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Coronavirus: 6 cases, 8 recoveries in London-Middlesex; 5 new cases in Huron-Perth

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

Six people have tested positive for the coronavirus while eight others have recovered, the Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) reported Friday. The health unit also reported a new case linked to a local secondary school.

It brings the region’s total case count during the pandemic to 1,133, of which 1,012 have recovered. Sixty people have also died, most recently on Saturday involving a 51-year-old woman.

There are at least 61 known active cases in the region, according to health unit figures.

Health officials reported 16 cases and 10 recoveries on Thursday, one case and four recoveries on Wednesday, two cases and eight recoveries on Tuesday, and 14 cases and 10 recoveries on Monday.

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Of Friday’s six cases, five are from London while one is from Strathroy-Caradoc. Two each are in their 20s, 40s, and 50s, health unit data shows.

The exposure source of three cases is pending or undetermined, while two are a contact of a confirmed case, and one has no known link.

No change was reported to the health unit’s hospitalization tally. There were at least six inpatients at London Health Sciences Centre with the virus on Monday, however, a subsequent update on Thursday put that number back at five or fewer.

No patients are in the care of St. Joseph’s Health Care London, the organization reported.

A total of 129 people have been hospitalized during the pandemic, including 33 who have needed intensive care.

About half of the 253 cases reported this month have involved people under 30, according to health unit figures. At least 52 have involved people 19 or under, and 71 have involved people in their 20s.

The health unit is asking residents to exercise caution if venturing out to trick-or-treat with loved ones.

The health unit, and Western University President Alan Shepard, have also issued reminders to students to avoid unnecessary travel to hot spots during the upcoming fall reading week.

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The number of school-linked cases in the region has risen once again, this time by one.

The Thames Valley District School Board (TVDSB) reported Thursday night that a case had been confirmed at A. B. Lucas Secondary School.

It’s unclear whether it involves a staff member or a student. The school board says no classes have been closed as a result.

It comes after two school-linked cases were reported Thursday by health officials — one at a French Catholic elementary school in the city, École élémentaire catholique Sainte-Jeanne-d’Arc, and another at the TVDSB’s West Nissouri Public School in Thorndale.

They’re among seven cases tied to schools that are active in the city as of Friday.

Four cases were reported last weekend at three schools within the London District Catholic School Board, with two located at St. Kateri Separate School, and one case each at Mother Teresa and St. Andre Bessette secondary schools.

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At least 17 school cases have been reported in the region since the first was seen at H.B. Secondary School on Sept. 21 involving a student.

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Confirmed 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.

Infections were also later reported on Oct. 9 and Oct. 12 at Sir Arthur Currie Public School involving a staff member and student, respectively (two cases that also prompted an outbreak declaration that remained active as of Friday), on Oct. 12 at Mary Wright Public School in Strathroy-Caradoc and on Oct. 13 at Northdale Central Public School in Dorchester.

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Meantime, in the post-secondary setting, an outbreak at London Hall, a student residence on Western University’s campus, remained active as of Friday.

At least six people have become infected due to the outbreak, declared Oct. 11. They’re among at least 76 students at the school who have tested positive since early September, however that number is outdated by several weeks. The health unit has stopped issuing an updated tally.

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Two seniors’ home outbreaks have been declared over, the health unit says.

The outbreaks were declared Oct. 10 at Craigwiel Gardens in its long-term care home, and on Oct. 11 at Henley Place Long-Term Care Residence in his Harris unit.

It’s not clear how many people became infected due to the outbreaks, as the health unit does not make such information public on a per-facility level.

They’re among at least 45 institutional outbreaks that have been declared in the region since March, of which 39 have been at seniors’ facilities.

The outbreaks have been linked to at least 220 cases involving 110 residents and 110 staff. Thirty-eight deaths are also connected to the outbreaks, most recently on Oct. 15.

Four active outbreaks remain in place in London and Middlesex, according to the health unit:

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  • Chartwell Royalcliffe Retirement Residence (entire facility)
  • Strathmere Lodge (Bear Creek, Arbor Glen, Parkview Place)
  • Oakcrossing Retirement Living (first, third and fourth floors)
  • Chartwell London (entire long-term care facility)

The health unit says at least 19 cases have been linked to long-term care homes and two to retirement homes this month.

