Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story stated that 10 resident deaths had been reported at Cedarcroft Place in Stratford. The update was based on a media briefing summary posted online Thursday by officials with Huron Perth Public Health in which they stated they were “saddened to learn of another Cedarcroft resident” who had died. The health unit has since revised the briefing to clarify that the death was not new, but was the same one they had reported in a media briefing released on Wednesday. 980 CFPL regrets the error.
Twenty-three people have tested positive for the coronavirus in London and Middlesex while 17 others have recovered, local health officials said.
It brings the region’s total case count to 1,413, of which 1,226 have recovered. Sixty-three have died, with the most recent reported on Nov. 7.
There are 124 known active cases of the virus in the region.
November has now surpassed October to become the second-worst month of the pandemic for cases, according to health unit figures.
As of Thursday, November had recorded at least 267 cases, two more than recorded during the entire month of October. April was the worst month for cases in the region so far, recording 341.
The region remains in the yellow-protect tier of the province’s restrictions framework.
Of Thursday’s 23 cases, 20 are from London, two are from Middlesex Centre, and one is from Southwest Middlesex, according to health unit data.
While those infected span every age group, more than half are under the age of 30.
Seven are aged 0-19, six are in their 20s, three are in their 30s, one each are in their 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s, and three are aged 80 or older.
Ten contracted the virus through contact with a confirmed case while four became infected through an outbreak. Five cases, meanwhile, have no known link and four are pending or undetermined.
Of the 267 cases reported so far this month, 51 per cent have involved people under 30, according to health unit figures. At least 55 cases have involved people 19 or younger, while 83 have involved people in their 20s.
People in their 20s have accounted for the largest percentage of cases by age during the pandemic with 362, or about a quarter of the region’s caseload. People 19 and under are the second-largest age group, accounting for 201 cases.
The London Health Sciences Centre says a total of 11 inpatients with the virus are in its care as of Thursday, an increase of three from its update on Monday. LHSC does not say whether any patients are in intensive care.
In addition, the number of current staff cases has risen by one, bringing that number to 15. The organization has been dealing with two outbreaks at University Hospital since last week.
According to an internal email obtained by Global News, another 55 staff members are either under investigation or are awaiting test results.
“This week’s numbers of staff and inpatient cases, coupled with a sharp and alarming increase in community transmission, must serve as our wake-up call,” wrote LHSC CEO Dr. Paul Woods in the email, circulated to staff Thursday.
“In many of these cases, internal contact tracing has shown the spread to be caused by direct staff-to-staff transmission… To be clear: this is unacceptable, considering the infection control safety protocols and procedures LHSC has put in place over the past eight months.”
At St. Joseph’s Health Care London, officials there say the number of coronavirus patients in its care numbered zero as of Thursday, while at least five health-care workers with the organization (staff, physicians, volunteers and students) have tested positive since Nov. 4.
Meantime, the health unit’s hospitalization tally has risen again for a fourth day. The ICU tally has risen by one while the non-ICU tally rose by two. The non-ICU tally rose by two on Wednesday and by one on Tuesday and Monday.
It’s unclear, however, if these are recent hospitalizations or past hospitalizations that are just now being reflected in the health unit’s data.
How current hospitalization rates compare to past months is murky, as the health unit does not provide date information alongside its hospitalized tallies, making a hospitalization timeline and comparison difficult if not impossible.
At least 144 people have been admitted to hospital in the region since March, including 35 in intensive care.
No new cases have been reported involving schools, according to the Middlesex-London Health Unit.
There have been at least 39 cases linked to schools in London and Middlesex, with 23 at local elementary schools and 13 at secondary schools.
At least eight school cases remain active as of Thursday, including at Arthur Ford Public School (one staff member in before/after school program), Catholic Central High School (one student), Eagle Heights Public School (two students), Westminster Secondary School (one student), Sir Wilfred Laurier Secondary School, Sir Arthur Carty Catholic School (one student), and Académie de la Tamise (one staff member.)
Since-resolved school cases:
- 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.
- Oct. 29 at École élémentaire catholique Sainte-Jeanne-d’Arc involving one staff member; at West Nissouri Public School involving one student; and at A.B. Lucas Secondary School involving one staff member.
- Oct. 31 at Eagle Heights Public School involving one staff member.
- Nov. 2 at Northbrae Public School involving one student.
- Nov. 3 at Wilton Grove Public School in its before/after school program.
- Nov. 4 at Lambeth Public School involving two students.
- Nov 5-8 at Sir Arthur Carty Catholic School involving four students.
- Nov. 7 at Westminster Secondary School involving one student.
- Nov. 7 at St. Nicholas Catholic Elementary School involving one student.
- Nov. 8 at Sir Frederick Banting Secondary School involving one student, and at Oakridge Secondary School involving two students.
