A youth working at a Long Term Care facility is the youngest person in the region to die of COVID-19.
The Middlesex London Health Unit (MLHU) reported the death Saturday along with a man in his 60s and a woman in her 80s, all of which are associated with a long-term care home. This marks the 23rd day in a row the region has reported a COVID-19-related death.
Few details on the teen’s death are known, the MLHU has said the case involved a male not in their early-teenage years but has not confirmed if they were over or under the age of 18.
Dr. Alex Summers, associate medical officer of health for the MLHU, said the teen had recently been diagnosed with COVID-19 and was not hospitalized before his death.
“When someone young passes away it reminds us all how significant this pandemic is, how tragic at times it is, and how much we hope soon it will be over,” he said.
Summers said the majority of deaths in the region have typically been people in their 70s.
“This is a very rare occurrence where we have had someone who has recently diagnosed with COVID pass away,” he said.
“This is the youngest death among someone diagnosed with the COVID in the London region, it is a very rare event.”
The next youngest person with COVID-19 to die in London and Middlesex County was in their 40s.
The MLHU is still investigating how someone so young passed away from COVID so quickly but Dr. Summers said at this time they don’t believe the death linked to any new variants.
The MLHU also 50 new coronavirus cases and 20 new recoveries.
The update brings the region’s pandemic case tally to 5,395, of which 3,668 people have recovered.
At least 167 people have died during the pandemic, including at least 61 since the month began.
In addition to being the deadliest month the pandemic has seen, January has also recorded the most new coronavirus cases with 2,027. December, which stands as the second-worst month for cases, saw 1,723.
As of Saturday, at least 1,560 cases are active in the region.
Of the 50 new cases Friday, 42 are from London.
During Thursday’s media briefing, Dr. Chris Mackie, the region’s medical officer of health, said the recent drop in new cases suggests the region’s second wave has peaked.
“It doesn’t mean it’s the last peak that we’ll see,” he stressed. “Hopefully this decline is something we can continue in the weeks and months to come.”
“There could be any number of reasons why we might see case counts go back up again. If we see behaviour being relaxed too quickly, we could see a jump in cases. If we do see U.K. variant spreading more rapidly here, we could see a jump in cases.”
The region has, so far, recorded one confirmed case of the U.K. variant B.1.1.7. Researchers have yet to determine whether any of the new variants, including those detected in South Africa and Brazil, are more deadly, but the U.K. strain is known to spread much faster.
“We’re all very much hoping that people can keep up the good behaviour that has brought cases down and we can keep seeing things improve across the community.”
The region’s seven-day case average stands at 68.57 as of Friday, down from 69.7 Thursday. The 14-day average stands at 87.5, down from 90.28 on Thursday.
The cumulative incidence rate for London-Middlesex is 1,053 cases per 100,000 people compared to Ontario’s 1,665.
London has recorded at least 4,665 cases during the pandemic, followed by Middlesex Centre with 236.
Due to Middlesex Centre’s lower population, its caseload has hit harder. The municipality’s incidence rate is 1,335 cases per 100,000 people to London’s 1,142.
Elsewhere, Strathroy-Caradoc has reported 187 cases, Thames Centre 91, Lucan Biddulph 34, Southwest Middlesex 35, North Middlesex 28, Adelaide Metcalfe 13 and Newbury two. At least 104 cases are pending location data.
The number of COVID-19 inpatients hospitalized at London Health Sciences Centre numbered 22 as of Friday, unchanged from the day before.
Eight patients are in critical or intensive care, a decrease of two from Thursday.
At the same time, active staff cases within LHSC numbered 23 Friday, up one from the day before.
St. Joseph’s Hospital remains free of any COVID-19 patients.
However, St. Joseph’s Health Care London reported late Friday that at least nine staff members within the organization were currently infected.
All but one are linked to an outbreak at Mount Hope for Long-Term Care, which is also tied to two active resident cases and five deaths.
The health unit says 331 people have been hospitalized due to the virus, with 66 in intensive care. Three more than the day before, including one more ICU case.
One new institutional outbreak was declared at Dorchester Terrace late Friday. The number of cases linked to the outbreak is not known.
As of Friday, the health unit said the Elgin Middlesex Detention Centre outbreak had led to at least 14 cases at the jail, including 10 staff members and four inmates.