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Testing remains available at the city’s two assessment centres and at eight London pharmacies heading into the weekend.

The city’s assessment centres, located at Carling Heights and Oakridge Arena, are prioritizing those with symptoms, school children, those exposed to a confirmed case and notified by the health unit or the COVID Alert app, and those part of an outbreak investigation.

Carling Heights is continuing to operate with a time-card system while Oakridge Arena is taking phone and online appointments.

The two centres have been averaging between 200 and 300 client visits a day, down from peak numbers seen in September and early October.

Meantime, five additional pharmacies began offering testing for certain asymptomatic people this week, such as those with loved ones in long-term care homes, close contacts of a known case and workers at high risk.

Pharmacies offering testing are:

  • 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 3090 Colonel Talbot Rd.
  • Shoppers Drug Mart at 115 Commissioners Rd.
  • Shoppers Drug Mart at 603 Fanshawe Park Rd. W.
  • Shoppers Drug Mart at 395 Southdale Rd. E.
  • TMC Pharmacy at 990 Gainsborough Rd.

The region’s test per cent positivity rate stood at 0.9 per cent as of the week of Oct. 18, compared to Ontario’s 2.7. Around 6,400 people were tested that week.

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The region’s seven-day average for new cases stands at 7.14 as of Friday, while looking back to Oct. 16, the 14-day average is 7.78.

The region’s incident rate stands at 223.2 per 100,000 people, while Ontario’s is 496.6.

At least 1,040 cases have been reported in London, while 32 have been in Strathroy-Caradoc.

Elsewhere, Middlesex Centre has seen 31 cases, while Thames Centre has reported 21. North Middlesex is at eight, Lucan Biddulph seven and Southwest Middlesex one.

Ontario

Ontario reported 896 new cases of coronavirus on Friday, bringing the provincial total to 74,715.

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Friday’s case count is a decrease from Thursday’s which saw 934 new cases but higher than Wednesday’s at 834. Active cases in Ontario now stand at 7,669.

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According to Friday’s provincial report, 314 new cases were recorded in Toronto, 173 in Peel Region, 115 in York Region, 92 in Ottawa, 37 in Halton Region and 32 in Durham Region.

All other public health units in Ontario reported under 30 new cases.

The death toll in the province has risen to 3,127 as nine more deaths were reported.

Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott said more than 41,000 tests were processed in the last 24 hours. The government has said it hoped to increase testing capacity to 50,000 per day by mid-October.

However, there is currently a backlog of 41,063 tests that need results. A total of 5,068,007 tests have been completed since the pandemic began.

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The per cent positivity for processed tests and positive cases in Friday’s report was 2.2 per cent.

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Meanwhile, 63,919 Ontarians have recovered from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, which is 85 per cent of known cases. Resolved cases increased by 796 from the previous day.

Ontario has 314 people hospitalized due to COVID-19 (down by eight from the previous day), with 75 patients in an intensive care unit (down by two) and 52 patients in ICUs on a ventilator (unchanged). Hospitalizations have overall steadily increased over the last several weeks.

Elgin and Oxford

Three people have tested positive for the coronavirus while four others have recovered, Southwestern Public Health (SWPH) reported Friday.

It brings the region’s total case count to 320, of which 299 have recovered and five have died. The death toll has not risen since early July.

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Two cases were reported in Woodstock while one is in Aylmer.

There are 16 known active cases of the virus in the Elgin and Oxford region. Three-quarters of them are in Woodstock, which has 12 active cases. Elsewhere, three cases are active in Aylmer, while one is active in Tillsonburg.

Health officials say the ages of those currently infected span several groups, with four cases aged 0-19, one in their 20s, six in their 30s, two in their 40s, one in their 50s, and two in their 60s.

No active cases are in hospital. A total of 24 people have been admitted during the pandemic, including 12 who have needed intensive care.

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An institutional outbreak declared at a seniors’ facility in Aylmer earlier this month is now over, the health unit says.

The outbreak at Chartwell Aylmer had been declared Oct. 17 after one staff member tested positive.

There is now only one active institutional outbreak in the Elgin-Oxford region, located in Ingersoll at Secord Trails.

