unit’s online dashboard.

It brings the region’s total case tally to 1,085, of which 963 have recovered.

There are at least 62 known active cases of the virus in London and Middlesex, health unit figures show.

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Of Saturday’s cases, all four are from London, Ont.

Five have their exposure source listed as contact with a confirmed case, while one is listed as due to an outbreak. Three cases are pending or undetermined, while one has no known link.

A total of 128 people have been hospitalized during the pandemic, including 33 in intensive care. Current hospitalization figures aren’t available. London Health Sciences Centre says it will only issue a tally on Mondays if the number of inpatients with COVID-19 is above five.

Health officials reported 10 new cases and nine recoveries on Friday, 11 cases and 10 recoveries on Thursday, one death, nine cases and six recoveries on Wednesday, six cases and eight recoveries on Tuesday, and 11 cases and 12 recoveries on Monday.

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While many of the cases seen last month were due to student gatherings and outings at downtown establishments, health officials say more cases have been appearing involving older age groups.

“This time last month, Western University was really driving the majority of cases in the area,” said Dr. Chris Mackie, the region’s medical officer of health, on Thursday.

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“I’d say they’re down to, you know, 10 to 20 per cent of cases — that’s ballpark, it’s not an exact figure. But [Western] is much less of a factor right now.”
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People in their 20s remain the largest group of cases by age during the pandemic. They account for 24 per cent of all cases with 266, followed by people in their 30s and 50s with 145 and 144 cases each, respectively.

At least 197 cases involve health-care workers, the health unit says. It’s not clear how many staff cases have been reported involving London Health Sciences Centre, but at least four staff cases have been reported at St. Joseph’s Health Care London since the start of September, the organization says.

Previously, St. Joseph’s had reported a total of 19 staff cases, meaning there have been at least 24 staff cases there since the pandemic began.

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The health unit said Friday it’s tweaking one of the three Class 22 Orders unveiled Wednesday and is delaying the implementation of another until mid-next week after officials received some pushback.

The order covering indoor fitness and sports facilities, which came with tighter capacity restrictions, sparked outrage and confusion, in particular from the local sporting community, over how such limits would impact indoor arenas and hockey.

On Friday, Mackie announced changes to the order following consultation with local stakeholders, which will see that number raised to 12, with an additional three staff, referees, and/or instructors permitted.

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Under the change, the number of people permitted on a field of play, like an indoor soccer field, ice pad, or basketball court, will be 25 people, inclusive of staff, referees, and/or instructors. The health unit notes, however, that those 25 would have to be split into two groups to adhere to the 12-person limit for classes, organized activities, or organized programs.

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In addition, each class, organized program, or organized activity must either take place in a separate room, or be in a space large enough where each class, activity, or program can be separated by an “impermeable barrier,” like a dividing wall, or be distinctly separated by a minimum of three metres. Examples of spaces of this size would be arenas, pools, or large gymnasiums.

“For team sports in which substitutions are required, a maximum of 12 are permitted on the roster,” the revised order reads. “For individuals who are not actively participating in the program or activity, a physical distance of two metres must be maintained between each individual.”

The revised fitness order also includes tweaks around classes such as spin or yoga, and guidelines on how instructors should hold said classes.

Health officials said the fitness order, and the order around food and drink establishments, would come into effect at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, while the personal care business order, which covers businesses like salons and tattoo studios, will come into effect at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, Mackie said.


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No new cases were reported on Friday that were linked to local schools in London and Middlesex.

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At least 10 school cases have been reported in London-Middlesex since the region’s first was reported at H.B. Beal Secondary School on Sept. 21 involving a student.

The most recent, reported late Wednesday, involved a student at Lambeth Public School. Previously, student cases were reported on Oct. 17 at Sir Frederick Banting Secondary School, on Oct. 13 at Northdale Central Public School in Dorchester, on Oct. 12 at Mary Wright Public School in Strathroy-Caradoc.

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Two cases reported at Sir Arthur Currie Public School — one on Oct. 9 involving a staff member and one on Oct. 12 involving a student — prompted an outbreak declaration that remained active as of Friday.

Since-resolved 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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Meantime, an outbreak at Western University’s London Hall residents, declared Oct. 11, remained active as of Friday.

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The outbreak has been tied to five student infections, according to the health unit. At least 75 students at the school have tested positive for the virus since the start of September.

