Coronavirus: 10 new cases reported in London-Middlesex, eight at long-term care homes: MLHU

Ten more people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in London and Middlesex, eight of them at local long-term care homes, while seven people have recovered, the Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) reported Tuesday.

It brings the total number of confirmed cases in the region to 384 and the total number of recoveries to 201 — about 52 per cent of all cases. The number of deaths remained unchanged at 32.

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Health unit figures show the 10 new cases were reported in London. Of those, seven involve local long-term care home residents, and one involves a long-term care home staff member.

So far, 356 cases have been reported in London. Elsewhere, 15 cases have been reported in Strathroy-Caradoc, while six have been in Middlesex Centre, four in Thames Centre and three in North Middlesex.

Local seniors’ facilities account for at least 108 of the region’s cases.

Sixty-seven cases have been reported at long-term care homes, involving 46 residents and 21 staff, while 41 cases have been reported at retirement homes, involving 29 residents and 12 staff.

Thirteen deaths have been reported at long-term care homes, the most recent on Monday involving a resident in her 80s, while four deaths have been reported at retirement homes.

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Long-term care and retirement homes also account for 11 of the at least 16 COVID-19 outbreaks that have been declared in London and Middlesex since the start of the pandemic.

They’re among at least 176 outbreaks that have been reported at long-term care homes in the province since mid-January, according to Public Health Ontario.

Six local outbreaks have been declared over, the most recent at St. Joseph’s Hospice, where 13 staff and five patients had tested positive. Officials with the hospice reported on Tuesday that the MLHU had declared the outbreak resolved.

Elsewhere, outbreaks have been declared resolved at Chelsey Park, Mount Hope Centre for Long-Term Care, Seasons Strathroy, Sprucedale Care Centre and University Hospital’s inpatient cardiology unit.

The most recent active outbreak was declared on Saturday at Elmwood Place Long-Term Care Home after a resident tested positive.

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Outbreaks also remain active at Earls Court Village, Grand Wood Park, Henley Place, Horizon Place, Kensington Village, Meadow Park Care Centre and Sisters of St. Joseph.

More than half of all cases and deaths reported at local retirement homes have been linked to the outbreak at Grand Wood Park, where at least 19 residents and five staff have tested positive and three residents have died, the officials with Revera, the home’s operator, said Saturday.

Local outbreaks also remain active in Victoria Hospital‘s oncology unit (C7-400) and geriatric behavioural unit (C6-100).

A total of at least 38 London Health Sciences Centre staff members had tested positive for the novel coronavirus as of Tuesday, two more than the day before. It’s not clear how many cases remain active and whether any staff have been hospitalized.

University and Victoria Hospitals were treating a total of 36 COVID-19 patients on Tuesday, two more than Monday, with 12 in intensive care, an increase of one from the day before.

Provincially, Ontario reported 525 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday and 59 more deaths, ending three consecutive days of declining numbers of new cases.

The new provincial total of 15,381 cases is an increase of 3.5 per cent over the previous day’s total and includes 951 deaths and 8,964 resolved cases.

Premier Doug Ford said Monday there would have to be a consistent, two-to-four-week decrease in the number of new cases before his government would move to the first of a three-stage process of re-opening for business.

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While health officials have said community spread is in a peak period, cases in long-term care homes are rising. Some homes have been hit particularly hard, with 11 reporting 20 or more deaths.

Ontario has called in operational support from the Canadian Armed Forces for five homes: Orchard Villa in Pickering, Altamont Care Community in Toronto, Eatonville Care Centre in Toronto, Hawthorne Place in Toronto and Holland Christian Homes’ Grace Manor in Brampton.

The NDP is calling for public health units to take over direct management of long-term care homes “where seniors aren’t well-protected,” and for the province to mandate requirements for infection control, staffing and communication with residents and their families.

Elgin and Oxford

Two more people have tested positive for novel coronavirus, while four more people have recovered, officials with Southwestern Public Health (SWPH) reported on Tuesday.

It brings the total number of confirmed cases in Elgin and Oxford counties to 59, and the number of recovered cases to 28. The number of deaths remained unchanged at four.

It comes after health officials reported no new cases, deaths or recoveries on Monday, and reported three cases and four recoveries over the weekend.

Two outbreaks have been declared in Elgin and Oxford counties, one of which remains active.

