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COVID-19: 2 deaths, 76 cases, 140 resolved in London-Middlesex; 52 hospitalized, 18 in ICU: LHSC

FILE - Ambulances sit in front of the emergency department at Victoria Hospital in London, Ont., on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Robins

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Two new deaths and 76 new COVID-19 cases have been reported in London-Middlesex, local health officials reported on Tuesday.

It’s the first time in six days that the region has recorded a single-day jump under 100 and the first time in 10 days that a death has been reported.

It brings the region’s pandemic case tally to 8,570, of which 7,248 have resolved, an increase of 140 from the previous day.

At least 192 deaths have been reported since the pandemic began. The two deaths reported Tuesday involved two people in their 60s, a man and woman, both of whom were not associated with a seniors’ facility, the health unit said.

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At least 1,130 cases are considered active in the London-Middlesex region.

The region has seen at least 1,387 cases since the start of the month, roughly the same as what was seen during the first 12 days of January, the region’s worst month for cases.

The local seven-day rolling case average stands at 124 as of Tuesday, up from 100 the seven days previous. At the same point a month ago, the seven-day average was around 19.

The local test positivity rate stood at 5.9 per cent as of the week of March 28, based on 10,313 tests, about the same as the provincial rate. Updated figures are expected this week.

Read more: ‘It feels like nothing’s changed’: Are COVID-19 lockdowns effective? Experts weigh in

Of the 76 new cases, 73 are from London while three are from Middlesex County, according to health unit data.

As has been the case in recent weeks, those infected skew younger, with 65 per cent involving people under the age of 40, and 50 per cent under the age of 30.

Roughly 62 per cent of all cases seen so far this month have involved people under 30, health unit data shows.

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At least 21 cases involve people age 19 or younger; 17 are in their 20s; 12 are in their 30s; six are in their 40s; seven each are in their 50s and 60s; four are in their 70s; and one is 80 or older.

Due to contact tracing delays, exposure source data is pending or undetermined for 70 cases. Four are listed as being linked to close contact.

Read more: COVID-19 vaccine tracker: How many Canadians are vaccinated?

Health officials say variants, namely the B.1.1.7 variant, are now the predominant strain of coronavirus in the region, compared to the wild strain which started the pandemic.

At least 97 additional cases have screened positive for one or more spike protein mutations consistent with a variant of concern, bringing the region’s total so far to 875.

The health unit says another 10 cases have been confirmed through further genomic testing to be the B.1.1.7 variant, first detected in the U.K, a tally unchanged from the day before.

Of the 875 cases that have screened positive for a spike gene mutation, at least 830 are presumed to be the B.1.1.7 variant as they were found to only have one particular spike mutation — N501Y.

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Note:

  • According to Public Health Ontario, the B.1.1.7 coronavirus variant has been associated with the N501Y spike protein mutation, while variants B.1.351 and P.1, first detected in South Africa and Brazil, respectively, have been associated with mutations N501Y, E484K, and K417N.
  • As a result, any specimens screening positive for just N501Y are presumed by the province to involve the B.1.1.7 variant and aren’t being sent for further genomic testing.
  • Specimens that screen positive for either the E484K or K417N mutations will undergo genomic testing.

At least 10 cases have screened positive for the E484K spike protein mutation, associated with variants first detected in South Africa and Brazil, while 35 have screened positive for both the E484K and N501Y mutations. Those 45 cases will undergo further genomic testing to confirm what variant is involved.

Health unit data shows variants are making up a majority of local cases — upwards of 52 per cent of cases seen during the week of March 28, according to the health unit.

The health unit says people under 30 account for about 67 per cent of all cases related to variants.

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The London region has been swamped with cases in recent weeks, with test positivity rates increasing in most areas overseen by the Middlesex-London Health Unit, driven predominantly through social clusters and congregate settings, including outbreaks at Western student residences, according to the health unit.

