Nine people have tested positive for the coronavirus in London and Middlesex, marking the third day in a row that the region has had fewer than 10 new cases in a single day, local health officials said on Wednesday.
The last time London and Middlesex saw three consecutive days of single-digit case increases was on Oct. 31, Nov. 1, and Nov. 2, according to health unit figures.
The update brings the regional pandemic case total to 6,042, of which 5,722 have been listed as resolved, an increase of 27 from the day before.
At least 181 people have died in connection with the pandemic. The most recent death was reported Saturday.
At least 335 new cases have been reported since Feb. 1 along with six deaths. As of Wednesday, at least 139 cases are considered active in the region.
The nine new cases Wednesday involve one person aged 19 or younger, three people in their 20s, one person each in their 30s and 40s, two people in their 60s, and one person in their 70s.
All are from London, with two linked to close contact, and one to an outbreak. Three have no known link, while two are pending or undetermined.
Tuesday marked the region’s first full day back under red-control restrictions as outlined under the province’s colour-coded framework.
Local health officials have said they anticipate the region will remain in red-control for at least two weeks before any potential change is made.
It comes as health units across the province brace for an anticipated rise in the number of coronavirus cases involving more contagious variants.
During a briefing on COVID-19 projections last week, the province’s science advisory group, said that while cases have been decreasing, more contagious variants are spreading and currently account for five to 10 per cent of all cases.
That will likely cause cases to increase again by late February, the advisory group said, which is why strong public health measures like a stay-home order and vaccination of vulnerable groups are important.
London-Middlesex has seen at least six variant cases, with four involving the variant B.1.1.7, which was first detected in the U.K. Two cases remain under further investigation.
The region’s seven-day case average stood at 15.28 as of Wednesday, while the 14-day average is 20.0
At least 5,257 cases have been confirmed in the city of London since the pandemic began, while 244 have been in Middlesex Centre.
Elsewhere, at least 201 have been in Strathroy-Caradoc, 96 in Thames Centre, 52 in Lucan Biddulph, 37 in Southwest Middlesex, 32 in North Middlesex, 14 in Adelaide Metcalfe and two in Newbury.
At least 107 cases have pending location information.
The number of COVID-19 patients in the care of London Health Sciences Centre stood at 19 as of Wednesday, a decline of one from the day before.
At least seven are in intensive or critical care, unchanged from the day before.
LHSC says active staff cases number fewer than five, also unchanged from Tuesday.
At St. Joseph’s Health Care London, no COVID-19 patients are listed as being in the care of St. Joseph’s Hospital. No patient or resident cases are reported at any of its facilities.
At least three staff cases are active within SJHCL, all outbreak-related. The organization has two active outbreaks, including one at Mount Hope and one at Parkwood’s mental health care building.
At least 352 people have been hospitalized during the pandemic for COVID-19, according to health unit figures. Of those, at least 66 have required intensive care.
No change was reported in the number of active outbreaks in London and Middlesex.
Six are currently active, with five at seniors’ facilities and one at Parkwood Institute’s Mental Health Care Building.
Active outbreaks (as of Feb. 11) at seniors' facilities, as declared on:
- Feb. 13 at Dearness Home (3 East)
- Feb. 12 at Parkwood Institute Mental Health Care Building (G4)
- Feb. 11 at Mount Hope Centre for Long-Term Care (MV2)
- Feb. 3 at Westmount Gardens (Lily, Daisy, Yellow Rose units)
- Jan. 2 at Chelsey Park (long-term care – facility-wide)
- Dec. 23 at Middlesex Terrace (facility-wide)
There have been at least 100 institutional outbreaks since the pandemic began. At least 73 have been at local seniors’ facilities.
An outbreak at Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre also remains active.
Declared a month ago, the outbreak has been linked to at least 23 inmate cases and 21 staff cases. As of Monday, at least one inmate case remained active, provincial data shows.
It’s unclear how many staff cases remain active.
No new school cases have been reported in London and Middlesex, the health unit says.
At least nine cases remain active in the region. A full list can be found on the health unit’s website.
Outbreak declarations remain in place at Caradoc North Public School in Strathroy and at Clara Brenton Public School in London.
The outbreaks were declared after both schools saw two cases reported in short succession, with an investigation finding the virus may have spread between close contacts at the school who were positive. As of Wednesday one case each has been resolved at both schools.
The health unit says at least 203 school and child care centre cases have been reported during the pandemic.
According to the health unit, four child care centre cases are active as of Wednesday.
Two are located at Pinetree Montessori School, while one case each is located at East Carling YMCA Child Care and School Age Program and the Springbank Early Childhood Learning Centre.
Vaccinations and Testing
The region’s second vaccination clinic will open Thursday at the Caradoc Community Centre in Mount Brydges, according to the health unit.
In addition, health officials also unveiled that the region’s third and forth vaccination clinics will be located at North London Optimist Community Centre at 1345 Cheapside St. and at ice pad A of the Earl Nichols Recreation Centre at 799 Homeview Rd.