The outbreak, the second to be seen at the facility, was declared Oct. 24 and is tied to one staff case. The first outbreak in May saw eight staff cases.

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Overall, seven such outbreaks have been declared in the region since March. They’re linked to 14 cases, of which all but one have involved staff members.

According to the province, two cases remain active that have been linked to Oxford Community Child Care in Woodstock. It’s unclear when the cases, which involve one child and one staff member, were first confirmed.

No active cases are linked to any schools in the region. Two have been reported so far, with one at St. Thomas Community Christian School on Sept. 25 and another at Mitchell Hepburn Public School on Sept. 29. Both cases have since recovered.

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Aylmer has reported a total of 89 cases since March, driven largely by a spike seen in late July and early August. St. Thomas and Woodstock, meantime, have each seen 49 cases, while Bayham and Tillsonburg have seen 38 and 31, respectively.

Dutton/Dunwich, Ingersoll, and Norwich have all seen 10 cases each.

As of the week of Oct. 18, the region’s test positivity rate stood at 0.4 per cent. At least 3,379 people were tested for the virus that week.

Huron and Perth

Five cases have been reported and an outbreak at a Stratford retirement home has grown, Huron Perth Public Health reported Friday.

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It brings the region’s total case count to 151, of which 137 have recovered. Five people have also died, most recently in late April.

Health unit figures show three cases were reported in Stratford, while one each were reported in Goderich and St. Marys.

It leaves nine active cases in the Huron-Perth region, the health unit says.

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Six active cases involve residents at Cedarcroft Place, a retirement home in Stratford, which declared an outbreak on Tuesday.

The number of cases at the facility has grown by three since health officials first announced it on Wednesday.

Few other details are known. The outbreak is among 10 institutional outbreaks that have been declared since March.

At least 31 cases have been reported as a result of the outbreaks, as well as four deaths that occurred at Greenwood Court, a long-term care home in Stratford, which saw an outbreak from late March to mid-May.

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No active cases have been reported at local schools.

A probable case was reported on Oct. 16 involving a member of Stratford’s St. Joseph’s Catholic Elementary School, however, no positive cases were later reported on the province’s school case database.

At least 51 cases have been reported in Perth County since March, including 19 in North Perth and 17 in Perth East, while at least 49 cases have been reported in Huron County, including 14 in Central Huron, 13 in Bluewater, and 10 in South Huron.

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At least 44 cases and four deaths have been reported in Stratford, while seven cases and one death have been reported in St. Marys.

Some 47,632 tests had been conducted by the health unit as of Oct. 18, the most recent figures available.

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Sarnia and Lambton

One person has recovered from the coronavirus, Lambton Public Health reported late Thursday.

The update leaves no known active cases in the county.

Lambton has seen 369 cases during the pandemic, of which 344 have recovered and 25 have died — most recently in early June.

Five recoveries were reported late Wednesday, while no change was reported late Tuesday. One recovery and one case were reported late Monday and Sunday, respectively.

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An outbreak at a Sarnia long-term care home has been declared over, the health unit said.

Twin Lakes Terrace declared an outbreak on Oct. 15 that was linked to two staff cases. It was declared over as of Thursday.

An outbreak at an unnamed workplace that was tied to three cases was declared over on Tuesday.

At least 12 outbreaks have been declared in the region since March. Ten have been institutional outbreaks while two have been workplace outbreaks.

Overall, the outbreaks are linked to 114 cases and 16 deaths. Nearly all cases, and all 16 deaths, were reported at Landmark Village and Vision Nursing Home in the spring.

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Though the health unit said there were no active cases as of Thursday night, Bluewater Health on Friday said there was one patient in the hospital who had been confirmed positive.

The new hospitalization was reported Friday. The reason for the discrepancy between the hospital and health unit is not clear. It’s possible that reporting delays may be to blame and that the person was admitted after the health unit’s reporting cutoff on Thursday.

In total, four school-linked cases have been reported in Lambton, including two involving students at Northern Collegiate Institute & Vocational School in Sarnia.

The other two, which also involved students, were reported at Bright’s Grove Public School in Sarnia and Colonel Cameron Public School in Corunna in St. Clair Township.

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

— With files from Gabby Rodrigues of Global News