Thursday marks the fourth day in a row that no cases have been reported at schools in London and Middlesex by either the Thames Valley District School Board or the London District Catholic School Board.
The health unit reported an outbreak tied to a Western university residence on Thursday afternoon. Western University confirmed the outbreak is tied to Saugeen-Maitland Hall, its largest residence. There are eight confirmed cases tied to the outbreak.
The outbreak at Saugeen-Maitland Hall is the first at a local post-secondary institution since an outbreak at London Hall, another Western University student residence, from Oct. 11 to Nov. 10 that infected six people.
No new outbreaks have been reported or declared over, according to the health unit.
Two outbreaks remain active at University Hospital in the facility’s 4IP General Medicine, declared Nov. 10, and 9IP Orthopedics units, declared Nov. 11, according to London Health Sciences Centre.
It’s unclear how many people have tested positive as a result of the outbreaks as such information has not been made public by LHSC or the health unit.
The organization reported Monday that 11 patients were in its care with COVID-19, while 15 staff members were currently positive.
Since March, the region has seen at least 48 institutional outbreaks in London and Middlesex, including 40 at local seniors’ facilities.
Seniors’ facility outbreaks alone have been tied to 112 resident cases, 112 staff cases, and 39 deaths.
Meanwhile, although it isn’t an institutional outbreak, a workplace outbreak declared Monday at a new Richmond Row eatery remains active, linked to at least three staff cases.
Health unit figures show that at least 6,523 people got tested during the week of Nov. 8, about the same as seen the week before.
The test per cent positivity rate for that week was 1.3 per cent, down from 1.6 the week before.
Since the pandemic began, at least 160,800 tests have been recorded, according to health unit numbers.
Both of the city’s assessment centres, Carling Heights and Oakridge Arena are operating appointment-only, and have seen a notable increase in visits since the health unit issued a plea to the public earlier this month for symptomatic people to get tested.
Carling Heights recorded a five-day average of 346 visits per day between Nov. 9 and 13, while Oakridge Arena saw 342 per day, according to health unit figures.
Visitation numbers have remained steady so far this week, with Carling Heights recording 365 on Monday, 359 on Tuesday, and 360 on Wednesday.
Oakridge Arena, meanwhile, recorded 301 on Monday, 329 on Tuesday, and 278 on Wednesday.
Appointment testing for certain asymptomatic people is also continuing at eight local pharmacies.
The cumulative incident rate for London and Middlesex stands at 278.4 per 100,000 people, compared to Ontario’s 660.4.
Ontario is reporting 1,210 new cases of COVID-19 today, and 28 new deaths due to the virus.
Health Minister Christine Elliott says 361cases are in Peel Region, 346 are in Toronto, and 143 are in York Region.
In the province’s long-term care homes, 619 residents currently have COVID-19 and 15 new deaths were reported Thursday.
The province says 103 of its 626 long-term care homes are experiencing an outbreak, and 91 new COVID-19 cases have been reported in public schools, including at least 75 among students. Those bring the number of schools with a reported case to 680 out of Ontario’s 4,828 publicly-funded schools.
Meanwhile, the Ontario Hospital Association says the province has hit the critical mark of 150 COVID-19 patients in its intensive care units.
Earlier this month, medical experts advising the government noted that the figure would mark a point where Ontario hospitals have to begin cancelling surgeries.
The CEO of the hospital association says all regions are reporting increased admissions.
Premier Doug Ford said Wednesday that further restrictions are coming in virus hot spots because hospitals are reaching capacity.
Ford says he expects to announce the new restrictions for Toronto, Peel, and York Region on Friday.
Elgin and Oxford
Nine people have tested positive for the coronavirus while 10 others have recovered, Southwestern Public Health (SWPH) reported on Thursday.
It brings the region’s total case count to 475, of which 405 have recovered and five have died — most recently in early July.
Five cases were reported in Woodstock, while two were reported in Norwich, and one each in Aylmer and Ingersoll.
Sixty-five cases remain active in the region as of Thursday, and at least three people are currently in hospital, not in intensive care.
Twenty-one cases are active in Woodstock, while 18 are active in Norwich, 11 in Aylmer, and four each in St. Thomas and Tillsonburg. Elsewhere, three cases are in Ingersoll, while one each are in Bayham, Blandford-Blenheim, East Zorra-Tavistock and Zorra.
SWPH has reported at least 150 cases since the start of November. The region is currently in the yellow-protect tier of the province’s colour-coded framework.
The number of school-linked cases in the region has risen by one, after the London District Catholic School Board reported a third positive case at Assumption Catholic Elementary School in Aylmer.
All three cases remain active as of Thursday. At least two involve students. Information on the most recent case is unclear.
Elsewhere, three cases are active at Northdale Public School in Woodstock, and one is active at Straffordville Public School in Bayham, all involving students.
Overall, at least 10 cases have been reported at schools in the region.