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One postal code in particular, N6A, has seen that figure grow exponentially, with nearly 30 per cent of tests coming back positive as of April 3, the most of anywhere in Ontario, according to provincial data made public by the non-profit health research firm ICES.

N6A encompasses part of Western University’s campus, off-campus student neighbourhoods. about half of Old North, as well as much of the downtown core and Richmond Row.

Dr. Alex Summers, the region’s associate medical officer of health, said the data looked at the end of March into the beginning of April, when the health unit started seeing significantly higher case counts among people aged 18 to 22.

“We have had pronounced activity amongst that age bracket as identified as well in those large resident outbreaks associated with the university campus,” Summers said.

“We know that that population has also pursued testing, they are playing their part to the best that they are able. Certainly, to see that postal code with such high per cent positivity is consistent with where we have seen cases, particularly over the last two to three weeks.”

Summers stressed, however, that transmission in the community has not been solely contained to those 18 to 22, and that infection is happening well beyond the boundary of the university.

“Just because you don’t live, work or go anywhere near that postal code does not mean that you’re off the hook from the stay-at-home order,” he said.

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Read more: Canada to get Johnson & Johnson vaccine, but monitoring U.S. reports

During Monday’s briefing, London Mayor Ed Holder said he was continuing to push the province to designate London, or a specific area of London, as a COVID-19 hot spot, opening it up to more resources and vaccine doses.

“As I said last week, without question, London is a hot spot. But my own perspective is not as critical as the issues of this being a matter of science.”

I know that this is something that the health unit is pressing at their end at that level, while I look to see what we’re able to do at the political level. All I can say at this time is that those conversations are ongoing.”

Later in the briefing, Summers was asked whether N6A should be designated a hot spot.

“The epidemiologic definition of a ‘hot spot’ is is not a definitively defined thing. Certainly within our region, that N6A postal code has been a hot spot,” he said, referencing the student outbreaks and the surge in cases among younger age groups.

As the mayor referenced, we continue to have discussions with the province to highlight areas of concern within our region and our escalating numbers in the hope that we can see as much vaccine as possible in our region.”

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Holder added that, regardless if the region is designated a hot spot, “none of this means a damn” if people don’t follow the rules.

I just want to say to the folks that aren’t following the rules: stop it,” Holder said.

“The best way to handle this issue is to stop the congregating, is to stop the issues around not wearing a mask, to stop the issues about not doing hygiene. We talk about all of the right things at this level, but sometimes we have to sort out the sinners, and you get to a point where you say ‘enough.'”

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The influx of recent cases has prompted the health unit to change how it contact traces local infections.

“We’re no longer able to follow up in detail with every case,” Dr. Chris Mackie, the region’s medical officer of health, said Monday.

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We are notifying cases to make sure that they are aware of their diagnosis and know how they should handle themselves, but the next step of contact tracing is something that we can’t do fully at this point.”

Contact tracers are having to prioritize the highest-risk cases, and as a result, are asking lower-risk cases to do some contact follow up themselves.

“For low-risk cases, those that are not working or living in congregate settings or in high-risk workplaces or educational contexts, we are asking cases to assist us in notifying their close contacts of their exposure and providing directions on how to quarantine,” said Dr. Summers.

We continue to, however, continue to do in-depth investigations regarding acquisition and exposure in high-risk settings, including primary care settings, as well as riskier workplaces where people are in close contact and educational settings as well.”

Read more: COVID-19: Variants predominant, contact tracing overwhelmed in Middlesex-London

At least 7,596 cases have been confirmed in the City of London since the pandemic began, while 302 have been in Middlesex Centre.

Elsewhere, 257 cases have been in Strathroy-Caradoc, 107 in Thames Centre, 60 in Lucan Biddulph, 51 in North Middlesex, 51 in Southwest Middlesex, 14 in Adelaide Metcalfe and two in Newbury.

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At least 130 cases have pending location information.

