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Death linked to UH outbreak, 23 new coronavirus cases reported in London and Middlesex

A health-care worker talks to people as they wait to be tested for COVID-19 at a testing clinic in Montreal, Sunday, October 25, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press

Jump to: HospitalizationsOutbreaksSchoolsTestingOntarioElgin and OxfordHuron and PerthSarnia and Lambton


A new death, 23 new coronavirus cases and 34 recoveries were reported in London and Middlesex on Sunday.

The region’s total COVID-19 case count has increased to 2,068, of which 1,701 cases have recovered while 80 have died.

The Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) says the deceased is a woman in her 60s, and her death is linked to the outbreak at University Hospital.

There are at least 287 active cases in the region.

Of the 23 new cases reported Sunday, 20 are from London, two are from Strathroy-Caradoc and one is pending.

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Three people are aged 19 or younger, seven are in their 20s, five are in their 30s, two are in their 40s, two are in their 50s, two are in their 60s, and two are aged 80 or older.

The MLHU says one new case is linked to outbreaks at University Hospital; they’re a patient.

The region has reported at least 419 cases since Dec. 1, more than were reported in every month during the pandemic except for November. It’s also more than what was reported in May, June, July and August combined.

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The steady influx of new cases, coupled with numerous outbreak declarations, including at University Hospital and several area schools, has prompted the province to shift the London-Middlesex region into the more restrictive red-control tier of its COVID-19 response framework.

The change will become effective at 12:01 a.m. on Monday.

With the move comes stricter limits on social gatherings and increased restrictions on businesses.

Social gatherings and organized public events where physical distancing can be maintained are now limited to five people indoors — unless everyone is from the same household — and 25 outdoors.

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Gathering limits for religious services, weddings, and funerals are capped at 30 per cent capacity indoors and 100 people outdoors.

Bars and restaurants will now only be able to seat a maximum of 10 patrons indoors, and dancing, singing and live music will be prohibited. The province says outdoor dining, takeout, drive-thru and delivery is permitted, including alcohol.

Gyms and fitness studios will only be allowed to have a maximum of 10 people indoors or 25 outdoors in classes, and 10 people indoors in areas with weights or exercise equipment.

In addition, team sports must not practise or play (except for training), and activities that may result in people coming within two metres of each other are prohibited.

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The province says movie theatres must be closed, except drive-ins, and performing arts facilities must be closed to spectators. Rehearsal or performing a recorded or broadcast event, however, is still permitted, it says.

Full details on what comes with a move to red-control can be found in the framework document itself.

According to the health unit, 1,920 cases have been reported in London since the pandemic began, while 46 have been in Strathroy-Caradoc, 42 in Middlesex Centre and 34 in Thames Centre.

Lucan Biddulph has seen 12, North Middlesex eight, Southwest Middlesex two and Newbury one.

Hospitalizations

The number of active COVID-19 inpatients in the care of the London Health Sciences Centre was 39 on Friday.

Fewer than five people are in critical or intensive care, according to LHSC.

Current staff infections sit at 51. Most of those are linked to outbreaks at University Hospital.

No COVID-19 inpatients were in the care of St. Joseph’s Health Care London as of last Sunday, its most recent update. The organization says it will post an update when and if numbers change. Only one active COVID-19 case is counted among its workforce as of that last update.

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According to the MLHU, at least 225 people have been admitted to the hospital due to the coronavirus during the pandemic, and at least 43 people have been admitted to intensive care.

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Institutional outbreaks

No new outbreaks were reported Sunday.

Nine outbreaks at University Hospital remain active; 10IP Palliative Care/Sub-Acute Medicine, 10th Floor Epilepsy Monitoring Unit, 6IP Acute/Decant Medicine, 6th Floor Cardiac Offices, 8IP General Surgery, 9IP Sub-Acute Medicine, C4-200 – Multi-Organ, U4 Medicine and U-5 Cardiology.

Outbreaks also remain active at Chelsey Park on the second floor of its long-term care facility, Country Terrace’s Woodcrest area and McCormick Home’s Evergreen Walk area.

As of Sunday, the MLHU says at least 82 LHSC patient cases and 92 staff cases — 174 in total — have been reported as a result of the aforementioned outbreaks. The outbreak has also been linked to 15 deaths.

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Since March, the region has seen at least 61 institutional outbreaks in London and Middlesex, including at least 43 at local seniors’ facilities.

Schools

A new COVID-19 case has been reported at Princess Anne French Immersion Public School in London.

The school board says the school will remain open.

Elsewhere, outbreaks remain active at several schools, including at Ashley Oaks Public School, Mother Teresa Catholic Secondary School, Sir Arthur Currie Public School, St. Thomas Aquinas and Westminster secondary schools. Those schools remain open.

