Coronavirus: 6 new cases in London-Middlesex as region’s pandemic case tally surpasses 1,000

The total number of coronavirus cases confirmed in London and Middlesex during the pandemic surpassed 1,000 on Tuesday after the Middlesex-London Health Unit reported six new cases.

It comes on the heels of a long weekend that saw 48 new cases reported, including a record 25 on Monday alone, and the declaration of three new institutional outbreaks and two educational outbreaks.

The pandemic case count for the region now stands at 1,005.

Ten recoveries were also reported Tuesday, bringing that total to 855. Fifty-seven people have also died due to the virus, a tally unchanged since June 12.

There are at least 93 known active cases of the virus in London and Middlesex, according to the health unit.

Health officials reported 25 cases and seven recoveries on Monday, 20 cases and seven recoveries on Sunday, three cases and 12 recoveries on Saturday, and 19 cases and eight recoveries on Friday.

A chart from the Middlesex-London Health Unit showing cases of the virus by reported date from Jan. 24 until Oct. 13, 2020.
A chart from the Middlesex-London Health Unit showing cases of the virus by reported date from Jan. 24 until Oct. 13, 2020. Middlesex-London Health Unit

Of the six cases reported on Tuesday, three are from London, two are from Thames Centre, and one is from Middlesex Centre.

The ages of the newly infected individuals span several demographics. One is aged 19 or younger, one is in their 20s, one is in their 30s, two are in their 40s, and one is in their 60s.

Three became infected through contact with a confirmed case while one is linked to an outbreak. One case is listed as having no known link, while one has their exposure source as pending or undetermined.

At least 270 cases have been reported in London and Middlesex since Sept. 1, of which 122 have occurred this month.

About 74 per cent of all cases reported since the start of September have involved people under the age of 40.

At least 88 cases have involved people aged 19 or younger, 90 cases have involved people in their 20s, and 22 cases have involved people in their 30s.

The region’s seven-day average for new cases stood at 13.42 on Monday, up from 9.85 on Friday. Looking back to Sept. 29, the 14-day average is 10, up from 8.14 on Friday. The region’s incident rate stands at 198.0 per 100,000 people, while Ontario’s is 397.9.

Read more: COVID-19 case at Northdale Central Public School makes 10 since schools reopened

The total number of school-linked cases in the city has risen again after a case was reported on Tuesday at Northdale Central Public School.

It’s not clear whether the case involves a staff member or student at the school. In a statement, health officials said the person was at the school while they were infectious. Close contacts are being followed up with.

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The Northdale Central case is among at least seven school-linked cases that have been reported in London-Middlesex over the last week, and at least the tenth to be seen in the immediate London area since the start of September.

Over the long weekend, one case was reported at Mary Wright Public School in Strathroy, while an outbreak was declared at Sir Arthur Currie Public School following the confirmation of another case at the school. The first case was reported on Friday and involved a staff member.

Elsewhere, two staff cases have been reported at École élémentaire La Pommeraie, one on Oct. 5, the other on Oct. 8, while a student case was reported at Saunders Secondary School on Oct. 7.

Two cases were also reported at two schools in St. Thomas on Sept. 25 and Sept. 29, and one student case was reported at H.B. Beal Secondary School on Sept. 21.

Read more: Coronavirus outbreak declared at Western University residence after 4 students test positive

Cases are also continuing to crop up at the city’s post-secondary institutions, namely Western University, where health officials declared a COVID-19 outbreak at an on-campus residence on Sunday.

The outbreak at London Hall was declared after four people in the residence tested positive for the virus, health officials said.

The university says those who tested positive are isolating out of residence, and some close contacts have been moved to a quarantine location out of an abundance of caution.

At least 74 Western students have tested positive for the virus since the start of September, including the four who tested positive over the weekend. The figure is likely higher. The health unit last issued an updated tally of student cases on Oct. 1, saying the number was 70.

The university says staff and students can get tested at its testing centre located in the Western Student Recreation Centre.

Read more: Johnson & Johnson pauses coronavirus vaccine trials after ‘unexplained illness’

The number of active institutional outbreaks in the region stands at eight after three outbreaks were declared during the weekend at local seniors’ facilities and one outbreak was declared over.

The outbreaks, at Craigwiel Gardens, McGarrell Place, and Henley Place LTC Residence, were declared on Saturday and Sunday, the health unit said.