Hospitalizations

At least 52 COVID-19 inpatients were in the care of London Health Sciences Centre as of Wednesday, the organization reported. The tally is five cases shy of the record 57 set on Dec. 7.

Of those, at least 18 are in critical or intensive care, one of the highest numbers LHSC has seen during the pandemic.

During Monday’s media briefing, Dr. Adam Dukelow, LHSC’s chief medical officer, said officials anticipated hospitalizations would continue to rise over the course of the week.

Of those in LHSC’s care, only seven were transfers from outside of the London-Middlesex region, Dukelow said.

“The bulk of the cases we are reporting are from within our local community.”

As well, the average age of local patients admitted to hospital over the last week was 54, he said.

Meanwhile, St. Joseph’s Health Care London listed no COVID-19 patients in the care of St. Joseph’s Hospital.

At least 28 cases are active within the organization, however, with eight patient and 12 staff cases linked to an outbreak at Parkwood Institute’s Mental Health Care Building, and eight staff cases that are not outbreak-related.

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The influx of COVID-19 patients into the province’s hospital system has resulted in a ramping down of elective surgeries and non-urgent procedures across Ontario.

“Cancelling surgeries, surgeries is absolutely not something we ever want to have to do,” Dukelow said.

“This is being done to preserve critical care and health human resources capacity, as increasing case counts and widespread community transmission continues across many parts of our province.”

In London-Middlesex, Dukelow says surgical activity has been reduced roughly 30 per cent at both University and Victoria hospitals to make space for more COVID patients.

In addition, LHSC has also converted some inpatient beds that were traditionally used for surgical patients into beds for medical patients, such as those with COVID-19, and St. Joseph’s Hospital has opened up additional surge space and is allowing LHSC to transfer some less acutely ill patients there, Dukelow said.

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In an interview with 980 CFPL late last week, he characterized it as the most significant redeployment of resources LHSC has had to undertake during the pandemic.

On Monday, Dukelow was asked about the challenges of redeploying staff and making sure those staff are trained for working in the ICU.

“We had done some training of staff during wave one when we anticipated we would have far more ICU patients than we did. Unfortunately, that’s now come to fruition. We are capitalizing on that training,” he said.

“We also redeploy staff that have a similar skill set to what you need to be in the ICU, and provide a mentor and real time and then a team approach to care.”

At least 410 people in London-Middlesex have been hospitalized due to COVID-19 during the pandemic, including 71 in intensive care, the health unit says.

Outbreaks

No new institutional outbreaks have been declared or resolved, but a workplace outbreak at a London food processing plant, and an outbreak at London’s jail, continue to grow.

Officials with the food conglomerate Cargill have confirmed to 980 CFPL that at least 82 cases have been confirmed at its London facility, prompting production there to be halted temporarily starting Tuesday.

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“We are taking this step out of an abundance of caution as our local workforce deals with the community-wide impacts of COVID-19,” the company said in a statement.

“As we work in partnership with the union, our employees will receive a weekly guarantee of 36 hours of pay.”

Read more: Cargill in London, Ont., halts production as COVID-19 case count climbs to 82

It was not stated when officials hoped to have the plant back up and running.

“This was a difficult decision for our team who are operating an essential service and are committed to delivering food for families across Canada and ensuring the resilience of our supply chain,” said Derek Hill, general manager of the London facility, in a statement.

“But ultimately, our employee’s safety and well-being come first. They are everyday heroes on the frontlines of our food system.”

Cargill says it’s working with the health unit and that testing is available to all of its employees. It adds it has encouraged any staff who are sick or who have been exposed to COVID-19 in the last two weeks to stay home.

Elsewhere, an outbreak at Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre had at least 13 active cases among the inmate population as of Sunday, an increase of five from the previous update on Thursday.

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Declared on Jan. 18, the EMDC outbreak has been linked to at least 49 inmate cases and at least 29 staff cases. 980 CFPL has reached out to the province for an updated staff case count.