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One new outbreak was reported at Strathmere Lodge on Friday.

Nine active institutional outbreaks remain in the region, according to the health unit. They are located at:

  • Strathmere Lodge (Bear Creek, Arbor Glen, and Parkview Place)
  • Oakcrossing Retirement Living (first, third and fourth floors)
  • Westmount Gardens (Lily)
  • Chartwell London (entire long-term care facility)
  • Chelsey Park Long-Term Care (fourth floor)
  • Henley Place LTC Residence (Harris)
  • Craigwiel Gardens (long-term care home only, not apartments)
  • McGarrell Place (Ivey Lane, Harris House, Windermere Way)
  • Extendicare (facility)

One outbreak was declared over on Wednesday. The outbreak was first reported Oct. 7 at Peoplecare Oak Crossing in its Norway Spruce area.

It’s not clear how many cases have been tied to all of the institutional outbreaks that have been declared in the region since March. At least 44 have been declared since the pandemic began in March, with 37 occurring at seniors’ facilities. At least 15 of them have been declared just since mid-September. Health unit figures show they’re tied to 38 deaths as well as 219 cases involving 110 residents and 108 staff.

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As of Thursday, the phone-based appointment system at Oakridge Arena will stop taking calls once the following day’s appointment slots have been filled up.

The update was announced Thursday by the Thames Valley Family Health Team and London Health Sciences Centre, which operate the city’s two assessment centres.

The city’s other assessment centre, located at Carling Heights, is continuing on with a time-card system until an appointment booking option is set up.

Both facilities are only testing those who fall within the province’s testing guidelines, and have seen dips in client visits over the last two weeks — a combined average of 269 visits per day.

Elsewhere, three Shoppers Drug Mart locations in the city are continuing to test certain asymptomatic people, while the Middlesex-London Paramedic Service’s mobile testing bus is back up and running.

The bus will be rolling into Kerwood and Parkhill on Tuesday and Thursday of next week, respectively.

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The region’s seven-day average for new cases stood at 8.42 on Friday. Looking back to Oct. 9, the 14-day average is 9.28. The region’s incident rate stands at 213.8 per 100,000 people, while Ontario’s is 449.8.

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At least 997 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.


Ontario reported the largest single-day increase on Saturday with a total of 978 new cases of the novel coronavirus.

There are 625 new cases now resolved, bringing that total to 59,424.

The total number of cases in the province is now 69,331 with six new deaths raising the death toll to 3,086.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says 348 cases are in Toronto, 170 in Peel Region, 141 in York Region, 89 in Ottawa, and 51 in Durham.

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The province says it has conducted 44,151 tests since the last daily report, with another 30,900 being processed.

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In total, 294 people are hospitalized in Ontario due to COVID-19, including 82 in intensive care.

Elgin and Oxford

Three people have tested positive for the coronavirus and two others have recovered, Southwestern Public Health (SWPH) reported Saturday.

The region’s total case count stands at 305, of which 282 have recovered. Five people have died as a result of the virus, most recently in early July.

According to SWPH the three cases are from Aylmer two people in their 50s and one person 19 or younger. One recovery was a person from St. Thomas and the other one was from Woodstock.

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At least 18 known active cases remain in the region. Six are in Aylmer, five are in Woodstock, three in Ingersoll, two St. Thomas, and one each is in Blandford-Blenheim and Tillsonburg.

Of those, seven are in their 50s, four are in their 20s, three are 19 or younger, two are in their 30s, and one each for people in their 40s and 60s.

Three became infected through a social gathering, while three became infected via close contact, two each are connected to social outings and travel, and one is due to a workplace contact. Two cases are under investigation, and one has an unknown exposure source.

One of the individuals is in hospital in intensive care, the health unit says. They’re among 24 people who have needed hospitalization during the pandemic, and one of 12 who has been in an ICU.

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No new cases were reported involving schools. Two have been reported so far, both since resolved: one at St. Thomas Community Christian School on Sept. 25, and another at Mitchell Hepburn Public School on Sept. 29.

One institutional outbreak remains active in the region with no new cases linked to it, the health unit says. The outbreak at Chartwell Aylmer, was declared Oct. 17 after one staff member tested positive.

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Six outbreaks have been declared during the pandemic that have been linked to 13 cases. Only one has involved a resident, and none of the outbreaks are tied to any deaths.

