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Coronavirus: 14 cases, 10 recoveries in London-Middlesex

Colorized scanning electron micrograph of an apoptotic cell (greenish brown) heavily infected with SARS-COV-2 virus particles (pink), isolated from a patient sample. Image captured and color-enhanced at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF) in Fort Detrick, Maryland.
Colorized scanning electron micrograph of an apoptotic cell (greenish brown) heavily infected with SARS-COV-2 virus particles (pink), isolated from a patient sample. Image captured and color-enhanced at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF) in Fort Detrick, Maryland. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH

Fourteen people have tested positive for the coronavirus while 10 have recovered, officials with the Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) reported on Monday.

That brings the region’s overall case count to 1,108, of which 982 people have recovered and 60 have died. The most recent death, reported Saturday, involved a 51-year-old woman who was not associated with a long-term care or retirement home.

The death was the third in just over a week after a 71-year-old man was reported dead on Wednesday and a 91-year-old man, the resident of a seniors’ home that had declared an outbreak, was reported dead on Oct. 15. Prior to that, no COVID-19 deaths had been reported since June 12.

There are 66 known active cases in the region, health unit figures show.

In addition to the new death, health officials reported 13 cases and 19 recoveries over the weekend.

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Read more: Ontario reports 851 new coronavirus cases and 6 more deaths

According to health unit data, the 14 people reported infected on Monday are all from London and span every age group tracked by the health unit.

Four are in their 50s, three are in their 60s and two are in their 20s. One individual is 19 or younger, one is in their 30s, one is in their 40s, one is in their 70s and one is 80 or older.

Eight cases have their exposure source listed as contact with a confirmed case, while one is due to an outbreak and one due to travel. Three have no known link and the source for one is pending or undetermined.

The health unit’s pandemic hospitalization tallies did not increase Monday, but did over the weekend by one involving a case not in an intensive care unit. At least five non-ICU hospitalizations were reported last week.

London Health Sciences Centre reported Monday that six inpatients were in its care with COVID-19. The update is the first to come from LHSC in several months after it announced over the summer that it would only issue such a tally if it rose above five.

No hospitalized cases of the virus were reported at any facility operated by St. Joseph’s Health Care London, the organization said.

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A total of 128 people have been hospitalized during the pandemic, including 33 in intensive care.

Read more: Ontario budget to be released on Nov. 5 after being delayed due to pandemic

The region has recorded at least 228 cases of the virus since the start of October and at least 377 since the start of September.

While a majority of cases seen last month involved younger individuals, such as students, more cases in recent weeks have involved people in older age groups.

People in their 20s still account for the largest number of cases overall during the pandemic, with 270, followed by people in their 50s and 30s with 148 and 146, respectively. People aged 19 or under account for 142 cases.

Of the region’s overall caseload, 199, or about 18 per cent, have involved health-care workers.

At least 1,020 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.

The region’s seven-day average for new cases stood at 9.0 on Monday. Looking back to Oct. 12, the 14-day average is 8.93. The region’s incident rate stands at 218.3 per 100,000 people, while Ontario’s is 473.4.

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More London pharmacies are now offering testing of certain asymptomatic people, London’s mayor announced Monday.

In a tweet, Ed Holder said five more pharmacies would now be offering testing as of this week:

  • London Medical Plex Pharmacy at 1807 Wonderland Rd. N.
  • Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy at 279 Wharncliffe Rd. N.
  • Medpoint Pharmacy in Citi Plaza
  • Shoppers Drug Mart at 115 Commissioners Rd.
  • TMC Pharmacy at 990 Gainsborough Rd.

Testing has also been available for weeks at Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacies in London at 3090 Colonel Talbot Rd., 603 Fanshawe Park Rd. W. and 395 Southdale Rd. E.

Only certain asymptomatic individuals — such as those with loved ones in long-term care homes, close contacts of a known case or high-risk workers — are eligible to get the tests.

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Testing at the city’s two assessment centres is also still available — by phone or online appointment for Oakridge Arena and by time-card for Carling Heights.

The Middlesex-London Paramedic Service’s mobile testing bus is also slated to roll into Kerwood on Tuesday and Parkhill on Thursday.

