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Coronavirus: 13 cases in London-Middlesex as 2nd mass vaccination clinic opens

FILE - A vial of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

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Thirteen people have tested positive for the coronavirus in London and Middlesex while another 20 cases have resolved, health officials said Thursday.

The update comes as the region marked the opening of its second coronavirus vaccination clinic in Mount Brydges.

The region’s pandemic case tally stands at 6,055, of which 5,742 have resolved and 181 people have died. The most recent death was reported on Saturday.

At least 132 cases are considered active by the health unit, down from 139 a day earlier.

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A total of 348 cases have been reported since Feb. 1 along with six deaths.

Read more: Booster shots, new clinical trials — What the COVID-19 variants could mean for vaccines

The health unit says the 13 cases reported Thursday involve 11 people from London, one person from Middlesex Centre and one person from an as yet undetermined location.

Three are 19 or younger, five are in their 30s, two each are in their 40s and 60s and one is in their 70s.

The health unit says four cases are listed as being due to close contact and two to outbreaks. Five cases are pending an exposure source and two have no known link.

The region is currently in the red-control tier of the province’s colour-coded framework. Full details can be found on the province’s website or by viewing the full regulation itself.

It’s expected the region will remain in red for at least two weeks before any potential change is made.

The province’s science advisory group reported last week that while cases have been decreasing, more contagious COVID-19 variants are spreading and currently account for five to 10 per cent of all cases.

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That will likely cause cases to increase again by late February, the advisory group said, adding that strong public health measures like a stay-home order and vaccination of vulnerable groups are important.

At least six variant cases have been confirmed in London, with four involving the B.1.1.7 variant, first detected in the U.K. Genome sequencing is underway on the remaining two cases to determine which variant they involve.

Read more: PHAC monitoring reports of 2 COVID-19 variants merging into heavily mutated hybrid

The region’s seven-day case average stood at 13.57 Thursday, down from 15.28 on Wednesday. The 14-day average is 19.64.

At least 5,268 cases have been confirmed in the city of London since the pandemic began, while 245 have been in Middlesex Centre.

Elsewhere, 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 108 cases have pending location information.

Hospitalizations

The number of COVID-19 patients in the care of London Health Sciences Centre stood at 16 as of Thursday, a decrease of three from the day before.

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The number of those patients in critical or intensive care also declined, down one to six.

Active LHSC staff cases remained unchanged with fewer than five reported.

Read more: ‘Early indications’ vaccines having impact on COVID-19 infection rates, Njoo says

No COVID-19 patients were reported to be in the care of St. Joseph’s Hospital as of late Tuesday, the most recent update from St. Joseph’s Health Care London (SJHCL).

The organization said it would issue an update if and when those numbers changed.

The only active cases within SJHCL involved three staff members whose infections were outbreak-related. One outbreak each remains active at Mount Hope and at Parkwood’s mental health care building.

The health unit says at least 354 people have been hospitalized for COVID-19 during the pandemic, with 66 needing intensive care.

Institutional outbreaks

No new outbreaks have been declared and none have been resolved.

Six remain active, with five at seniors’ facilities and one at Parkwood Institute’s Mental Health Care Building.

Active outbreaks (as of Feb. 18) 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, with at least 73 at local seniors’ facilities.

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Elsewhere, two outbreaks are also active at schools, one at a licensed child-care centre and one at London’s jail.

The two school outbreaks are located at Caradoc North Public School and Clara Brenton Public School.

Read more: Where is AstraZeneca’s vaccine? Health Canada says not yet ready to greenlight

The child-care centre outbreak, declared Feb. 16, is located at Pinetree Montessori School. Two cases were active there Thursday.

At Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre, meantime, an outbreak declared a month ago remains relatively steady, with only one active inmate case, down from a peak of 19 three weeks ago.

In total, 24 inmate cases have been reported at the jail along with 21 staff cases.

It’s unclear how many staff cases remain active.

