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New death, 13 new coronavirus cases; 4 linked to schools in London and Middlesex

People wait in line at a COVID assessment centre at Women's College Hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, September 23, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette.
People wait in line at a COVID assessment centre at Women's College Hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, September 23, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

The Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) reported 13 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Saturday along with a new death.

This brings the total number of COVID-19 cases in the region to 1,211 and the death toll to 63.

The deceased is a 69-year-old man, and his death is not associated with any long-term care or retirement homes, according to health unit data.

The MLHU also reported four new recoveries, bringing that total to 1,066.

Four out of Saturday’s 13 new cases are linked to local schools, with three cases reported at Sir Arthur Carty Separate School and one case reported at Westminster Secondary School.

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There are now a total of four active cases at Sir Arthur Carty Separate School, and a total of 27 cases reported at schools in London and Middlesex.

Other active cases are at A. B. Lucas Secondary School (one case), Eagle Height Public School (one case), École élémentaire catholique Sainte-Jeanne-d’Arc (one case), Lambeth Public School (two cases), Northbrae Public School (one case) and West Nissouri Public School (one case).

A case also remains active in the before-and-after school program of Wilton Grove Public School.

Read more: Ontario reports 1,132 coronavirus cases marking new single-day record

Since-resolved cases were reported as follows:

  • 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 new hospitalization was reported on Saturday, according to the health unit’s overall tally. At least 132 people have been admitted to the hospital due to COVID-19, with 33 needing intensive care.

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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.

The cumulative incident rate for London and Middlesex is 238.6 per 100,000 people, while Ontario’s is 549.6.

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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.

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.

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

Read more: New coronavirus measures take effect as Ontario shifts to new tiered system

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.

  1. London Medical Plex Pharmacy at 1807 Wonderland Rd. N.
  2. Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy at 279 Wharncliffe Rd. N.
  3. Medpoint Pharmacy in Citi Plaza
  4. Shoppers Drug Mart at 3090 Colonel Talbot Rd.
  5. Shoppers Drug Mart at 1155 Commissioners Rd.
  6. Shoppers Drug Mart at 603 Fanshawe Park Rd. W.
  7. Shoppers Drug Mart at 395 Southdale Rd. E.
  8. TMC Pharmacy at 990 Gainsborough Rd.

People in their 20s represent the largest number of total cases with 292 people testing positive and 161 people 19 and under have also tested positive.

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

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Two institutional outbreaks remain active at local long-term care and retirement homes after an outbreak at Strathmere Lodge was declared over on Friday. It was declared active on Oct. 23.

The two current active outbreaks are located at Henley Place Long-Term Care Residence (Harris, Medway) and Chartwell Royalcliffe Retirement Residence (entire facility).

Health unit figures show 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 have been reported since the start of October involving these facilities.

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

Ontario

Provincially, Ontario reported 1,132 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, bringing the total number of cases in the province to 82,825.

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It marks the largest single-day increase in cases in Ontario, beyond Tuesday’s total of 1,050.

Eleven new deaths were also announced, bringing the death toll to 3,220.

Meanwhile, 70,938 cases are considered resolved, which is 85.6 per cent of all confirmed cases.

Ontario has now completed a total of 5,345,001 tests, while 44,572 remain under investigation.

Elgin and Oxford

Five new cases along with four more recoveries of COVID-19 were reported by Southwestern Public Health (SWPH) on Saturday.

This brings the region’s total case count to 372, of which 317 people have recovered. Five people have died, most recently in early July.

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There are at least 50 known active cases in the region.

Of those, 34 are in Bayham, while six are in Woodstock, four in Norwich, two in South-West Oxford, and one each in Tillsonburg, Aylmer, East Zorra-Tavistock and St. Thomas.

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.

Aylmer has seen 90 cases since March, and has an 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 54 cases, St. Thomas has seen 50 cases, while Tillsonburg has seen 33, Norwich 14 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

Officials with Huron Perth Public Health do not provide COVID-19 updates on the weekends.

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As of Friday, the region’s total case count was at 161, of which 141 people have recovered. Seven people have died, most recently on Tuesday and Wednesday. There were 13 active cases.

Both deaths 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.

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

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.

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.

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Sarnia and Lambton

Two new cases of COVID-19 were reported by local health officials late Friday.

The region’s total case count now stands at 377, of which 344 people have recovered and 25 have died, most recently in early June.

At least eight cases remain active.

At least three people are in hospital, according to Bluewater Health. They’re among at least 61 people who have been hospitalized since March.

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.

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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 residents’ 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.

— With files from Global News’ Matthew Trevithick and Ryan Rocca