There were no active inmate cases on Jan. 18. The outbreak was declared at the facility on Monday after four staff there tested positive.
In a statement, a Ministry of the Solicitor General spokesperson said any inmate who tests positive is isolated from the rest of the inmate population as they receive appropriate medical care.
“The ministry continues to work with the local health unit to complete contact tracing, and voluntary testing of inmates is ongoing,” the spokesperson said.
At least 15 outbreaks remain active at local long-term care and retirement homes in London and Middlesex. How many cases and deaths are linked to all of the outbreaks is not clear.
- Jan. 22 at Dorchester Terrace (Facility wide)
- Jan. 19 at Peoplecare Oak Crossing (Red Oak)
- Jan. 16 at Longworth Retirement Residence (facility-wide)
- Jan. 14 at Kensington Village (first floor of long-term care home)
- Jan. 11 at Elmwood Place (facility-wide)
- Jan. 10 at Queens Village (Memory Lane area)
- Jan. 9 at Fox Hollow Retirement Residence (first floor)
- Jan. 9 at Glendale Crossing (Lambeth, Westminster)
- Jan. 8 at Chelsey Park Retirement Community (third and fifth floors)
- Jan. 5 at Oneida Long-Term Care Home (facility-wide)
- Jan. 2 at Chelsey Park (long-term care – fifth floor, second floor)
- Dec. 26 at Extendicare (facility-wide)
- Dec. 23 at Middlesex Terrace (facility-wide)
- Dec. 22 at Mount Hope Centre for Long-Term Care (facility-wide; at least two residents and eight staff are presently infected, a notable drop from previous weeks. Five people have also died.)
- Dec. 8 at Country Terrace (facility-wide).
Three outbreaks are also still active within London Health Sciences Centre.
No new cases or deaths have been reported between them.
One outbreak is located at University Hospital. Declared on Jan. 15 in its emergency department, it’s linked to eight staff cases.
Meantime, two outbreaks are active at Victoria Hospital, declared Jan. 6 in B41 Antenatal and Jan. 12 in the C6-100-Geriatric Behavioural Unit. Both are linked to fewer than five patient and staff cases and no deaths.
A fourth hospital outbreak is also active in the region, located at Strathroy Middlesex General Hospital in 2 South. A case tally was not immediately available.
No new school cases have been reported by local school boards or by the health unit.
One school-associated case is active in the region. It was reported on Jan. 16 and is linked to Clarke Road Secondary School.
The health unit says at least 178 cases have been reported during the pandemic involving elementary and secondary schools and child-care centres.
Students in the London region have been learning remotely and won’t be back in the classroom until at least Feb. 11.
Mark Fisher, director of education for the Thames Valley District School Board, and Linda Staudt, director of education for the London District Catholic School Board, confirmed the timeframe to 980 CFPL on Thursday.
Staudt said the board had been told remote learning would continue “until this stay-at-home emergency order is no longer in effect.”
The order, launched Jan. 14, is to remain in place until at least Feb. 10.
“It’s our hope that sometime in that first week of February, we would find out if, in fact, we can go back,” Staudt said.
While the majority of students are learning remotely, students with special education needs who are unable to participate in remote learning have been back in schools.
Fisher says roughly 1,100 students are attending in-person school within the public board, while Staudt estimated the number at 300 in the Catholic board.
Vaccinations and testing
All long-term care home residents in the region will be vaccinated by the end of the weekend, local health officials stress.
That’s despite shipment delays from Pfizer and a shrinking local supply of doses — issues that prompted the city’s vaccination clinic to be temporarily shut down.
The closure of the clinic, located at the Western Fair District Agriplex with the city’s field hospital, began Friday and will last at least two weeks.
“The facilities we’ll be vaccinating between (Thursday) and Monday include the following: Henley Place, Craigwiel Gardens, Chartwell Parkhill, Kensington Village, The Village of Glendale Crossing, Westmount Gardens, Babcock Community Care, and PeopleCare Oakcrossing,” Dr. Chris Mackie, the region’s medical officer of health, said during Thursday’s briefing.
“The other positive part of this story is that we’re now in our 11th day after vaccinating at the Oneida long-term care facility, and that means that the people vaccinated there are now becoming immune.
“It’s around day eight that immunity starts to develop and by around day 12 to 14, you’ve got almost 90 per cent and potentially over 90 per cent protection against the virus.”
