Middlesex London reports record setting 27 coronavirus cases

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The Middlesex London Region has set a new record for daily coronavirus cases with the Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) reporting 27 cases on Friday.

This comes a day after health officials reported four cases and one new death, along with two new school-linked cases.

The region’s case total now stands at 1,198, of which 1,062 people have recovered and 62 have died. There are now at least 72 known active cases in London-Middlesex.

The health unit said Thursday’s reported death involved a 95-year-old woman who was not associated with a long-term care or retirement home.

It’s the second death to be reported by the health unit this week and the fifth in the last three weeks. Deaths were reported on Oct. 15, Oct. 21, Oct. 24 and Nov. 2.

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Thirteen cases and two recoveries were reported Wednesday, eight cases and eight recoveries were reported Tuesday and one death, one case and eight recoveries were reported Monday.

No new hospitalizations were reported on Friday, according to the health unit’s overall tally. At least 131 people have been admitted to the hospital due to COVID-19, with 33 needing intensive care.

London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) says its COVID-19 patient tally remains at five or fewer, while St. Joseph’s Health Care London (SJHC) reported no such patients in its care.

With Friday’s update, the region’s seven-day average for new cases stands at 8.7 as of Friday, while looking back to Oct. 22, the 14-day average is 7.07. The cumulative incident rate for London and Middlesex is 230.7 per 100,000 people, while Ontario’s is 536.1.

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Changes are coming to the way one of the city’s two COVID-19 assessment centres operates.

Carling Heights will discontinue its time-card ticketing system and will begin taking online and phone appointments starting next week. Appointments will be bookable online starting Sunday, and the first block of appointments available will be on Nov. 10. Oakridge Arena’s operations will remain unchanged.

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The news comes a month after Oakridge Arena shifted to an appointment-only model in early October following a change implemented by the province. Carling Heights’ ticketing system allowed it to keep taking walk-ins.

Both are prioritizing certain individuals, but officials stress that those who are asymptomatic can still get tested if their situation meets provincial testing guidelines.

Appointment-only asymptomatic testing is also ongoing at eight local pharmacies for those who are part of a ministry testing initiative, such as those with loved ones in a seniors’ facility, those who are close contacts of a known case and workers at high risk.

  • 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.

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The number of cases reported at schools in London and Middlesex rose by two after new cases were confirmed at Lambeth Public School on Wednesday.

The Thames Valley District School Board announced the new cases late Wednesday, adding that they aren’t linked to a previous case at the school reported Oct. 21.

“The school will remain open and school buses will continue to operate,” the school board said.

The provincial online database is reporting that the two cases involve students.

They’re among at least seven cases that remain active at local schools as of Thursday. At least 22 have been confirmed since the start of the school year.

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One case was reported late Tuesday in the before-and-after school program of Wilton Grove Public School, one case was reported Monday at Northbrae Public School involving a student, and on Oct. 31, a staff case was reported at Eagle Heights Public School.

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Active cases, all reported Oct. 29, also remain at École élémentaire catholique Sainte-Jeanne-d’Arc involving a staff member, at West Nissouri Public School involving a student and at A.B. Lucas Secondary School involving a staff member.

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Since-resolved cases were reported on:

  • Sept. 21 at H.B. Beal Secondary School involving a student.
  • Oct. 5 and Oct. 8 at École élémentaire La Pommeraie, both involving staff members.
  • Oct. 7 at Saunders Secondary School involving a student.
  • Oct. 9 and Oct. 12 at Sir Arthur Currie Public School, one involving a staff member, the other involving a student. The cases resulted in an outbreak declaration, which resolved on Oct. 30.
  • Oct. 12 at Mary Wright Public School in Strathroy involving a student.
  • Oct. 13 at Northdale Central Public School in Dorchester involving a student.
  • Oct. 17 at Sir Frederick Banting Secondary School involving a student.
  • Oct. 21 at Lambeth Public School involving a student.
  • Oct. 25 at Mother Teresa Catholic Secondary School involving a student, at St. Andre Bessette Secondary School involving a student and at St. Kateri Separate School involving two students.

One case is also active at London’s Westminster Children’s Centre involving a staff member, according to the province. The case was first reported Thursday.

People in their 20s represent the largest number of total cases with 291 people testing positive and 158 people 19 and under have also tested positive.

Meantime, an outbreak declared Oct. 11 at Western University’s London Hall residence was still considered active as of Thursday. It’s been linked to six cases.

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There has been no change in regards to institutional outbreaks at local long-term care and retirement homes.

Most recently, an outbreak declared Oct. 18 at Oakcrossing Retirement Living on its first, third and fourth floors was declared over on Monday.

Three active institutional outbreaks remain in place in London and Middlesex. They’re among at least 46 that have been declared in the region since March, including 40 at seniors’ facilities.

The three current active outbreaks are located at:

  • Henley Place Long-Term Care Residence (Harris, Medway)
  • Chartwell Royalcliffe Retirement Residence (entire facility)
  • Strathmere Lodge (Bear Creek, Arbor Glen, Parkview Place)

Health unit figures show the seniors’ facility outbreaks have been linked to at least 222 cases in the region — around 19 per cent of all cases reported — involving 111 residents and 111 staff members. At least 23 cases reported since the start of October have involved these facilities.