The outbreak at Caressant Care on Bonnie Place in St. Thomas was declared on April 21 after a health-care worker at the facility tested positive.

An outbreak declared March 27 at Beattie Manor was declared over on April 22.

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Of the region’s 27 active cases, 16 are in Oxford County, including four each in Blandford-Blenheim and Woodstock and three in Tillsonburg, while 11 are in Elgin County, including six in St. Thomas.

As of Tuesday, 2,233 COVID-19 tests had been administered in Elgin and Oxford, 293 more than Monday, with 668 awaiting results, an increase of 60 from the day before.

Huron and Perth

One more person has tested positive for novel coronavirus while one person has recovered, Huron Perth Public Health (HPPH) reported Tuesday.

It brings the total number of cases in the region to 44, and the number of recovered cases to 31. The number of deaths remained unchanged at four.

The new case involves a resident at Blue Water Rest Home, a long-term care home in Zurich, where an outbreak has since been declared.

It’s the third outbreak declared in the region since the start of the pandemic.

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Health officials with HPPH said they learned of the outbreak on Monday morning, adding the resident who tested positive is now in self-isolation.

“The health and safety of our residents, and the team members who serve them, is our highest priority,” said the home’s CEO, Angie Dunn, in a statement issued by HPPH.

“We are working in close partnership with Huron Perth Public Health to ensure every possible step is taken to protect our residents and staff.”

HPPH said it was facilitating testing of all residents and staff at long-term care homes in the region, as part of provincial guidance announced last week.

The region’s first outbreak, at Greenwood Court in Stratford, remained active as of Tuesday, after 14 people — six residents and eight staff — had tested positive. Three deaths have been linked to the outbreak.

Stratford has seen 24 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus. Sixteen cases are marked as recovered. It’s unclear how many of those involve Greenwood Court.

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Elsewhere, 10 cases have been confirmed in Huron County, including three in South Huron and Bluewater and one each in Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh, Central Huron, Goderich and Huron East.

Eight of Huron’s cases have been marked as recovered, but officials did not say where in the county.

In Perth, eight cases have been confirmed, including two each in Perth East, North Perth, Perth South and West Perth. Six cases have since been marked as recovered.

Two cases, including one death, have been reported in St. Marys. The other case has since recovered.

As of Monday, 1,413 COVID-19 tests had been administered in Huron and Perth counties, with 308 awaiting results.

Sarnia and Lambton

Eight more people have tested positive for novel coronavirus while four more people have recovered, health officials with Lambton Public Health (LPH) reported late Monday, the latest figures available.

It brings the total number of confirmed cases to 178 and the number of recovered cases to 84. The number of deaths remained unchanged at 14.

The health unit also reported a new outbreak declaration, the county’s fourth, at a long-term care home in Sarnia.

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The outbreak was declared late Monday at Sumac Lodge after one staff member at the facility tested positive. They are currently in self-isolation at home, according to a statement from the home’s operator, Revera.

One of the county’s eight new cases has been linked to an ongoing outbreak at Landmark Village, a retirement home in Sarnia. The outbreak was declared March 26.

Lambton health figures show the number of cases among staff at the facility rose by one to 10 late Monday. Thirty residents have tested positive at the home and six have died.

An outbreak declared on April 23 at Vision Nursing Home, a long-term care home in Sarnia, also remains active, with three residents and two staff members infected.

The outbreak declared April 15 at Meadowview Villa in Petrolia was declared over on April 23. One staff member had tested positive.

Nineteen per cent of the county’s cases involve long-term care or retirement home residents, at least 15 per cent involve health-care workers, according to LPH figures.

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At Sarnia’s Bluewater Hospital, 14 staff members had tested positive as of Monday, a hospital spokesperson said. Four contracted the virus through work, and 11 through the community.

Officials said they were able to trace the work-acquired cases back to patients the staff members had been treating, but noted none worked in the COVID-19 or intensive care units or in the hospital’s emergency department.

The hospital was treating 12 confirmed COVID-19 patients on Tuesday, along with another 17 who were suspected cases or were awaiting tests — four more than Monday.

As of Tuesday, 1,895 COVID-19 tests had been administered in the county with results received. The number of cases pending results was not available.

— With files from The Canadian Press

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

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