Mackie says health unit teams are planning to begin vaccinations at high-risk retirement homes on Monday once long-term care residents have all been given a first dose, but says those plans are tentative depending on available supply.
“If we have some indication between now and Monday that there will be further delays in the provincial supply, we may not be able to go out into those homes. Otherwise, we do plan to at this point.”
Mackie says there are still several weeks of work ahead to figure out which groups come next in the vaccination queue, including when health-care workers more broadly can expect shots. He says the health unit expects direction on the matter will come from the province.
According to the health unit, 3.6 per cent of tests were coming back positive as of the week of Jan. 10, down from 6.1 per cent the week prior. Updated numbers are expected Wednesday.
At least 12,103 tests were conducted the week of Jan. 10, down from 12,901 a week earlier.
The city’s two main COVID-19 assessment centres have seen a lower turnout this week compared to last.
The Carling Heights assessment centre reported 458 visits on Monday, 349 on Tuesday, 305 on Wednesday and 272 on Thursday, while Oakridge Arena reported 347, 327, 283 and 221.
Carling Heights had reported between 385 and 513 visits between Jan. 11 and 15, and between 475 and 537 the week of Jan. 4 to 8. Oakridge Arena reported between 306 and 369 visits per day over both weeks.
A spokesperson with Thames Valley Family Health Team, which runs the centres alongside LHSC, said the slump is due to several factors.
Among them, the province’s stay-at-home order, which has resulted in less demand as students continue with remote learning and more adults shift to working from home.
The centres also stopped testing for travel last Friday. Both centres are continuing to operate by appointment only.
Ontario reported 2,359 new cases of the novel coronavirus Saturday, bringing the total number of cases in the province to 252,585.
Health Minister Christine Elliott said there are 708 new cases in Toronto, 422 in Peel Region and 220 in York Region.
She said there are also 107 in Hamilton and 101 in Ottawa.
A total of 222,287 COVID-19 cases are considered resolved, which is up by 3,025 and is 88 per cent of all known cases.
Fifty-two additional deaths were also reported on Saturday, bringing the provincial death toll to 5,753.
More than 63,400 additional tests were completed. Ontario has now completed a total of 9,260,044 tests and 37,847 remain under investigation.
According to the Ministry of Long-Term Care, there have been 3,322 deaths reported among residents and patients in long-term care homes across Ontario, which is an increase of 24.
There are currently 252 outbreaks in long-term care homes, 138 of which are reported to have no resident cases.
There are 1,298 active cases among long-term care residents and 1,142 among staff.
As of 8 p.m. Friday, 276,146 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in Ontario, which is up by 11,161. So far, 57,907 people have received both required doses.
Elgin and Oxford
Two people have died and 21 new coronavirus infections have been reported, along with 37 recoveries, Southwestern Public Health reported Saturday.
The region’s pandemic case tally stands at 2,172, of which 1,880 people have recovered and 52 have died.
All three deaths are linked to an outbreak at Maple Manor nursing home. The home has 85 resident cases, 53 staff cases, and 20 deaths.
At least 37 of the region’s deaths and 793 of its cases have been reported just this month.
As of Friday, at least 240 cases were considered active in Elgin and Oxford.
Of those, at least 63 are in Tillsonburg, while 34 are in Norwich, 30 in Woodstock, 31 in St. Thomas, 22 in Aylmer and 12 in East Zorra-Tavistock. Ten other municipalities have active case tallies of 10 or fewer.
At least 11 people were listed as being in hospital in the region as of Saturday, with four in intensive care, the health unit says.
Two new institutional outbreaks have been declared in the region, the health unit says.
One has been declared at Caressant Care Retirement Home in Woodstock, tied to one resident case, while the other has been declared at Elgin Manor in St. Thomas, tied to one staff case.
The new outbreaks are among at least 13 that are currently active in the region.