As of Sunday, at least 36 cases are active involving schools in the region:

  • Four cases are active at Westminster Secondary School. An outbreak declaration is active.
  • Four cases are active at Ashley Oaks Public School. An outbreak declaration is active.
  • Four cases are active at Sir Arthur Public School. An outbreak declaration is active.
  • Two cases are active at London Christian High, a private religious school.
  • Two cases are active at Mother Teresa Catholic Secondary School. An outbreak declaration is active.
  • Three cases are active at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Secondary School. An outbreak declaration is active.
  • One case is active at C.C. Carrothers Public School.
  • One case is active at London Central Secondary School.
  • One case is active at Rick Hansen Public School.
  • One case is active at Ryerson Public School.
  • One case is active at Sir Frederick Banting Secondary School.
  • One case is active at Sir George Etienne Cartier Public School.
  • One case is active at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Elementary School.
  • One case is active at St. John French Immersion Catholic Elementary School.
  • One case is active at Westmount Public School.
  • One case is active at Princess Anne French Immersion Public School.

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Recent resolved school cases by date they were reported:

Nov. 20 at Mother Teresa Catholic Secondary School involving one student.
Nov. 21 and 22 at Catholic Central High School involving two students.
Nov. 23 at Lord Dorchester Secondary School involving one student.
Nov. 28 at John Paul II Catholic Secondary School involving one student.
Nov. 28 at St. Marguerite d’Youville Catholic Elementary School involving one student.
Dec. 1 at St. Marguerite d’Youville Secondary School involving one student.

The region has seen at least 78 school cases reported since the beginning of September. Thirty-two of them have been reported just this month.

Meantime, in the post-secondary setting, two student residence outbreaks declared three weeks ago at Western University remain active, according to the health unit.

The outbreaks are located at Perth Hall and Saugeen-Maitland Hall and were declared active on Nov. 21 and Nov. 19, respectively.

Testing

At least 10,010 people were tested for the coronavirus during the week of Nov. 29, according to the most recent testing figures issued by the health unit.

The tally was a notable increase from the 8,408 reported the week prior.

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The region’s test per cent positivity rate stood at 2.1 per cent as of the week of Nov. 28, up from 1.7 per cent the week before.

The city’s two dedicated assessment centres, Carling Heights and Oakridge Arena continue to operate normally, both by appointment only.

Carling Heights has seen a recent uptick in visits, recording an average of 428 visits over five days from Nov. 30 to Dec. 4, up from 381 between Nov. 23 and Nov. 27.

At Oakridge Arena, numbers have been largely stable. The centre recorded a five-day average of 319 visits from Nov. 30 to Dec. 4 compared to 318 between Nov. 23 and Nov. 27.

Appointment testing for certain asymptomatic people is also continuing at eight local pharmacies.

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Ontario

Ontario reported 1,677 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, bringing the total number of cases in the province to 140,181.

Sixteen deaths were also reported, raising the provincial death toll to 3,949.

A total of 120,028 cases are considered resolved, which is 85.6 per cent of all confirmed cases.

Nearly 58,200 additional tests were completed. Ontario has now completed a total of 6,962,643 tests, while 51,051 remain under investigation.

The province indicated that the positivity rate for the last day was 3.2 per cent, which is the same the past two days and down from last Sunday when it was 3.9 per cent.

Elgin and Oxford

Southwestern Public Health (SWPH) reported 14 new cases and a new recovery on Sunday.

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It brings the region’s total case count to 735, of which 610 have recovered. Nine deaths have been reported, most recently on Saturday. SWPH says the deceased was a man in his 80s from St. Thomas, and his death was not associated with any long-term or retirement homes.

At least 116 cases are currently active in the region, with at least 23 in St. Thomas, 19 in Aylmer, 17 in Norwich Township and 14 in Woodstock.

Since Dec. 1, the Elgin-Oxford region has posted 172 new cases.

Despite the steadily high number of new cases, the region will remain in the orange-restrict tier of the province’s COVID-19 response framework into next week.

The total number of school cases in the region has risen after the Thames Valley District School Board reported a new case at Huron Park Secondary School in Woodstock.

The following school cases are active as of Sunday:

  • Five cases at East Elgin Secondary School in Aylmer.
  • Two cases at Elgin Court Public School in St. Thomas.
  • Two cases at Parkside Collegiate Institute in St. Thomas.
  • One student case at Glendale High School in Tillsonburg.
  • One case at New Sarum Public School in St. Thomas.
  • One case at St. Joseph’s Catholic High School in St. Thomas.
  • One case at St. Mary’s Catholic High School in Woodstock.
  • One case at Summers’ Corners Public School in Aylmer.
  • One case at Huron Park Secondary Schoolin Woodstock.