Work is underway to convert the two facilities into vaccination clinics. The two clinics aren’t expected to officially open to the public for several weeks.
The timing of when they will open will be determined by the province, the health unit says, adding the sites are anticipated to begin administering doses in support of the rollout of the second phase of Ontario’s three-phase vaccination plan.
The province is in Phase 1 of its three-phase vaccination rollout plan.
“Once vaccinations start happening at the facilities, it’s expected that they will remain in use as vaccination sites until at least the fall of 2021,” the health unit statement said.
The city’s first vaccination clinic is located at the Western Fair District Agriplex.
The health unit says some 25,000 doses of vaccine have been administered at the Western Fair District Agriplex clinic to health-care workers and residents of long-term care and high-risk retirement homes, and select health-care staff working in hospitals since it opened in December.
The news comes a day after it was announced that the local vaccination campaign was being expanded to include more Phase 1 priority groups following a renewed shipment of vaccine and updated guidance from the province.
Among those now eligible are some 15,000 local “Highest Priority” and “Very High Priority” health-care workers as defined in the province’s vaccine prioritization guidelines.
They include hospital and acute care staff in front-line roles with COVID patients or with high-risk of exposure, medical first responders including paramedics, workers in congregate settings including correctional settings, hospices and shelters, and those working in community care with high-risk of exposure, such as birth centres, dentistry, gynecology, midwifery, pharmacies, and more.
“Health-care workers in provincially-prioritized groups will be able to start getting their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine in the coming days,” the health unit said.
The Middlesex-London Health Unit says they will be working with long-term care and retirement homes starting on Tuesday to schedule appointments at the Western Fair District vaccination clinic for staff and essential caregivers who haven’t gotten a first dose yet.
The health unit says it anticipates follow-up doses for residents of long-term care and high-risk retirement homes to wrap up this week, with low-risk retirement homes set to begin first doses next week.
Officials are also eyeing expansion of the vaccine to those over the age of 80, a population group that was recently moved by the province from Phase 2 to Phase 1. More details are set to be released soon.
Phase 2 of the province’s vaccine rollout is expected to begin in March and run until July.
The city’s two main COVID-19 assessment centres remain open and operating by appointment.
The region’s test positivity rate stood at 1.7 per cent as of the week of Jan. 31, down from 2.2 the week before.
At least 10,060 people were tested during the week of Jan. 31, a slight decrease from the 10,341 tested a week earlier.
Ontario is reporting 847 new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday and 10 more deaths related to the virus.
Health Minister Christine Elliott says there are 257 new cases in Toronto, 170 in Peel Region, and 131 in York Region.
Ontario reports that 1,456 more cases of the novel coronavirus have been resolved since Tuesday’s update.
Elliott says that the current data is based on approximately 34,000 tests.
Another 9,107 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine were administered in Ontario since the last report.
A total of 489,484 doses of a vaccine have been administered in the province so far.
There have been 288,583 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in Ontario since the pandemic began, 270,869 of which have been resolved and 6,729 that led to death.
Elgin and Oxford
Two people have tested positive for the coronavirus and another 26 cases have resolved, according to Southwestern Public Health.
The region’s pandemic case tally stands at 2,443 as of Wednesday, with 2,318 cases resolved and 64 deaths reported.
Sixty-one cases are considered active in the region, according to the health unit.
Of those, 23 are in Woodstock, 14 are in Tillsonburg, eight are in St. Thomas, and six are in Ingersoll. Seven other municipalities have either one or two active cases.
The region returned to red-control tier of the province’s colour-coded restrictions framework on Tuesday.
One outbreak has been declared over in the region, the health unit says.
The outbreak, located at PeopleCare Tavistock, was declared on Dec. 16 and was among the worst the region had seen during the pandemic.
At least 10 deaths were attributed to the outbreak with 47 resident and 38 staff cases reported.
Two outbreaks remain active in the region, declared on:
- Feb. 11 at Valleyview Nursing Home in St. Thomas (one staff case)
- Jan. 21 at Caressant Care Retirement Home in Woodstock (54 resident, 23 staff cases, two deaths; one resident case more than the day before)
Meantime, no new school cases were reported in Elgin or Oxford counties by the Thames Valley District School Board or the London District Catholic School Board.
At least four cases are active at Annandale Public School, while one case each is active at Elgin Court Public School in St. Thomas and Royal Roads Public School in Ingersoll.
The health unit says a total of 475 cases have been reported in Woodstock during the pandemic, while 423 have been in St. Thomas, 360 in Aylmer and 355 in Tillsonburg.
Aylmer’s caseload equates to an incidence rate of 4,805 cases per 100,000 people, compared to Woodstock’s 1,827.
Elsewhere, 201 cases have been in Norwich, 161 in Bayham, 114 in Ingersoll, 103 in East Zorra-Tavistock, 54 in Zorra, 49 in Blandford-Blenheim, 46 in South-West Oxford, 44 in Central Elgin, 25 in Southwold, 23 in Dutton/Dunwich, 21 in West Elgin and eight in Malahide.