So far during the pandemic, Aylmer has recorded 88 cases of the virus, while St. Thomas has seen 49, Bayham 38, Woodstock 37, and Tillsonburg 29. Ten cases each have also been reported in Dutton/Dunwich, Ingersoll, and Norwich.

The region’s test positivity rate was 0.5 per cent as of the week of Oct. 11, the most recent figures available. That week saw 2,600 people tested for the virus.

Huron and Perth

Huron Perth does not update its case count over the weekend.

One person has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, Huron Perth Public Health (HPPH) reported Friday.

It brings the region’s total case tally to 142, of which 136 have recovered. The death toll of five has remained unchanged since late April.

Health unit data shows Friday’s case was reported in West Perth and involves a health-care worker. It’s the lone active case in the Huron and Perth region.

The individual is not in hospital, the health unit says. At least five people have been hospitalized during the pandemic, including two who have needed intensive care.

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The new case is not related to outbreaks at any long-term care or retirement homes. No outbreaks are currently active.

The most recent outbreak, declared active on Oct. 16 and declared over Oct. 19, involved one staff member.

Nine institutional outbreaks have been reported in the region during the pandemic, linked to 24 cases and four deaths.

There has also been no change to the number of school-linked cases in Huron-Perth. At least one has been reported. A probable case was reported last week involving a member of Stratford’s St. Joseph’s Catholic Elementary School.

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According to the health unit, 50 cases have been reported in Perth County since March, including 19 in North Perth and 16 in Perth East.

At least 48 cases, meantime, have been reported in Huron County, with 14 in Central Huron, 13 in Bluewater, and 10 in South Huron.

Elsewhere, Stratford has seen 38 cases and four deaths connected to one outbreak early in the pandemic, while St. Marys has reported six cases and one death. The death was the first to be reported in the entire region.

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At least 32 cases in the region have involved people in their 20s, while 26 have been people in their 50s and 23 in their 60s.

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 coronavirus Lambton Public Health (LPH) reported late Friday night.

The region’s overall case tally stands at 367, of which 333 have resolved and 25 have died. The death toll has not risen since early June.

There are nine known active cases in the region, the locations of which have not been released by the health unit.

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An additional case has been reported involving Northern Collegiate Institute and Vocational School in Sarnia.

It’s the second case to be reported at the school, after one was reported on Oct. 15 involving a student. It’s not clear yet whether this latest case involves a staff member or student. The school remains open.

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“At this time, Lambton Public Health does not feel there is any impact to the school, nor are they dismissing any students or staff,” Lambton Kent District School Board officials said in a statement Thursday.

In addition to the two cases at Northern Collegiate, two other school cases have also been reported previously in the county: one at Sarnia’s Bright’s Grove Public School, and the other at Corunna’s Colonel Cameron Public School. Both involved students.

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There has been no change to the county’s active outbreak tally, which stands at two.

Both outbreaks were declared on Oct. 15, one at an unspecified workplace where three people tested positive, and another at Twin Lakes Terrace, a long-term care home in Sarnia, where two staff members tested positive.

Twelve outbreaks have been declared during the pandemic, including nine at seniors’ facilities, two at workplaces and one at Bluewater Health hospital.

They’re linked to 114 cases and 16 deaths. A vast majority of cases, and all 16 deaths, occurred at just two long-term care homes in Sarnia.

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Central Sarnia and Point Edward have reported the largest number of cases with 99, followed by South Sarnia with 94, according to the health unit’s COVID-19 mapping tool, unveiled earlier this week.

According to the map, Sarnia and Bright’s Grove have 60 cases, Rural area 1 on the map shows 61 cases, followed by Rural area 2 with 37 cases.

Rural area 1 is comprised of Petrolia, Enniskillen, Brooke-Alvinston, Oil Springs, Dawn-Euphemia, and St Clair. Rural area 2 makes up Lambton Shores, Plympton-Wyoming, Warwick, and Kettle and Stony Point First Nations.

Lambton County COVID-19 Reporting Regions Map Oct. 24, 2020
Lambton County COVID-19 Reporting Regions Map Oct. 24, 2020. Lambton Public Health
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At least 58 people have been hospitalized for the virus, most recently this month. The patient was discharged on Tuesday from Bluewater Health hospital.

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LPH officials say nearly 44,600 people had been tested in the county as of Oct. 17.

— With files from Matthew Trevithick Global News, The Canadian Press