Read more: MLHU makes adjustments to restrictions following consultations with local sports community

The health unit’s Section 22 order covering personal care businesses will come into effect at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday.

The order was slated to take effect on Saturday along with the health unit’s other two orders covering food and drink establishments and indoor fitness and sports facilities, however pushback prompted the health unit to delay its implementation until further consultations could be held.

The health unit last week revised its indoor fitness and sports facility order after criticism from the local sporting community, in particular about how it would impact indoor arenas and hockey.

Read more: Three coronavirus cases identified at three separate London District Catholic schools

None of the cases reported on Monday appeared to involve local schools, however, several cases were reported over the weekend at local Catholic schools.

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The London District Catholic School Board (LDCSB) reported Sunday that cases had been confirmed by the health unit at three of its schools — two at St. Kateri Elementary School and one each at Mother Teresa and Saint Andre Bessette secondary schools.

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It’s not clear if the three cases involve staff members or students as neither the health unit nor the school board will say. Such information will likely be available on the province’s online school case dashboard within the next day or two.

All three schools involved remained open as of Monday.

At least 14 school cases have been reported since Sept. 21 when the region’s first was confirmed at H.B. Beal Secondary School involving a student.

A case was reported on Wednesday involving a student at Lambeth Public School.

Student cases were also 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. The cases involving Northdale Central and Mary Wright have since been resolved.

Two since-resolved cases have also been reported at Sir Arthur Currie Public School, one on Oct. 9 involving a staff member and one on Oct. 12 involving a student. The second case prompted an outbreak declaration that remains active.

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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.

Meantime, the health unit says an outbreak declared Oct. 11 at London Hall, a student residence at Western University, remains active as of Monday.

At least six people have tested positive as a result of the outbreak.

More than 75 Western University students have tested positive for the virus since the start of September. An exact tally is not clear as it’s been several weeks since the health unit has issued one.

Students looking to get tested for the virus can still visit the university’s testing centre in the Student Recreation Centre in certain situations.

The centre is open Monday to Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Read more: Trump calls U.S. coronavirus case spike a media ‘conspiracy’

No additional institutional outbreaks have been declared active or resolved at local seniors’ facilities, according to the health unit.

The most recent outbreak to be declared over was at McGarrell Place in its Ivey Lane, Harris House and Winderemere Way areas.

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Eight outbreaks remain active in the region as of Monday:

  • Strathmere Lodge (Bear Creek, Arbor Glen, 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)
  • Extendicare (facility)

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, as such information is not made public by the health unit.

At least 44 institutional outbreaks have been declared since the pandemic began in March, with 38 occurring at seniors’ facilities.

Health unit figures show they’re tied to 38 deaths as well as 219 cases involving 110 residents and 109 staff members.

Across the province, at least 6,678 long-term care home residents and 2,822 staff members have tested positive for the virus, while nearly 2,000 residents have died, along with eight staff members.

Provincially, a total of 806 seniors’ facility outbreaks have been declared, with 132 still active as of Sunday.

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Ontario

Provincially, Ontario reported 851 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday and six deaths due to the virus.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says 281 cases are in Toronto, 215 in Peel Region, 90 in York Region and 76 in Ottawa.

The province says it has conducted 28,652 tests since the last daily report, with an additional 17,603 being processed.

It also reported 72 new COVID-19 cases related to schools, including at least 39 among students.

Read more: Ontario reports 851 new coronavirus cases and 6 more deaths

Those bring the number of schools with a reported case to 548 out of Ontario’s 4,828 publicly funded schools.

The province broke its record for the most daily COVID-19 cases both days this weekend, recording 978 cases on Saturday and 1,042 on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Premier Doug Ford’s office says it will not announce Monday whether the province will impose stricter COVID-19 restrictions on two Toronto-area regions.

Ford had said Friday that the experts would look at the caseload in Halton and Durham regions over the weekend to determine whether they need to roll back to a modified Stage 2 of the province’s pandemic recovery plan.

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Read more: Halton, Durham regions not moving into modified Stage 2 as of now

His office says Monday it is constantly assessing the situation and will make an announcement if and when regions need to be moved into modified Stage 2.