Long-term care and retirement home outbreaks remain active at the following facilities, declared on:
- Jan. 21 at Caressant Care Retirement Home in Woodstock (one resident case and one staff case)
- Jan. 21 at Elgin Manor in St. Thomas (one staff case)
- Jan. 18 at Harvest Crossing Retirement Home in Tillsonburg (one staff case)
- Jan. 16 at Chartwell Oxford Gardens (one staff case)
- Jan. 16 at Seasons Retirement Home in St. Thomas (one staff case)
- Jan. 15 at Dayspring Residence in Tillsonburg (one resident case)
- Jan. 8 at Extendicare Port Stanley (two staff cases)
- Jan. 6 at Trillium Retirement Home (13 resident, five staff cases)
- Jan. 4 at Caressant Care Bonnie Place – St. Thomas (two resident cases and one death)
- Jan. 1 at Woodingford Lodge – Woodstock (two resident, two staff case)
- Dec. 19 at Terrace Lodge in Aylmer (six staff cases)
- Dec. 16 at PeopleCare Tavistock (46 resident, 36 staff cases, nine deaths)
- Dec. 12 at Maple Manor Nursing Home (85 resident, 53 staff cases, 20 deaths)
At least 24 institutional outbreaks have been declared in the region during the pandemic.
No new school cases were reported in the region by the Thames Valley District School Board or the London District Catholic School Board.
No school cases within those boards are active in either Elgin or Oxford counties.
It’s unclear whether new cases have been reported at other school boards or at private schools, as the health unit defers to the province for school case information, and the province has paused its reporting of cases during remote learning.
St. Thomas has reported 380 cases during the pandemic, followed by Woodstock with 344 and Aylmer with 341.
Due to its low population size, Aylmer’s caseload equates to 4,511 cases per 100,000 people, well above any other municipality in the region.
St. Thomas’s incidence rate is 963 per 100,000 while Woodstock’s is 843.
Elsewhere, 318 cases have been in Tillsonburg, 188 in Norwich, 157 in Bayham, 96 in East Zorra-Tavistock, 87 in Ingersoll, 51 in Zorra, 45 in Blandford-Blenheim, 43 in Central Elgin, 44 in South-West Oxford, 24 in Southwold, 19 in West Elgin, 16 in Dutton/Dunwich and eight in Malahide.
The health unit says the region’s test positivity rate has fallen to 3.2 per cent as of the week of Jan. 10, a notable drop from the 5.9 per cent seen a week earlier.
Health officials say 5,572 tests were conducted the week of Jan. 10, down slightly from the 6,160 the week before.
Huron and Perth
One person has died and 15 others have tested positive for the coronavirus, officials with Public Health reported on Saturday.
The region’s total case tally now stands at 1,137.
At least 964 of the region’s cases have recovered and 33 people have died.
Of the cases reported Saturday, four came from North Perth, five from Huron Perth, and six from Stratford.
At least 140 cases were active in the county as of Saturday’s update.
Of those, 79, or 56 per cent, are in North Perth. Sixteen are in Stratford, 15 in Huron East, and 10 in Central Huron. Eight other municipalities have active case tallies under 10.
Roughly 45 per cent of the active cases are located at Caressant Care.
The facility has reported a combined 101 cases and seven deaths in its long-term care home and retirement home this month.
The first outbreak at the facility was reported on Jan. 7 in its retirement home. As of Thursday, health officials said a total of 29 residents and eight staff members had tested positive and one resident had died.
As of Thursday, 16 resident and three staff cases were still considered active.
Three days after the retirement home, the facility’s long-term care home was struck by an outbreak on Jan. 10.
Since it was declared, that outbreak has infected 43 residents and 21 staff members. As of Thursday, 34 resident cases and 19 staff cases were still active, health officials said.
At least six long-term care home residents have since died, including the three reported on Friday.
One new case was reported at Caressant Care on Friday.
Two outbreaks have since been resolved Friday. The outbreak declared on Jan. 10 at Spruce Lodge in Stratford involving one staff case is now over as well as the outbreak declared on Jan. 8 at Wildwood Care Centre in St. Marys involving one staff member.
Including Caressant Care, active outbreaks remain in place at six seniors’ facilities in the region. The active seniors’ facility outbreaks were declared on:
- Jan. 17 at Seaforth Manor in Huron East (seven resident, four staff cases; two resident cases more than the day before)
- Jan. 16 at Exeter Villa in South Huron [Retirement Home] (one resident, one staff case)
- Jan. 10 at Caressant Care Nursing Home in North Perth (43 resident, 21 staff, at least six deaths; three deaths more than the day before)
- Jan. 8 at Fordwich Village in North Huron (two staff cases)
- Jan. 7 at Caressant Care Retirement Home in North Perth (29 resident, eight staff cases; 1 death)
- Dec. 18 at Exeter Villa in South Huron [LTC] (36 resident, 11 staff cases)
Elsewhere, an outbreak remains in place at Stratford General Hospital. Health officials say the outbreak, located in the surgery unit, is tied to four staff cases, unchanged from the day before.