The outbreaks are also linked to at least 39 deaths, most recently on Nov. 2.

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Provincially, Ontario reported 1,003 new cases Friday and 14 more deaths related to the virus.

The province says it completed nearly 41,300 tests since the last daily update, an increase of 5,500 from the previous report.

According to Friday’s provincial report, 300 new cases were recorded in Toronto, 280 in Peel Region, 125 in York Region, 43 in Ottawa and 41 in Halton Region.

All other public health units in Ontario reported under 40 new cases.

Read more: Ontario reports 1,003 new coronavirus cases, 14 more deaths

Ontario is reporting 380 patients in hospital due to COVID-19, 89 in intensive care and 49 on a ventilator.

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The province says there were 85 new cases in publicly funded schools.

Elgin and Oxford

Three people have tested positive for the coronavirus Southwestern Public Health (SWPH) reported Friday.

That brings the region’s total case count to 367, of which 313 people have recovered. Five people have died, most recently in early July.

With the update, there are at least 49 known active cases in the region, the health unit says.

Of those, 35 are in Bayham, while seven are in Woodstock, two each are in Norwich and Tillsonburg, and one each is in Aylmer, South-West Oxford and St. Thomas.

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The large number of active cases in Bayham is the result of a farm outbreak involving local and migrant farm workers caused by a lapse in compliance with public health measures.

The outbreak, first reported earlier this week, has sickened at least 40 farmworkers at Vienna Farms Orchards, part of Martin’s Family Fruit Farm.

Health officials are also asking locals to avoid a large anti-mask rally and counter-rally planned for Saturday in Aylmer, saying if an outbreak were to occur in such a large group, contract tracing and virus containment would be virtually impossible.

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Aylmer has seen 90 cases since March, clocking in an overall incident rate of 1,201 cases per 100,000 people, higher than that reported in the city of Toronto.

Elsewhere, Bayham has seen 74 cases due in large part to the ongoing farm outbreak.

Woodstock has seen 53 cases, St. Thomas has seen 50 cases, while Tillsonburg has seen 33, Norwich 12 and Dutton/Dunwich and Ingersoll 10 each.

As of the week of Oct. 25, the region’s test positivity rate stood at 1.0 per cent. At least 2,654 people were tested for the virus that week.

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Huron and Perth

Two people have tested positive for the coronavirus, Huron Perth Public Health reported Friday.

The new cases bring the region’s total case count to 161, of which 141 people have recovered. Seven people have died, most recently on Tuesday and Wednesday. There are 13 active cases.

Health officials say both of Thursday’s cases were reported in Perth East.

Health officials reported one death and four cases on Wednesday and one death and one new case on Tuesday. Both deaths and all five cases were linked to Cedarcroft Retirement Home in Stratford.

The facility has seen an outbreak since Oct. 27 that has been tied to 10 resident cases and three among staff. Two of the residents have died.

A total of 10 outbreaks have been declared at nine facilities since March that have been linked to 38 cases and six deaths.

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No school cases have been reported, and none are currently active. One probable case was reported Oct. 16 at Stratford’s St. Joseph’s Catholic Elementary School. It was not officially confirmed and was not reported in the province’s database.

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At least 52 cases have been reported in Stratford, along with four deaths linked to a spring outbreak at Greenwood Court, as well as the two deaths linked to Cedarcroft Place.

At least 53 cases have been reported in Perth County since March, including 19 in North Perth and 19 in Perth East. At least 49 cases have been reported in Huron County, including 14 in Central Huron, 13 in Bluewater and 10 in South Huron.

St. Marys has reported seven cases and one death.

Some 47,737 tests had been conducted by the health unit as of Oct. 25, the most recent figures available. The test per cent positivity rate that week was 0.5 per cent. Just over 2,100 people were tested.

Sarnia and Lambton

No new cases were reported in Lambton County, local health officials reported Friday.

The region’s total case count is at 375, of which 344 people have recovered and 25 have died, most recently in early June.

There are at least six active cases in Lambton.

At least three people are in hospital, according to Bluewater Health, which reported one hospitalization last week and two early this week. They’re among at least 61 people who have been hospitalized since March.

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There was no change reported to the total number of cases reported at schools in Lambton County. Four, all involving students, have been reported since the start of the school year, with none currently active.

Two cases have been reported at Northern Collegiate Institute and Vocational School in Sarnia, while one each has been at Bright’s Grove Public School in Sarnia and Colonel Cameron Public School in Corunna.

No change has been reported regarding institutional outbreaks in the county. One is currently active. The outbreak, declared Oct. 30 at Fiddick’s Retirement Home in Petrolia, has been tied to one resident case.

At least 13 outbreaks have been declared in the region since March, tied to 115 cases. Ten outbreaks have been at seniors’ facilities and have been associated with 60 resident and 48 staff members’ cases. Sixteen deaths have been reported.

At least 49,140 people had been tested in the county as of Oct. 31, the health unit says.

— With files from Matthew Trevithick and Gabby Rodrigues Global News