Schools

Neither the Thames Valley District School Board nor London District Catholic School Board has reported new cases.

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At least seven remain active in London and Middlesex. A full list can be found on the health unit’s website.

Outbreak declarations remain in place at Caradoc North Public School and Clara Brenton Public School.

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Both schools had two active cases earlier in the week, however only one case is now active, located at Caradoc North.

Read more: Canadian researchers insist Pfizer’s 1st dose effective enough to delay 2nd

The health unit says at least 204 school and child-care centre cases have been reported during the pandemic.

In child-care centres, one outbreak has been declared at Pinetree Montessori school, where two cases are active. The outbreak was declared Feb. 16.

One case also remains active at East Carling YMCA Child Care and School Age Program.

Vaccinations and testing

The region’s second vaccination clinic opened its doors Thursday at the Caradoc Community Centre in Mount Brydges.

A day earlier, health officials unveiled that the region’s third and fourth 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.

Read more: 2nd Middlesex-London vaccination clinic opens in Mount Brydges to serve rural communities

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So far more than 29,000 doses have been administered in London and Middlesex since vaccinations began in late December.

Earlier this week, the health unit announced that the local vaccination campaign was being expanded to include more Phase 1 priority groups.

As a result of more shipments of vaccine and revised provincial guidelines, those eligible now include some 15,000 local “Highest Priority” and “Very High Priority” health-care workers as defined in the province’s vaccine prioritization guidelines.

Second doses for long-term care and high-risk retirement home residents were slated to wrap up this week. Initial doses at low-risk retirement homes are expected next week.

Read more: ‘Early indications’ vaccines having impact on COVID-19 infection rates, Njoo says

Health officials on Tuesday said they would be working with seniors’ facilities to schedule vaccination appointments for staff and essential caregivers who haven’t gotten a first vaccine.

Further details are also expected about when vaccinations may be opened up to members of the general public over the age of 80 after the province moved the group from Phase 2 to Phase 1.

The city’s two main COVID-19 assessment centres remain open and operating by appointment.

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The region’s test positivity rate stood at 1.2 per cent as of the week of Feb. 7, down from 1.7 the week before, figures released Thursday show.

At least 10,191 people were tested during the week of Feb. 7, nearly unchanged from a week earlier.

Ontario

Ontario is reporting 1,038 new cases of COVID-19 Thursday and 44 more deaths linked to the virus.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says there are 376 new cases in Toronto, 142 in Peel Region and 122 in York Region.

Thursday’s data is based on nearly 56,200 tests completed since the last report.

Read more: Ontario reports more than 1,000 new coronavirus cases, 44 more deaths

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Another 12,383 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine were administered in the province since Wednesday’s update.

Ontario has now given out more than 500,000 vaccine doses to date.

The province says 1,277 more cases have resolved since the previous update.

Elgin and Oxford

One person has died and nine others have tested positive for the coronavirus, officials with Southwestern Public Health reported Thursday.

The region’s pandemic case tally stands at 2,452, of which 2,326 have resolved, an increase of eight from the day before.

At least 65 people have died during the pandemic. The death reported Thursday involved a woman in her 80s from Oxford County, officials said. The death is the first to be reported in the region in at least nine days.

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The health unit says 61 cases remain active in the region. At least 25 cases are active in Woodstock, while 10 are active each in St. Thomas and Tillsonburg. Seven other municipalities have six or fewer active cases.

The region returned to the red-control tier of the province’s colour-coded restrictions framework on Tuesday.

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One new outbreak has been declared in the region, located at Aylmer Retirement Residence. The outbreak, confirmed Wednesday, is linked to one resident case.

It’s among three outbreaks active at local long-term care and retirement homes, declared on:

  • Feb. 17 at Aylmer Retirement Residence (one resident case)
  • 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)

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 remain 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.

