The Middlesex London region has hit an encouraging milestone, with no new deaths and case numbers for people testing positive for the coronavirus below 20 a day for seven days in a row.
On Saturday, The Middlesex London Health Unit (MLHU) reported 16 new cases, 32 recoveries and zero deaths.
The region’s pandemic case tally stands at 6,084, of which 5,786 have resolved and 181 people have died. The most recent death was reported on Feb. 13.
At least 117 cases are considered active by the health unit.
A total of 376 cases have been reported since Feb. 1 along with six deaths.
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.
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.
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.
Of the 16 new cases, 15 are from London and one is from Middlesex Centre.
At least 5,296 cases have been confirmed in the city of London since the pandemic began, while 246 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.
The number of COVID-19 patients in the care of London Health Sciences Centre stood at 15 as of Friday, a decrease of three from the day before.
Seven patients were in critical or intensive care.
Active LHSC staff cases remained unchanged with fewer than five reported.
No COVID-19 patients were reported to be in the care of St. Joseph’s Hospital as of Friday, 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.
One active case within SJHCL involves a staff member and four staff members are linked to the outbreaks at Mount Hope and at Parkwood’s mental health care building. One patient case is linked to Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care.
The health unit says at least 354 people have been hospitalized for COVID-19 during the pandemic, with 66 needing intensive care.
A new outbreak was declared are Peoplescare Oak Crossing on Friday.
The outbreak was declared on third floor in the Norway Spruce section.
Six remain active, with five at seniors’ facilities and one at Parkwood Institute’s Mental Health Care Building.
- 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 101 institutional outbreaks since the pandemic began, with at least 74 at local seniors’ facilities.
Elsewhere, an outbreak has been declared at St Anne’s Catholic School. Outbreaks also remain active at Caradoc North Public School and Clara Brenton Public School.
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.
At least four school outbreaks remain active in London and Middlesex. A full list can be found on the health unit’s website.
The health unit says at least 205 cases at schools and child-care centres 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.
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.
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.
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 dose of 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.
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 reported 1,228 cases of the novel coronavirus Saturday, bringing the total number of cases in the province to 291,999.
“Locally, there are 331 new cases in Toronto, 228 in Peel and 132 in York Region,” Health Minister Christine Elliott said.
A total of 274,714 COVID-19 cases are considered resolved, which is up by 1,313 and is 94.1 per cent of all confirmed cases.
Twenty-eight additional deaths were also reported on Saturday, bringing the provincial death toll to 6,848.
Nearly 57,200 additional tests were completed. Ontario has now completed a total of 10,645,980 tests and 30,762 remain under investigation.
Elgin and Oxford
Southwestern Public Health reported two new deaths, two new COVID-19 cases, along with eight recoveries on Saturday.
The region’s pandemic case tally stands at 2,455, of which 2,346 have resolved.
At least 67 people have died during the pandemic. According to SWPH data one death is related to a Aylmer Retirement Residence and the second is Caressant Care Retirement Home in Woodstock who both reported new deaths on Saturday.
The health unit says 42 cases remain active in the region. At least 17 cases are active in Woodstock, while nine are active in St. Thomas. Eight other municipalities have four or fewer active cases.
The region returned to the red-control tier of the province’s colour-coded restrictions framework on Tuesday.
Three outbreaks are active at local long-term care and retirement homes, declared on:
- Feb. 17 at Aylmer Retirement Residence (one resident case, 1 death)
- 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, three deaths)
Global News does not update school cases on the weekend.
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.
The health unit says a total of 482 cases have been reported in Woodstock during the pandemic, while 425 have been in St. Thomas, 361 in Aylmer and 335 in Tillsonburg.
Elsewhere, 201 cases have been in Norwich, 161 in Bayham, 115 in Ingersoll, 104 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
Huron Perth Public Health reported two new cases and one recovery on Saturday.
As of Saturday, the region’s pandemic case tally stood at 1,306, of which 1,236 people have recovered, and 49 have died.
At least 21 cases are listed as active in the region, with nine in Stratford. Six municipalities have between one and four active cases.
Two people were listed as being in hospital Saturday.
Four outbreaks 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.
The child-care centre outbreak at Relouw Early Childhood Learning Centre in South Huron involves one student case has now been resolved.
Global News does not update school cases over the weekend.
One school case 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.
According to the health unit, at least 535 cases have been reported in Perth County during the pandemic, including 342 in North Perth 134 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.
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
Lambton Public Health has surpassed 2,000 cases in the region Saturday with eight new COVID-19 infections along with 16 recoveries on Saturday.
The county’s pandemic case total stands at 2,001, of which 1,868 people have recovered and 46 have died. The most recent death was reported Wednesday.
At least 87 cases remain active as of Saturday. At least two people are in hospital at Bluewater Health, the organization reported.
The region returned to the orange-restrict tier of the province’s colour-coded restrictions framework on Tuesday.
Lambton Public Health (LPH) is investigating an outbreak at Twin Lakes Village Retirement Home in Sarnia, declared on Feb. 19.
“The individual who tested positive has been notified of their result,” states Jennifer Beaubien, Family Health Supervisor for Lambton Public Health. “LPH is continuing to conduct case and contact management as part of the investigation.”
Testing of all residents is underway and staff testing is ongoing. The health unit said no additional details will be provided at this time based on the current needs of the investigation.
Lambton Public Health does not update its detailed information on weekends so the below information has not been updated since Friday.
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.
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 41 cases involving inmates and four involving staff have been reported since Feb. 7.
The unnamed workplace outbreak, also declared Feb. 7, has been linked to four cases.
One new school case has been reported in the region. 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 980 CFPL’s Matthew Trevithick and The Canadian Press