Tighter restrictions have been imposed on Ottawa, Toronto, Peel Region and York Region over the last several weeks as cases of the novel coronavirus soar within their borders.

Elgin and Oxford

One person has tested positive for the coronavirus and four others have recovered, Southwestern Public Health (SWPH) reported Monday.

The region’s total case count stands at 309, of which 288 people have recovered. Five people have died, most recently in early July.

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The region has at least 16 known active cases of the virus. Eight cases are in Woodstock, four are in Aylmer, two are in Ingersoll, and Blandford-Blenheim and Tillsonburg have one each.

Health officials reported three cases and two recoveries Sunday and three cases and two recoveries on Saturday.

Health officials say of the active cases, four individuals are aged 19 or younger, two are in their 20s, four are in their 30s, one is in their 40s and five are in their 50s. One is currently in intensive care

Read more: 21-year-old man fatally shot outside Toronto LCBO following argument over social distancing

The new case is not tied to either active institutional outbreak in the county.

Health officials declared an outbreak on Saturday at Secord Trails in Ingersoll after one staff member tested positive for the virus. It’s the second outbreak to be reported at the facility after one was declared on May 18. During that outbreak, eight staff members became infected with the virus.

The region’s other active outbreak, declared on Oct. 17, is located at Chartwell Aylmer, where one staff member has tested positive.

Seven outbreaks have been declared during the pandemic, linked to 14 cases. Only one has involved a resident and none have involved any deaths.

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The new case was also not linked to schools in the region. Two cases 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.

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Aylmer remains the hardest-hit region when it comes to cases, reporting a total of 88 during the pandemic. Most of the cases were reported in late July and early to mid-August.

Elsewhere, 49 cases have been reported in St Thomas, 41 in Woodstock, 48 in Bayham, 29 in Tillsonburg and 10 each 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

One person has tested positive for the coronavirus and one has recovered, Huron Perth Public Health reported Monday.

The update brings the region’s total case count to 143, of which 137 people have recovered. Five people have died due to the virus, most recently in late April.

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Health unit data shows the case, now the region’s only active case, was reported in Perth East.

The individual is not in hospital. Five people have been admitted during the pandemic, including two in intensive care.

Read more: Niagara MPP apologizes for not wearing mask in group photo after backlash

The total number of outbreaks in the region remains unchanged from Friday at nine. The most recent outbreak was declared Oct. 16 and declared over on Oct. 19 at Hillside Manor, where a staff member tested positive.

Outbreaks are tied to 24 cases and four deaths. All four deaths occurred in Stratford at Greenwood Court.

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.

At least 51 cases have been reported in Perth County since March, including 19 in North Perth and 17 in Perth East.

At least 48 cases 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, while St. Marys has reported six cases and one death.

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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 in Lambton county, local health officials reported late Sunday night.

The new case brings the region’s total case count to 369, of which 337 people have recovered and 25 have died — most recently in early June.

The update leaves seven known active cases.

Health officials reported one new case and four recoveries late Saturday and one new case late Friday.

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Two school-linked cases, one at Bright’s Grove Public School and one at Northern Collegiate Institute & Vocational School, have resolved, according to the Lambton Kent District School Board.

There is one active school-linked case in the county, located at Northern Collegiate, which has reported a total of two cases, both involving students.

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Elsewhere, a since-resolved case has been reported at Corunna’s Colonel Cameron Public School involving a student.

The number of active outbreaks in the county remains unchanged at two. Both outbreaks were declared on Oct. 15, one at an unspecified workplace involving three people, and one at Twin Lakes Terrace, a Sarnia long-term care home, involving two staff members.

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, however, a vast majority of those cases and all 16 deaths occurred at Landmark Village and Vision Nursing Home.

According to the health unit’s COVID-19 map, Central Sarnia and Point Edward have collectively seen the largest number of cases overall during the pandemic with 100 reported, followed by South Sarnia with 94.

At least 58 people have been hospitalized for the virus, most recently this month. The patient was discharged around Oct. 20.

Nearly 44,600 people had been tested in the county as of Oct. 17, health unit figures show.

— With files from The Canadian Press