Meanwhile, two outbreaks remain active at health-care institutions, both at Parkwood Institute’s Mental Health Care Building (G2, G5, and H2).

Officials with St. Joseph’s Health Care London say the Parkwood outbreaks have been linked to at least 12 cases involving health-care workers and eight involving patients.

Details on the Western University outbreaks can be found below.

Schools

At least seven new school-related cases have been reported in London-Middlesex, and eight outbreaks remain active at Western University student residences.

One new case each has been reported at Arthur Stringer Public School, H.B. Beal Secondary School, Riverside Public School, and Sir Isaac Brock Public School, under the Thames Valley District School Board.

Elsewhere, one case each has been reported at Mother Teresa Catholic Secondary School and St Anthony Catholic French Immersion School, according to the London District Catholic School Board.

One case has also been reported at Providence Reformed Collegiate, a private school in Middlesex Centre.

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At least 27 school-related cases are active in London-Middlesex. A full list can be found on the MLHU website.

Outbreaks are also still active involving:

  • Providence Reformed Collegiate
  • East Carling Public School
  • St. Anne’s Catholic School
  • Holy Rosary Catholic School
  • Northridge Public School
  • Sir Frederick Banting Secondary School
  • Riverbend Academy

At least 307 cases involving elementary and secondary schools in the region have been reported during the pandemic.

Schools are on spring break right now, but will move to online learning for the foreseeable future starting next week.

At least 38 child care/early years cases have been confirmed so far, with five active as of Thursday.

Three cases are associated with Kodorable Child Care Centre in London, which has since declared an outbreak, while one case each is associated with Faith Day Nursery, and Stoneybrook Early Childhood Learning Centre – London Bridge, both in London.

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In post-secondary, outbreaks also remain active in eight student residences involving Western University.

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Together, they’re associated with at least 138 cases as of Monday, with 44 alone located at Saugeen-Maitland Hall, Western University’s largest student residence.

Elsewhere, outbreaks are also active at:

  • King’s Commons – 7 cases
  • Essex Hall – 8 cases
  • Perth Hall – 9 cases
  • Elgin Hall – 10 cases
  • Delaware Hall – 16 cases
  • Ontario Hall – 17 cases
  • Medway-Sydenham Hall – 27 cases

In all, seven of Western’s eight first-year student residences have active outbreaks.

During Monday’s briefing, Dr. Alex Summers noted that many students are now returning home as the semester has formally ended.

“The university moved to remote learning over a week ago and we’re now into exam season and much of that can be done remotely. Many students are returning home (and) that will certainly make a difference with regards to the risk of transmission within residence,” he said.

We also saw some substantial numbers from social gatherings related both to non-post-secondary students as well as to post-secondary students, and our hope is that the stay-at-home order will play a major role in disrupting further transmission moving forward.

Vaccinations and Testing

More than 108,000 vaccine doses have been administered in London-Middlesex as of April 11, according to the most recent data from the health unit. Roughly 14,895 doses were given the week of April 5, the most so far.

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Starting Tuesday, people aged 60 and older in London and Middlesex are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at a local mass vaccination clinic. People turning 60 this year are also eligible.

Health officials say vaccination bookings are also now being made for as far as four weeks out instead of just three.

Read more: Canada reports 1st blood clot in AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine recipient

Three mass vaccination clinics are operating in the region, and there are plans for a fourth once vaccine supply becomes more readily available.

More information on eligibility can be found on the MLHU’s website.

Eligible residents are asked to visit the local vaccine booking website or call 226-289-3560 to book an appointment. Online appointments are encouraged due to the high call volume.

Doses of the AstraZeneca shot are also being administered at local pharmacies as part of a provincially-run pilot. At least 26 are currently giving the shot in the city of London alone.

A full list of participating pharmacies can be found on the province’s website. Residents are asked to book a spot with the pharmacies themselves.