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Read more: Pressure on Trudeau grows as Canada’s world ranking on vaccines slips further

The health unit says a total of 480 cases have been reported in Woodstock during the pandemic, while 425 have been in St. Thomas, 361 in Aylmer and 355 in Tillsonburg.

Aylmer’s caseload equates to an incidence rate of 4,818 cases per 100,000 people, compared to Woodstock’s 1,173.

Elsewhere, 201 cases have been in Norwich, 161 in Bayham, 115 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 0.8 per cent the week of Feb. 7, down from 1.6 the week before, figures released Thursday show.

At least 4,513 people were tested the week of Feb. 7, down slightly from 4,857 a week earlier.

Huron and Perth

For the second day in a row, the Huron and Perth region recorded only one new coronavirus infection, local health officials said.

The region’s pandemic case tally stands at 1,304, of which 1,227 people have recovered, an increase of three from a day earlier, and 49 have died.

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The one lone case Thursday was reported in Stratford, as was the case the day before.

At least 28 cases are listed as active in the region, with 14 in Stratford and five in Huron East. Six other municipalities have between one and three active cases.

One person was listed as being in hospital Thursday.

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The health unit reported no change in the number of active outbreaks in the region.

Four remain active at local seniors’ facilities, while one outbreak remains active at St. Marys hospital and one at a child care centre in South Huron.

The region’s 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)

The outbreak at St. Marys Memorial Hospital is tied to three patient and five staff cases, while the child-care centre outbreak at Relouw Early Childhood Learning Centre in South Huron involves one student case, both unchanged from the day before.

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Meantime, no new school cases were reported in the region.

One remains active in Huron-Perth, located at Sacred Heart Catholic Elementary School in Wingham, according to the Huron-Perth Catholic District School Board.

A previous active case at Listowel District Secondary School has resolved, the Avon-Maitland District School Board said.

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According to the health unit, 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.

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At least 307 cases have been reported in Stratford and 31 in St. Marys.

Officials reported Thursday that the local test positivity rate stood at 0.9 per cent as of the week of Feb. 7, down from 1.6 the week before.

Sarnia and Lambton

Twelve new cases were reported Thursday by Lambton Public Health along with seven recoveries.

The county’s pandemic case total stands at 1,981, of which 1,847 people have recovered and 46 have died. The most recent death was reported Wednesday.

At least 88 cases remain active as of Thursday. At least two people are in hospital at Bluewater Health, the organization reported. The figure is unchanged from a day earlier.

The region returned to the orange-restrict tier of the province’s colour-coded restrictions framework on Tuesday.

Health officials reported Thursday that the region’s test positivity rate rose to 2.3 per cent as of the week of Feb. 7, up from 1.0 per cent the week before.

The increase came as testing rates fell in the county. At least 3,464 tests were recorded the week of Feb. 7 compared to 3,662 the week before.

Read more: Canada to cover cost of mandatory hotel quarantine for new refugees

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Two outbreaks have been resolved in the region, including one of the region’s worst.

The outbreak at Vision Rest Home was declared on Jan. 13 and infected a total of 32 residents and 16 staff members. At least three deaths were reported at the facility.

A separate outbreak at Vision’s nursing home, declared Feb. 7, is the other outbreak officials say has resolved. It was only linked to one staff case.

Six outbreaks remain active, including four at seniors’ facilities, one at Sarnia’s jail, and one at an unnamed workplace.

The seniors’ facility outbreaks that remain active 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)
  • Jan. 8 at Twin Lakes Terrace (LTC) in Sarnia (18 resident, six staff cases, one death)

At Sarnia’s jail, at least 40 cases involving inmates and four involving staff have been reported since Feb. 7, figures unchanged from the day before.

The unnamed workplace outbreak, also declared Feb. 7, has been linked to four cases.

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One new school case has been reported in the region.

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The case is located at Great Lakes Secondary School in Sarnia, which had already seen one active case. Both cases involve students.

Elsewhere, four cases remain active at North Lambton Secondary School in Forest.

— With files from The Canadian Press

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