The region’s test positivity rate stood at 1.7 per cent as of the week of Jan. 31, health unit figures released Wednesday show. At least 4,790 people were tested that week.
Huron and Perth
Just one new case was reported by officials with Huron Perth Public Health on Wednesday.
The case, reported in Stratford, brings the region’s pandemic case tally to 1,303.
The health unit also reported five recoveries on Wednesday, bringing that tally to 1,224. At least 49 people have also died.
Thirty active cases remain in Huron-Perth, with roughly half, 14, located in Stratford and seven in Huron East. Elsewhere, three cases are active in Morris Turnberry, two in Goderich, and one each in North Huron North Perth, South Huron and St. Marys.
At least one person is in hospital.
The region returned to the orange-restrict tier of the province’s colour-coded restrictions framework on Tuesday.
No new outbreaks have been declared in the region and none have been resolved.
Four remain active at seniors’ facilities while one is active at a hospital and one at a child care centre.
The active seniors’ facility outbreaks were declared on:
- Feb. 3 at Hillside Manor in Perth East (one resident, one staff case)
- Jan. 31 at Seaforth Manor Retirement Home in Huron East (12 resident cases)
- Jan. 17 at Seaforth Manor Nursing Home in Huron East (44 resident, 25 staff cases, five deaths)
- Jan. 7 at Caressant Care Retirement Home in North Perth (30 resident, 12 staff cases, at least one death)
Meantime, the hospital outbreak is located at St. Marys Memorial Hospital and is linked to three patient and five staff cases, unchanged from the day before.
The child care centre outbreak is located at Relouw Early Childhood Learning Centre in South Huron and is linked to one student case, also unchanged.
No new school cases were reported on Wednesday.
Two cases were resolved, located at Elma Township Public School and Listowel District Secondary School.
One case remains active at Listowel District Secondary. One case is also active at Sacred Heart Catholic Elementary School in Wingham.
The two cases are the only school infections active in the region under the Avon-Maitland District School Board and the Huron-Perth Catholic District School Board.
At least 532 cases have been reported in Perth County during the pandemic, including 340 in North Perth 133 in Perth East, 31 in Perth South and 28 in West Perth.
Elsewhere, 434 cases have been reported in Huron County, including 97 in Huron East and South Huron, 50 in Central Huron, 45 in Morris Turnberry, 39 in North Huron, 34 in Howick, 33 in Bluewater, 21 in ACW and 18 in Goderich.
At least 306 cases have been reported in Stratford and 31 in St. Marys.
The region’s test positivity rate stood at 1.1 per cent as of the week of Jan. 31, down from 1.6 the week before.
Sarnia and Lambton
One person has died and eight others have tested positive for the coronavirus, Lambton Public Health reported on Wednesday.
The region’s pandemic case tally stands at 1,969, of which 1,840 have recovered, an increase of nine from the day before.
At least 46 people have died. Details on the death reported Wednesday were not immediately available.
The update leaves at least 83 active cases in the county. According to Bluewater Health, at least two people are in hospital for COVID-19, unchanged from the day before.
The region returned to the orange-restrict tier of the province’s colour-coded restrictions framework on Tuesday.
No new outbreaks have been declared, however, one has resolved.
The outbreak, located at Village on the St. Clair in Sarnia, was declared on Dec. 30 and was linked to 28 resident cases, 15 staff cases, and at least five deaths, making it the third most deadly outbreak in the county.
Eight outbreaks remain active in the region, with five at seniors’ facilities, one at an unnamed workplace and one at Sarnia’s jail.
The jail outbreak, declared on Feb. 7, continues to grow, and is now linked to at least 40 inmate cases, up from 34 the day before. Four staff cases have been reported. The jail has a capacity of 101.
The outbreaks at long-term care and retirement homes were declared on:
- Feb. 12 at Landmark Village in Sarnia (one staff case)
- Feb. 12 at Trillium Villa in Sarnia (one staff case)
- Feb. 10 at Country Manor Estates in Lambton Shores (one resident, one staff case)
- Feb. 7 at Vision Nursing Home in Sarnia (one staff case)
- Jan. 13 at Vision Rest Home (32 resident, 16 staff cases, three deaths)
- Jan. 8 at Twin Lakes Terrace (LTC) in Sarnia (18 resident, six staff cases, one death)
The workplace outbreak is linked to four cases.
One school case has been reported, according to the Lambton Kent District School Board.
The case has been reported at Great Lakes Secondary School in Sarnia. Few other details have been released.
Elsewhere, four cases remain active at North Lambton Secondary School in Forest.
No active cases were listed by the St. Clair Catholic District School Board in Lambton.
The region’s test positivity rate stood at 1.0 per cent as of the week of Jan. 31, down from 1.5 the week before. Updated numbers are expected this week.
— With files from The Canadian PressView link »