Since-resolved cases were reported at St. Thomas Community Christian School, Mitchell Hepburn Public School (one student) and South Ridge Public School (one student.)
Meanwhile, two outbreaks remain active in the region, located at Bethany Care Home in Norwich (three resident cases and one staff case) and in the Arches Transitional Bed Program (one staff case.)
Nine outbreaks in total have been declared since March, linked to 18 cases, of which four have involved residents.
By location, 104 cases have been reported in Aylmer, which has an incident rate of 1,388 cases per 100,000 people.
Ninety-one cases have been in Woodstock, 77 in Bayham, 56 in St. Thomas, and 38 each in Norwich and Tillsonburg.
Elsewhere, 15 cases have been in Ingersoll, 12 in East Zorra-Tavistock and 10 in Dutton/Dunwich. Seven other locations have case counts under 10.
As of the week of Nov. 8, the most recent figures available, the region’s test positivity rate stood at 2.0 per cent, up from 0.9 the week before. At least 3,082 people were tested for the virus that week.
Huron and Perth
Six new cases have been reported along with 13 recoveries, Huron Perth Public Health reported Thursday.
It brings the region’s total case count to 254, of which 192 have recovered and 14 have died. Three cases were reported in Perth East, two in North Perth, and one in South Huron.
At least 48 cases remain active.
It’s unclear how many of those cases and recoveries involve Cedarcroft Place, a Stratford retirement home that has been slammed by the virus since an outbreak was declared there on Oct. 27.
As of Thursday, nine residents of the home have died as a result of an outbreak at the facility. One resident death was reported on Wednesday, while four were reported on Monday. (One new death that was reported on Thursday by the health unit turned out to be a re-report of Wednesday’s death, health officials later clarified.)
The outbreak has altogether infected about half of the facility’s resident population, 43 people, and about one-third of its staff, 19 people — one more than Wednesday. Of those, 30 resident cases remain active, while one staff case is still active.
To help with staffing, multiple infected residents, as many as 25 according to CTV London, have been transferred to local hospitals, while additional health-care workers have been brought in to the facility, including from London Health Sciences Centre.
The Cedarcroft outbreak is the only active institutional outbreak in the region.
At least 12 outbreaks have been declared at 10 facilities in the province since March. They’re linked to 89 cases and at least 12 deaths — including the eight at Cedarcroft and four at Greenwood Court in the spring.
Meanwhile, at least five school cases remain active as of Thursday.
Two cases, previously unreported by 980 CFPL, are active at St. Ambrose Catholic Elementary School and St. Michael Catholic Secondary School, both in Stratford.
The St. Ambrose case was reported on Nov. 18, while the St. Michael case was reported Nov. 12, according to the Huron-Perth Catholic District School Board. Both involve students, according to the province.
Elsewhere, two student cases remain active at Milverton Public School in Perth East, while one is at Shakespeare Public School in Stratford.
Prior to that, one presumptive case was reported Oct. 16 at Stratford’s St. Joseph’s Catholic Elementary School.
By location, Stratford has seen 113 cases reported since March, while Perth County has seen 77 and Huron County 56.
St. Marys has seen eight cases and one death.
Some 54,162 tests had been conducted by the health unit as of Nov. 8, the most recent figures available. The test per cent positivity rate that week was 1.5 per cent. Just over 2,300 people were tested.
Sarnia and Lambton
Two people have recovered from the coronavirus, Lambton Public Health reported Thursday.
The region’s total case count stands at 392, of which 355 have recovered and 25 have died, most recently in early June.
The update leaves 10 known active cases in the region, according to the health unit. Their locations are unclear as such information isn’t made public.
Health officials reported five cases and one recovery Wednesday, one recovery Tuesday, and one new case and one recovery Monday.
The number of hospitalized people in the county remains unchanged at one, according to Bluewater Health. Three people have been admitted since the end of October, and 61 since March.
The region remains in the least-restrictive green-prevent tier of the province’s restrictions framework.
In the county, two school cases remain active, one at Riverview Central School in Port Lambton, and one at St. Patrick’s Catholic High School in Sarnia. Both involve students.
The case at St. Patrick’s Catholic was reported by the St. Clair Catholic District School Board on Tuesday.
They’re among at least six school cases that have been reported in Lambton since the new school year began. All have involved students.
In Sarnia, Northern Collegiate Institute and Vocational School reported two cases, while Bright’s Grove Public School reported one. In Corunna, one case was reported at Colonel Cameron Public School.
There has been no change when it comes to outbreaks. A total of 13 have been declared since the pandemic began, linked to 115 cases and 16 deaths. No outbreaks are currently active.
At least 53,211 people had been tested in the county as of Nov. 14, the most recent figures available. About 2,600 people were tested from Nov. 1 to 7.
— With files from The Canadian PressView link »