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“The mass clinics still have the bulk of the (vaccine) supply, but they will make it a lot easier for those who have difficulty getting into the mass clinics, or who choose to seek vaccine closer to home,” said Dr. Mackie on Monday.

The region’s two main assessment centres, at Carling Heights and Oakridge Arena, remain open and operating by appointment.

According to the health unit, roughly 5.9 per cent of tests were coming back positive as of the week of March 28, up from 3.2 per cent the week before and 1.6 the week before that.

Ontario

Ontario reported 3,670 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday and 15 more deaths linked to the virus.

Health Minister Christine Elliott said there are 1,016 new cases in Toronto, 613 in Peel Region, and 519 in York Region.

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The ministry of health said that there are 1,822 people in hospital because of COVID-19.

There are 626 people in an intensive-care unit and 422 on a ventilator.

Ontario said it will add hundreds of critical care beds this week to help with an influx of COVID-19 cases that is pushing the health-care system to the brink.

Read more: Ontario reports more than 3,600 new COVID-19 cases, 15 deaths

Ontario says that 95,692 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine were administered since Monday’s report.

A total of 3,310,157 vaccine doses have been given in the province so far.

The province also says two shipments of the Moderna vaccine scheduled to arrive in April have each been delayed by a week.

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Elgin and Oxford

One new death and at least 32 new coronavirus cases have been reported in Elgin-Oxford, officials with Southwestern Public Health said Tuesday.

It brings the region’s pandemic case tally to 3,057, of which 2,809 have resolved, an increase of 18 from the day before.

At least 71 deaths have been reported. The most recent death involved a woman in her 60s from Woodstock who was not associated with a seniors’ facility, a health unit spokesperson said.

It’s the second death to be reported in the region in as many days.

At least 177 cases are listed as active in Elgin-Oxford, with at least 55 in St. Thomas, and 48 in Aylmer.

At least eight people are currently in hospital, with three in intensive care.

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The number of cases that have screened positive for a spike protein mutation common to a coronavirus variant has risen by 49 compared to the day before.

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Of the 189 cases that have screened positive, seven have been confirmed through further genomic testing to involve the B.1.1.7 variant, first detected in the U.K. — a tally one higher than the day before.

At least 169 screened cases have not undergone further genomic testing but are presumed to be the B.1.1.7 variant as they were found to have only one specific spike gene mutation, named N501Y. At least 81 of them are still active.

Note:

  • According to Public Health Ontario, the B.1.1.7 coronavirus variant has been associated with the N501Y spike protein mutation, while variants B.1.351 and P.1, first detected in South Africa and Brazil, respectively, have been associated with mutations N501Y, E484K, and K417N.
  • As a result, any specimens screening positive for just N501Y are presumed by the province to involve the B.1.1.7 variant and aren’t being sent for further genomic testing.
  • Specimens that screen positive for either the E484K or K417N mutations will undergo genomic testing.

The health unit says eight cases, four active and four resolved, have screened positive for the E484K spike gene mutation. Another five, two active and three resolved, have screened positive for both E484K and N501Y mutations.

Genomic testing is underway to determine the specific variants involved in those 13 cases.

Read more: ‘AstraZeneca isn’t enough’: Pharmacies plead with provinces for access to other COVID-19 vaccines

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Updated numbers for total vaccine doses administered in the region were not immediately available. A media briefing is scheduled for Wednesday.

On Thursday, the health unit reported that roughly 25,000 residents in the health unit’s jurisdiction had seen at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Residents aged 60 and older are now eligible.

Eligible residents are asked to visit the area’s vaccine booking site or call 226-289-3560 to book an appointment. Eligibility information can be found on the health unit website.

Doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine are also being administered through multiple local pharmacies to people 50 and older as part of the provincially-run pilot project. Appointments should be made directly with a participating pharmacy.