The Craigwiel Gardens outbreak covers the entire facility, while the outbreak at McGarrell Place includes Ivey Lane, Harris House, and Windermere Way. The outbreak at Henley Place covers the facility’s Harris area.

Meanwhile, the facility-wide outbreak declared Sept. 23 at Country Terrace is over, the health unit says. The outbreak was resolved as of Monday.

Eleven institutional outbreaks have been reported in the region since mid-September. At least 39 have been declared since the pandemic began, including 33 at seniors’ facilities.

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It’s not clear how many cases are linked to the 11 most recent outbreaks. Such information is not released by the health unit.

Outbreaks remain active at Extendicare (facility-wide), Peoplecare Oak Crossing (Juniper and Norway Spruce), Mount Hope Centre for Long-Term Care (MV3), Earls Court Village (fourth floor), and Meadow Park Care Centre (Blue and Yellow units).

Outbreaks are linked to 209 cases involving 108 residents and 101 staff. They’re also tied to 35 of the region’s deaths.

Read more: Canada adds 975 new coronavirus cases, 14 more deaths on Monday

The city’s two assessment centres continue to see high turnout amid the surge in cases, with Carling Heights reporting three days in a row last week of client visits numbering over 500.

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of last week saw 557, 529, and 533 visits, respectively. Numbers dipped later in the week to 386 on Friday. A total of 954 visits were recorded at the centre over the three-day weekend.

The centre is operating with a time card system in contrast to Oakridge Arena, which has been appointment-based since the start of last week. As a result, Oakridge has recorded much fewer visits.

Oakridge Arena reported seeing just 830 clients between Monday and Friday of last week, and 213 visits on Thanksgiving Monday. Carling Heights also saw lower turnout on the holiday, reporting just 283 visits.

Both centres are prioritizing certain individuals.

Testing of certain asymptomatic people is also still available at three Shoppers Drug Mart locations in London. It’s not clear if the Middlesex-London Paramedic Service mobile testing bus is operational. No new dates have been released for this week or next.

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Overall, 917 cases have been reported in London, or about 92 per cent of all the region’s cases. Elsewhere, Strathroy-Caradoc’s case count stands at 31, while Thames Centre has seen 18, Middlesex Centre 17, North Middlesex eight, Lucan Biddulph seven and Southwest Middlesex one.

Of the region’s cases, 243 — or about 24 per cent — have involved people in their 20s, making them the largest group of cases by age.

People in their 50s account for 132 cases, while people in their 30s account for 128 cases, and people 19 and under 127. People 80 and older make up 112 cases.

No new hospitalizations were reported on Tuesday, keeping the total tally at 119. Of those, 33 have needed intensive care.

It’s not clear if anyone is currently hospitalized as the health unit does not issue such real-time information, nor does London Health Sciences Center, unless their COVID-19 patient tally rises above five, which it hasn’t.

As a result, LHSC hasn’t issued an updated tally since mid-June, both for COVID-19 patients in its care and for the number of its staff members who have contracted the virus.

No COVID-19 patients are in the case of St. Joseph’s Health Care London, according to the organization’s website. A total of 21 of its staff members have tested positive during the pandemic.

Ontario

Provincially, Ontario reported 746 new cases of coronavirus Tuesday and 807 on Monday, a total of 1,553 over the two days.

Nine deaths were also reported on Tuesday; there were three on Monday.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says Tuesday’s new cases include 311 in Toronto, 135 in Peel Region and 116 in Ottawa.

She says 1,292 cases were marked as resolved over the two days. The province has conducted more than 67,700 tests in that time.

Read more: Ontario reports 807 new coronavirus cases Thanksgiving Monday, 746 Tuesday

The Ontario government is working to decide which of the province’s long-term care homes will receive assistance from the Canadian Red Cross as the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic takes hold.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Long-Term Care says the province will be finalizing details of the deployment over the coming days.

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On Sunday, the federal government announced it had approved a request from Ontario to send the Red Cross to seven long-term care facilities in Ottawa.

The federal minister of public safety, Bill Blair, tweeted that the organization would “help assess and stabilize the situation” in the homes.

Provincial data show 66 long-term care homes currently have outbreaks of COVID-19.

This article will be updated with data from neighbouring health units.

— With files from The Canadian Press

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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