The region has seen at least 30 school cases reported since the start of September.

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The most recent outbreak was declared on Saturday at the Maple Manor Nursing Home in Tillsonburg. It involves one staff case.

Elsewhere, an outbreak also remains active at Terrace Lodge involving one staff member and at Bethany Care Home involving two staff members.

By location, Aylmer has seen the largest number of cases during the pandemic: 149. Given its small population, the town has an incidence rate equivalent to 1,989 cases per 100,000 people.

Woodstock, which has seen the second-largest number of cases overall, 147, has an incidence rate of 359 per 100,000.

Elsewhere, St. Thomas has seen 96 cases, Bayham has seen 96, Norwich Township 63, Tillsonburg 56, Ingersoll 35, Blandford-Blenheim 20, East Zorra-Tavistock 17, Zorra 13, Dutton/Dunwich and South-West Oxford 11 apiece, and Central Elgin 10.

Three other municipalities have recorded case totals under 10.

The region had a test per cent positivity rate of 1.8 per cent as of the week of Nov. 29, up from 1.3 the week before.

Huron and Perth

Huron Perth Public Health does not provide updates on Sundays.

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As of Saturday,  the region’s total case tally stood at 432. At least 374 cases have recovered while 20 deaths have been reported, most recently on Thursday involving a resident of Cedarcroft Place, a retirement home in Stratford.

At least 38 cases are active in the region, the health unit says. Four are listed as health-care workers.

At least three people are currently in hospital. At least 22 have been hospitalized for COVID-19 during the pandemic.

Huron and Perth will remain in the orange-restrict tier of the province’s restrictions framework next week.

At least 13 school cases remain active in the region, two with outbreak declarations:

  • Six cases at St. Mary’s Catholic Elementary School involving five students and one staff member. An outbreak declaration remains active at the school as of Friday.
  • Two cases at Listowel District Secondary School.
  • One case at Central Huron Secondary School in Clinton.
  • One case at F. E. Madill Secondary School in Wingham.
  • One case at Listowel District Secondary School.
  • One case at North Perth Westfield Elementary School.
  • One case at Northside Christian School involving a staff member. An outbreak declaration remained active as of Friday and the school remains closed as a result.

One case also remains active involving a staff member of the Avon-Maitland District School Board, according to the province.

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Including that case, at least 25 school cases have been reported since Sept. 1.

No new institutional outbreaks have been declared.

Two still remain active, including at Cedarcroft Place in Stratford, linked to 50 resident cases, 24 staff cases, and 12 deaths.

The outbreak was first declared on Oct. 27. One resident case remained active and was in hospital as of Thursday, while one staff member case was active.

Elsewhere, an outbreak is also active at Stratford General Hospital in its medicine unit.

At least seven staff members have tested positive in relation to the outbreak since Dec. 9. The outbreak itself was declared on Dec. 3.

At least 181 cases have been in Perth County, while 160 cases and at least 16 deaths have been in Stratford.

Elsewhere, 83 cases have been in Huron County, while eight cases and at least one death have been in St. Marys.

As of the week of Nov. 29, the region’s test per cent positivity rate was 1.6 per cent.

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Sarnia and Lambton

Lambton Public Health reported four COVID-19 recoveries on Sunday.

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It keeps the region’s total case tally to 447, of which 397 have recovered. Twenty-six deaths have been reported, with the latest announced on Thursday — the first the region had seen since early June.

At least 24 cases remained active as of Sunday — their locations were not released by the health unit.

Two people are in hospital at Bluewater Health, according to the organization. A total of at least 63 people have been hospitalized during the pandemic.

The region will remain in the yellow-protect tier of the province’s restrictions framework into next week, according to the province.

At least 11 school cases have been reported in the county.

Elsewhere, two outbreaks remain active in the region, located at two unnamed workplaces in an unspecified location. Both are linked to at least two cases each. One was declared on Dec. 3 and the other on Dec. 11.

A total of 15 outbreaks have been declared since March — 10 at seniors’ facilities, four at workplaces and one at Bluewater Health — linked to 119 cases and 16 deaths.

Nearly all of the cases, and all 16 deaths, are linked to outbreaks earlier in the pandemic at Landmark Village and Vision Nursing Home.

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As of the week of Nov. 29 the region had a weekly test per cent positivity rate of 0.64 per cent. About 2,624 people were tested that week.

–With files from Matthew Trevithick and Ryan Rocca