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A week after it was dubbed a COVID-19 hot spot by the province, Premier Doug Ford provided new details Tuesday about how younger residents in those areas will get vaccinated.

Ford says community groups and large employers will be enlisted by Ontario to help organize COVID-19 vaccine clinics for residents 19 and older in “high risk” settings within the 114 hot spots across the province.

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Last week, the postal code N5H, centered around Aylmer, was named one of those hot spots, meaning it will be prioritized for more vaccine doses and will see younger age groups able to be immunized.

Data from ICES shows only 7.9 per cent of people in the N5H postal code (all age groups) had seen at least one dose as of April 5, the lowest in SWPH. The postal code N5C is the region’s second-lowest with 10.6 per cent.

Mobile teams and pop-up clinics will be used – first in certain postal codes in Toronto and Peel Region – and the government said individuals can contact their local health units for details, Ford said.

Appointments will not be available through the provincial booking portal.

Details remain limited about the local rollout of the 18+ vaccination plan. More details are anticipated at Wednesday’s media briefing.

Read more: India’s soaring COVID-19 numbers affecting world vaccine supply — including Canada

At least three school-related cases have been reported, with two at Forest Park Public School and one at Mitchell Hepburn Public School, according to the Thames Valley District School Board.

Several cases linked to schools remain active in the region. Full school case lists can be found on the websites of the Thames Valley District School Board and the London District Catholic School Board.

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Two outbreaks remain active in the region.

One is located at Metcalfe Gardens in St. Thomas and is linked to two staff cases. The other, at Caressant Care Bonnie Place, also in St. Thomas, is linked to two resident and two staff cases.

The health unit says a total of 660 cases have been reported in Woodstock during the pandemic, while 531 have been in St. Thomas, 484 in Aylmer and 359 in Tillsonburg.

Elsewhere, 211 cases have been in Norwich, 171 in Bayham, 147 in Ingersoll, 122 in East Zorra-Tavistock, 73 in Central Elgin, 71 in Blandford-Blenheim, 65 in Zorra, 61 in South-West Oxford, 33 in Dutton/Dunwich, 27 in Southwold, 24 in West Elgin and 7 in Malahide.

The region’s test positivity rate stood at 2.2 per cent as of the week of March 28, the same as the week before, but up from 1.8 the week before that. Updated numbers are expected this week.

Huron and Perth

One new death and one new coronavirus case were reported on Tuesday by officials with Huron Perth Public Health.

The new case, reported in Stratford, brings the region’s pandemic case tally to 1,481, of which 1,385 have resolved, an increase of five from the day before.

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At least 52 deaths have been reported during the pandemic. Details about the most recent death were not immediately available.

The health unit says at least 44 cases are considered active in the region, with 14 located in Stratford, seven in North Perth and six in Morris Turnberry.

No people are currently hospitalized.

The number of cases in the region that have screened positive for a spike gene mutation common to a coronavirus variant stands at 36, up from 32 on Monday and 25 on Saturday.

At least eight cases have been confirmed through further lab testing to be the B.1.1.7 variant, first detected in the U.K., according to Public Health Ontario.

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Roughly 29,496 vaccine doses have been administered in Huron-Perth as of April 11, according to the most recent figures from the health unit. The tally includes first and second doses.

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Due to vaccine supply limits, health officials said Tuesday that they won’t be able to expand vaccine eligibility to those 60 and older this week as they had originally planned.

They added that, “based on the latest information from the province about vaccine supply,” no clinics are open to book appointments currently. An update will be given when confirmation of further deliveries is confirmed.

However, in keeping with direction from the province, education workers who provide “direct support to students with complex special needs” are now vaccine eligible. More information can be found on the health unit’s website.

Those looking to book a vaccination appointment are asked to do so via the local booking system or by calling 1-833-753-2098.

People aged 55 and older are still able to receive an Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine as part of the province’s ongoing pharmacy immunization program.

