37 new coronavirus cases in London and Middlesex, new record for largest daily increase

London Health Sciences Centre workers outside the COVID-19 Assessment Centre in London at the Oakridge Arena waiting to asses people waiting in line in March, 2020. Sawyer Bogdan Global News

Just two days after breaking a record for the region’s largest single-day coronavirus case increase, London and Middlesex have broken that record again on Sunday.

The Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) reported 37 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday.

The last record was 27 cases on Nov. 6.

There are now 1,248 COVID-19 cases in the region, 1,073 recoveries and 63 deaths.

In terms of location, 34 of Sunday’s 37 new cases are from London, according to health unit data.

The other three are from Strathroy-Caradoc, Middlesex Centre and Lucan Biddulph.

In terms of age, four people are 19 or under, 14 are in their 20s, three in their 30s, seven in their 40s, three in their 50s, five in their 60s and one in their 70s.

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MLHU indicates 26 are male and 11 are female. One is a health-care worker, and one needed to be hospitalized.

Read more: Thousands join in Aylmer ‘Freedom March’ against coronavirus public health measures

Two new active COVID-19 cases were also reported at local schools in the region — one at Sir Frederick Banting Secondary School and the other at St. Nicholas Catholic School.

Other active cases are at A. B. Lucas Secondary School (one case), Eagle Height Public School (one case), Lambeth Public School (two cases), Northbrae Public School (one case), Sir Arthur Carty Catholic School (four cases) and Westminster Secondary School (one case).

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

At least 133 people have been admitted to 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.

The cumulative incident rate for London and Middlesex is 245.9 per 100,000 people, while Ontario’s is 557.2.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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  • 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 1155 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.

People in their 20s represent the largest number of total cases with 306 people testing positive and 165 people 19 and under have also tested positive.

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

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, 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.

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Ontario reported 1,328 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, bringing the total number of cases in the province to 84,153.

It’s the second day in a row the province reported a record number of new cases. On Saturday, 1,132 cases were announced.

Thirteen new deaths were also reported on Sunday, bringing the provincial death toll to 3,233.

Meanwhile, 71,815 cases are considered resolved, which is 85.3 per cent of all confirmed cases.

Ontario has now completed a total of 5,382,578 tests, while 35,776 remain under investigation.

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Elgin and Oxford

Two new cases along with five more recoveries of COVID-19 were reported by Southwestern Public Health (SWPH) on Sunday.

This brings the region’s total case count to 374, of whom 322 have recovered. Five people have died, most recently in early July.

There are at least 47 known active cases in the region.

Of those, 32 are in Bayham, while six are in Woodstock, four in Norwich, and one each in Tillsonburg, Aylmer, East Zorra-Tavistock, South-West Oxford and Ingersoll.

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 55 cases, St. Thomas has seen 50 cases, while Tillsonburg has seen 33, Norwich 14, Ingersoll 11 and Dutton/Dunwich 10.

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An outbreak remains active at Secord Trails in Ingersoll. It was declared on Oct. 24.

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.

Read more: Joe Biden to announce coronavirus task force as U.S. cases soar

Huron and Perth

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

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.

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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.

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Sarnia and Lambton

Three new cases of COVID-19 were reported by local health officials late Saturday.

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The region’s total case count now stands at 380, of whom 345 have recovered and 25 have died, most recently in early June.

At least 10 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.

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.

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

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