Global news does not update school cases over the weekend.
No new school cases were reported Friday by the Avon-Maitland District School Board or the Huron-Perth Catholic District School Board.
At least 16 cases are listed as active by the Avon-Maitland board. No active cases are located within the Huron-Perth Catholic board.
Active cases are located at:
- Clinton Public School (two cases)
- Listowel District Secondary School (two cases)
- North Perth Westfield Elementary School
- South Huron District High School (three cases)
- St. Marys District Collegiate and Vocational Institute (three cases)
- Stratford District Secondary School (three cases)
- Stratford Intermediate School (two cases)
The health unit says at least 505 cases have been reported in Perth County, including 320 in North Perth, while 326 have been in Huron County, 278 in Stratford and 28 in St. Marys.
According to the health unit, the region’s test positivity rate was 3.1 per cent as of the week of Jan. 10, down from 3.3 per cent a week earlier.
At least 3,949 people were tested that week, down from 4,126 a week earlier.
Sarnia and Lambton
Sarnia Lambton has not yet updated their case numbers as of 2 pm Saturday.
Two people have died and six others have tested positive for the coronavirus, Lambton Public Health reported Friday in what is the region’s lowest single-day case increase in roughly a month.
The region’s pandemic case tally is 1,736, of which 1,511 people have recovered, an increase of 28 from the day before.
At least 35 people have died during the pandemic. Details on the two deaths reported Friday were not immediately available.
At least 190 cases are currently active in the region. At least 11 people are in hospital as of Friday, according to Bluewater Health, a decrease of two from the day before.
Health unit figures show some 888 cases have been reported so far this month, more cases than were reported through the entirety of 2020 — 847.
No new outbreaks have been declared or resolved.
As of Friday, 12 outbreaks remain active in the county, including eight at long-term care and retirement homes, declared on:
- Jan. 13 at Vision Rest Home (22 resident, six staff cases)
- Jan. 11 at Landmark Village in Sarnia (two staff cases)
- Jan. 9 at Sumac Lodge in Sarnia (one staff case)
- Jan. 8 at Fiddick’s Nursing Home in Petrolia (one staff case)
- Jan. 8 at Fiddick’s Retirement Home in Petrolia (one staff case)
- Jan. 8 at Twin Lakes Terrace (LTC) in Sarnia (16 resident, four staff cases, one death)
- Jan. 4 at Fairwinds Lodge in Sarnia (five resident, three staff cases)
- Dec. 30 at Village on the St. Clair in Sarnia (26 resident, 12 staff cases, three deaths; one staff case more than the day before)
Elsewhere, three workplace outbreaks remain active, tied to 15 cases. The names and locations of the workplaces have not been made public.
One outbreak is also active at Sarnia’s jail involving four staff cases, unchanged from the day before. No inmates are currently positive with the virus, according to provincial data.
Meantime, no data is available as to whether any new school-linked cases have been reported. The health unit does not report school cases, and the Lambton Kent District and St. Clair Catholic District school boards have paused public reporting during the remote learning period.
During a meeting of county council on Wednesday, the region’s medical officer of health, Dr. Sudit Ranade, said first doses of the vaccine were set to arrive in Lambton during the week of Feb. 1, but noted the frequency with which timelines change, according to a report in the Sarnia Observer.
At the same time, Ranade noted it wasn’t clear why the county had yet to see any doses of the vaccine despite local case numbers surging in the last several weeks.
Those prioritized for the vaccine when it arrives will be residents and staff of long-term care and retirement homes, and essential caregivers.
Despite the lengthy wait for vaccines, the health unit says it believes it will still be able to meet the provincial directive and have long-term care and retirement homes see initial doses by Feb. 15.
The region’s test per cent positivity rate fell to 4.5 per cent for the week of Jan. 10, down from 6.2 a week earlier.
At least 4,920 people were tested. A total of 5,548 were tested a week earlier. The Jan. 10 figure is expected to be updated and finalized next week. A total of at least 86,472 people have been tested in Lambton.
— With files from Matthew Trevithick, Jacquelyn LeBel, Ryan Rocco and The Canadian Press