Local health units are not directly involved in the initiative and residents are asked to contact the pharmacies directly. A list of local participating pharmacies can be found on the province’s website.

Read more: Quebec health officials reassure AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine safe

One outbreak is active in the region, located at an unnamed workplace, according to Huron Perth Public Health.

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Four schools in the region have active cases, according to local school boards.

One case each is associated with F.E. Madill Secondary School in Wingham, Shakespeare Public School in Stratford, Jeanne Sauvé Catholic Elementary School in Stratford, and St. Mary’s Catholic Elementary School in Goderich.

At least 582 cases have been reported in Perth County, with 360 in North Perth and 138 in Perth East, while at least 484 have been reported in Huron County, with 109 in South Huron and 103 in Huron East.

Stratford has reported at least 377 in total, while St. Marys has seen 38.

The region’s test positivity rate stood at 0.9 per cent as of the week of March 28, up from 0.4 the week earlier. Updated numbers are expected this week.

Sarnia and Lambton

One new death and eight new coronavirus cases have been reported in Lambton County, officials with the local health unit said Tuesday.

It brings the region’s pandemic case tally to 3,058, of which 2,889 have resolved, an increase of 19 from the day before.

At least 52 deaths have been reported. Details about the most recent death were not immediately available. It’s the second death to be reported in Lambton in as many days.

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At least 115 cases are active in the county. Eleven people are currently in the care of Bluewater Health for COVID-19, an increase of one from the day before.

Meanwhile, 14 additional cases have screened positive for one or more spike gene mutations associated with a known variant of concern. So far, at least 231 cases have screened positive as such.

Of those, at least 110 are said to be the B.1.1.7 variant. The tally includes those confirmed to be B.1.1.7 through genomic testing, and those presumed to be the B.1.1.7 variant.

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The health unit says due to a delay of some 4,000 Moderna doses, two immunization clinics, located in Brooke-Alvinston and Forest, have been postponed this week.

“All individuals who had an appointment in Forest on April 14 have been re-scheduled to Friday, April 16,” said a Kevin Churchill, manager of family health, in a statement issued by the health unit.

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“The rural pop-up community clinic in Brooke-Alvinston (which was also originally scheduled for April 14) is now being held on Friday, April 23. If you had an appointment for either clinic, please plan to arrive at the same time as your appointment was originally booked for (on the rescheduled date).”

Health unit officials say the region has capacity to deliver 10,000 doses per week, but is only seeing enough vaccine to do about 5,000, on average.

As of last week, the health unit says more than 28,500 doses have been administered in the county.

More information on eligibility can be found on the health unit’s website.

Those eligible to for a vaccine are asked to visit the health unit’s vaccine webpage for details on how to book an appointment, or to call 519-383-8331.

Multiple pharmacies in Lambton are also offering the AstraZeneca vaccine to those 55 and older as part of the province-run pilot program. Residents are asked to book appointments with the pharmacies directly.

Read more: 80% of Canadians plan to get COVID-19 vaccine, but safety fears causing hesitancy: poll

It’s unclear whether any new school cases have been reported.

Lambton-Kent District School Board has paused public reporting of new cases during the spring break. No new cases were reported by the St. Clair Catholic District School Board.

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Several cases remained involving county schools as of the last update, according to figures from the Lambton-Kent District School Board and St. Clair Catholic District School Board.

The health unit says all school outbreaks have resolved, with the latest declared over on Monday at École élémentaire Les Rapides (three cases) and London Road Elementary School (two cases).

No new seniors’ facility outbreaks have been declared. One is active, located at Afton Park Place in Sarnia, linked to two resident and three staff cases.

One workplace outbreak is also active, declared April 7 and linked to seven cases. The name and location of the workplace was not made public.

The health unit says the county’s test positivity rate was 2.4 per cent the week of March 28, down from 3.3 the week before and 3.7 the week before that. Updated numbers are expected this week.

— With files from The Canadian Press

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